VICTORIA ROCKS THE AUSTRALIAN HALL OF FAME
Last week, at Melbourne’s Sing Sing Recording Studios, Victorian Opposition Leader, Daniel Andrews, joined Shadow Minister for Arts, Martin Foley, to announce Labor’s support for the state’s music industry. A $22 million package, named Music Works will provide grants and support for local artists, with half of the funding going to the establishment and building of an Australian Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in Melbourne.
Industry heavyweights, Molly Meldrum and Michael Gudinski, have thrown their support behind Labor’s promise to reinvigorate Victoria’s music scene, with the Opposition Leader echoing Meldrum’s statement last year that Melbourne is “the capital of Australian music.”
“There should be a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Australia and it has to be in Melbourne,” Meldrum said a year ago at the opening of the Music, Melbourne + Me exhibition. Adding, “We just need to find a building, or the government needs to find a building. Then it’s a matter of funding it.”
The $22 million plan will re-establish the Victoria Rocks program, providing mentoring and career development assistance to artists, dollar-for-dollar grants to venues for upgrades and repairs, support for music in regional Victoria, along with supporting musical tourism within the state. Included is the creation of a Music Passport which requires large international acts to tour with support from local bands, trade delegations and campaigns taking Victorian music overseas.
Before it was abolished by the Coalition state government, the Victoria Rocks program supported artists such as Gotye, Clare Bowditch, Dan Sultan and The Temper Trap.
“The Liberals abandoned artists who were trying to build their career – it’s hurt the scene and it’s hurt our state,” Andrews said. “As we speak, the next great Victorian band might be thinking of giving it all up, and the next iconic Melbourne venue might be drowning in regulations.”
Ten million of the package funding will go towards the building of a Music Market, a one-stop hub that will house both the Australian Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the headquarters of the Victorian Music Development Office. The building will provide space for performances, skills development, recording/distribution assistance for artists, along with facilities for industry peak bodies, and not-for-profit industry organisations.
News of the package reportedly gave Mushroom Records boss, Michael Gudinski “goosebumps”, whilst Meldrum said Labor’s plan was “music to our ears, my ears.”
Gudinski, told the Age, “Highbrow things like ballet and opera get major funding. I’m not knocking that but I’m asking both parties to think about what contemporary music means to the community,”
“Our reputation as the live and rock music capital is priceless” said Andrews, “A Labor Government will support local acts every step of the way, because they create local jobs and they create something that lasts.”
“When the sun shines we have got to take the opportunity,” added Gudinski.
The ALP hope to win the vote of young Victorian artists and music lovers at the state election, on the 29th of November. Although it won’t be an easy win, this week’s NewsPoll showed Labor slightly ahead with 41% of the primary votes, to the Coalition’s 39%, with 4% of voters either uncommitted or unwilling to say (source).