Issues to think about

Now doing background research on issues facing the Melbourne independent music scene. I’ve been looking at articles from the news, looking at the history and reading about overall perceptions on the music scene in Melbourne, and generally talking to friends who are independent musicians to gain some perspective of the music scene in Melbourne.

The live music scene in Melbourne is world-renown and is what makes Melbourne unique from the other famous cities in Australia. There’s an abundance of venues in and around Melbourne that host gigs frequently, many of them supporting new and inexperienced independent musicians, which I think is rather important as some of the musicians I know have mentioned that landing the first gig is always the hardest. Some have also mentioned issues such as getting support from local audiences, getting exposure (for newcomers), and landing decent gigs, but I think these issues would apply to a smaller number of people from the community, especially newcomers. Furthermore, I’d have to think twice about focusing on one of these issues as these are the issues facing the people I’ve talked to, which may not represent the whole music community here in Melbourne, and hence doing my documentary on these issues might be unsuitable.

However, I think the majority of the independent music community, and not just the people I’ve talked to so far, would agree that one of the major issues affecting them at the moment would be the problem going on with music venues and the new liquor licensing laws. Some were talking about the Tote closing down, and how that has driven a lot of local musicians to protest against the law. The Tote has been a huge part of the independent music community in terms of providing the venue for hundreds of gigs.

The Age recently wrote an article on how Victoria’s new liquor licensing laws are threatening Melbourne’s live music scene. According to the article, many small music venues have closed down because they cannot afford to continue operating due to the new licensing laws. There’s even a SLAM (Save Live Australian Music) rally going on in protest of the new laws. This is definitely a huge deal in the community right now, and would fit perfectly as a form of external conflict in the documentary.

I guess I know what I’ll be doing my documentary on at the moment, but my plan now will have to include interviewing more people from the scene, especially the people who are actively protesting against the ban. I think this wouldn’t be too hard, though, as I can easily talk to representatives from SLAM and find out more.

One of the only other problem is that this topic might be outdated by the time I start working on the documentary itself, that is if the government doesn’t do anything about the protest and the music community stops being active. But then again, this is highly unlikely considering how this will continue affecting the community unless the law changes. It would be great, though, if the government were to take the SLAM protest seriously and decide to amend the law so that it would be fair to smaller businesses. If so, perhaps my documentary could include the timeline of events happening…. that is, if the changes to the licensing law takes place while I’m making the documentary.

And now, to start planning further and think of answers to all the questions in the learning contract!!!!


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