The voice for the Victorian contemporary music industry is working towards supporting the development of the music community, with a passion of advocacy across the state in protecting local venues, assisting artists in maintaining sustainable careers, as well as ensuring there’s an abundance of music offerings all year around.
In a bid to become a force to be reckoned with, Music Victoria, the not-for-profit body championing Victorian music are running their annual Membership Drive this month, now with a greater focus on regional areas. CEO of Music Victoria Patrick Donovan says becoming a member will not only benefit the specific interests and needs of its members (the musicians, fans, venues and promoters), but also increase the power of the Victorian music community as a whole.
“Ultimately, we are a very, very, strong voice to the industry. We’ve only been around for seven years and in that period of time we’ve achieved a lot of outcomes for the music industry by working closely with local council and the state government,” Donovan says.
“The one key thing I’d say is the more members we have, the stronger we are, the more serious we are taken by government and the business world, and the stronger we can advocate on behalf of the music industry that we represent. It’s that collective voice idea that the more members we have, the more power we have to speak on behalf of them and the louder our voice will be,” he says. “We are always getting out and about and speaking to our members and finding out what their issues are and then we can work on those different areas.”
As the state’s peak body for contemporary music, Music Victoria have already engaged support from the music community through the likes of Camp Cope, Kylie Auldist, Matthew Rogers from UNIFIED, and promoter James Young from Cherry Bar and Yah Yahs. These talents join a base of 1200 members (and many of those representing bands and organisations as well as individuals), who provide the financial support to Music Victoria in servicing the music industry.
Along with advocacy on music industry issues, the benefits offered within the membership include discounts from advertising, merchandise production, retail, advocacy, travel, venue, rehearsal studios, to IT and professional development areas – benefits that will specifically cater to the needs of members.
“We’re all in bands at Music Victoria so we know exactly how hard it is to find spare cash to spend on things we know bands spend money on. We’ve even got a travel portal for bands booking tours, and discounts on virgin airlines, and accommodation and hire cars, and our members all get excess baggage discounts on Virgin and Qantas – all the things that band spend money on,” he says.
“We know that costs for bands are amplified so we’ve set up these discounts so that any members of bands who make the most of these discounts with their membership card will get that money back fairly quickly.”
The drive will be running until March 31, however new and existing members who renew before this date go into the running for a pool of amazing prizes (think tickets to live music venues, record store vouchers and professional development opportunities) – along with been awarded with 15 brand new member discounts across the state. This year, there are also specific benefits for regionally-based members such as up to 25% off at Music Workshop in Geelong and 10% off at L’Espresso in Ballarat.
Along with these benefits and discounts, members also receive a monthly newsletter which details any grant opportunities or professional development panels available. “Once you join up you become part of the community and can come to our events and meet other like-minded musicians and you become part of a real tight knit community,” Donovan says.
“We really mean it when we go out to regional Victoria and say you’ve got some of the best music and the best venues in the country and so it’s all about growing on some existing talent. There’s something in the water out there in regional Victoria, and it’s helping create bands like King Gizzard and D.D Dumbo and Freya Josephine Hollick. They have a really unique story to tell and they are making some of the best music in Australia, so we’re really trying to help build on what you’ve already got there.”
Visit musicvictoria.com.au to check out the full list of benefits, become a member and support local music.
Written by Talia Rinaldo