In 2009 and 2010, alarming media reports of alcohol-fuelled violence lead to the Victorian State Government and Liquor Licensing Victoria taking measures that unfairly and unreasonably impacted negatively on Victoria’s music community. The main problem was that venues had to hire expensive security guards whenever there was live music, regardless of whether there was any danger, and many venues stopped having live music.
Representatives of the music community drawn from Fair Go 4 Live Music, Save Live Australian Music (SLAM) and Music Victoria negotiated with the State Government to resolve the issues, from the time of the Tote rally on January 17 2010, attended by 4,000 people, and the SLAM rally on February 23, attended by 20,000 people.
SLAM rally in Bourke St Melbourne, Feb 23 2010
Fair Go 4 Live Music’s petition with 22,000 signatures requesting changes to liquor licensing is handed in on the steps of Parliament, on April 7 2010.
For a comprehensive coverage of the issues, head to the website Music Doesn’t Make You Violent.
On October 6 2010, an agreement was signed between the music representatives, the Victorian Labor State Government and Liquor Licensing Victoria, that would see the end of the liquor licence conditions unfairly restricting music. The agreement also paves the way for introduction of planning measures that would protect Victoria’s music culture from gentrification (and the noise complaints that come with it).
Here’s the PRESS RELEASE from
S.L.A.M. / FairGo4LiveMusic / Music Victoria – October 6, 2010
We are pleased to announce that after eight months of intense negotiation SLAM, Fair Go 4 Live Music and Music Victoria have reached an agreement with the Victorian State Government.
It’s official: “Live music does not cause violence”. The inappropriate link between live music and alcohol- fuelled violence is dead! “The Government has acted to remove the link between live music performance at licensed premises and crowd controller licence conditions” is an extract from the Live Music Agreement signed today by Patrick Donovan (Music Victoria), Quincy McLean (SLAM), Jon Perring (FG4LM), Tony Robinson Minister for Consumer Affairs & Mark Brennan Director of Liquor Licensing.
“The SLAM Rally marked a sea-change for the arts in Australia. It was the largest cultural protest in Australian history. For the first time, cultural policy became an election issue.” Ben Eltham, AICV conference 2010
For the 20,000 lovers of live music who marched onto Parliament House on February 23rd 2010 and all the other supporters since, your voice has been heard. Today is an historic day. February 23rd was about calling for changes; today an agreement has been reached.
“This will create a business environment where venues can put live music on, even take risks on edgy genres. This is really important for the live music scene and that it’s treated fairly by regulators.” Jon Perring (FG4LM)
“The importance that the music of Victoria has to its community, industry, economy and its musicians has been officially recognised. The threat to the viability of our small venues has been stopped and our culture can be safeguarded. We believe all policy should be assessed by its impact on culture because through culture we truly live. Our cultural time is our community time; it is our celebration, our laughter and our mourning. Music is everywhere, let’s keep it that way.”
Quincy McLean (SLAM)
We would like to thank the Victorian State Government for hearing the voice of their community and working to a resolution with the Live Music Agreement, and we look forward to the active implementation of this agreement. Both the Liberal Party and Greens have policy relating to liquor licensing and Live Music befitting music’s universal cultural importance, for which we thank them.
Victoria’s Live Music community is now being recognised at a State and Local level with councils such as City of Yarra and City of Melbourne forming their Live Music Strategies. Our peak body, Music Victoria, has been established as an advocate for all sectors of the music community.
“This decision recognises the wonderful contribution from Victoria’s passionate and thriving music community and cements our reputation as one of the live music capitals of the world. We thank those who made it happen and look forward to seeing the industry flourish in this new nurturing environment.” Patrick Donovan, CEO Music Victoria
Live Music is now on the political agenda and should be nurtured and protected into the future. Thank you to everyone who made this a possibility.
– SLAM, Fair Go 4 Live Music and Music Victoria
The outcome is that licensees who have music in their venue can apply to have the security guard requirements on their licence removed or changed, for free and relatively easily. See Liquor Licence Variation.
and see this Links page.