Live & Local: Geelong’s new music program showcasing, supporting and celebrating musicians and bands in the region

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Live & Local: Geelong’s new music program showcasing, supporting and celebrating musicians and bands in the region

Chikchika. Credit Lucinda Goodwin
Words by Staff Writer

Live & Local is a comprehensive capacity building program delivering professional development workshops, micro-music festivals and a local industry forum.

In an exciting development for the Geelong region’s vibrant music scene, the new Live & Local program is set to take centre stage. Designed to celebrate and support the wealth of homegrown musical talent, this initiative promises to be music to the ears of local musicians and music enthusiasts.

The Live & Local program is a comprehensive initiative that aims to uplift and empower the local music community. It encompasses professional development workshops, micro-music festivals, and a local industry forum. This musical journey is made possible through a dynamic partnership between the City of Greater Geelong, the Live Music Office, and APRA AMCOS.

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

As part of this new musical odyssey, a Music Industry Register is being established to connect the dots in the local music landscape. Musicians, emerging or established, are invited to register to stay informed about live music events, workshops, networking opportunities, professional development, and grants.

Local businesses or venues looking to contribute to the region’s musical harmony can also join the City of Greater Geelong Live Music Venue Register.

Geelong boasts a rich musical history and a vibrant local scene distinct from its metropolitan neighbour, Melbourne. From Chrissy Amphlett of the Divinyls to Adalita of Magic Dirt, this city has produced legends. Goanna formed and crafted iconic songs in these very streets, and even some members of King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard honed their craft in Geelong.

Mayor Trent Sullivan reflects, “With such an eclectic blend of musicians continuing to come out of our region, our Music Industry Register will become a go-to resource that will support and strengthen the industry.”

The Central Geelong Live Music Action Plan 2017-2022 has been instrumental in fostering Geelong’s musical culture. The economic value of live music to the community was estimated at over $150 million a year when this plan was initiated.

Some of the highlights from this period include the City’s investment of more than $274,000 in the local music industry through the Community Grants program. The City’s ‘It’s Our Backyard: Outdoor Street Entertainment’ initiative brought 591 live street performances to the region in 2021-22.

First Nations music mentorships in partnership with Songlines Music Aboriginal Corporation and pandemic support, including parklets and alfresco areas for outdoor performances, have been critical contributions to the music scene. The City’s Surround Sounds Geelong and the Bellarine Music Festival 2022 showcased a staggering 840 artists, attracting an audience of over 14,200.

Notably, ten Geelong-based artists wowed the world with their performances in the online music festival Isol-Aid, garnering more than 18,000 global views.

Councillor Melissa Cadwell, Chair of the Creativity and Culture portfolio, believes that a thriving live music scene is a powerful contributor to the community and the local economy. “Council is committed to cementing the region’s reputation as a live music hub by supporting the many talented local musicians and attracting Australian and international acts to our shores.”

For local artists seeking resources to navigate the music industry, a treasure trove of information is available here.