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New protocol to keep live music alive in Yarra

10 April 2014

 Council has pledged to work with peak music bodies to develop new ways to support live music venues facing compliance and operating issues.

Early discussions with Music Victoria and the National Live Music Office have focused on the development of a protocol to facilitate a more cooperative relationship between Council and live music venues when complaints about noise or amenity issues arise.

Mayor Jackie Fristacky said the protocol was about approaching issues in a collaborative way that recognises the challenges some live music businesses face so that solutions can be reached.

“We recognise that live music venues in Yarra face increasing pressures as more people choose to live in the inner city,” Cr Fristacky said.

“Council still has a responsibility to ensure venues comply with state and local laws, but we’re also acknowledging that sometimes their operating issues are complex and need time to be worked through.

“It’s when those complex issues arise that we would be seeking Music Victoria’s involvement, not so much as a mediator, but as a party that can provide practical advice to Council as well as venue owners and licensees on potential solutions.

Announcing the protocol at the launch of the Yarra’s Leaps and Bounds Live Music Festival last night, Cr Fristacky said the approach was about getting the right people together in room early to discuss solutions.

She said the State Government’s commitment to introduce the ‘agent of change’ principle into the Victorian Planning Scheme was a positive sign for local live music, but that the positive change also needed to be backed by innovative policy at the local level.

“The introduction of the ‘agent of change’ principle would make developers and new residents responsible for sound proofing their properties if they choose to move near an operating live music venue,” she said.

“That would give Yarra’s live music venues some more certainty about the viability of their operating conditions, but Council would also need to continue exploring new ways to support venues.”

Cr Fristacky said Council had flagged an idea for a live music acoustic fund which would provide subsidies to help venues soundproof their bandrooms, however, the proposal was subject to future budget allocations.

The Leaps and Bounds Live Music Festival is another way Council is supporting local live music.

In its first outing last July, the festival featured 293 events where Melbourne musicians and artists performed at 34 venues across Yarra, attracting about 30,000 people.

The festival program for 2014 promises an even larger showcase of local live music between 4-20 July, so check out its Facebook page for updates about events closer to the time.

For more information, please contact Kirsty Baird, Community Arts Officer, on 9205 5038 and

Toby Walker
Acting Coordinator – Communications
9205 5120



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