What does live music mean to you?

Discovering the all ages live music scene in the early nineties helped shaped the adult that I am today.  I remember feeling like I’d found the place I wanted to be, the people I wanted to be with and the things I wanted to do with my life.  It is still that to me today.

Why is live music important (generally)?

It brings people together.  Sometimes it can bring together people from wildly different backgrounds who are united by that one common thing, perhaps the love of a particular band, or artist or venue.  This creates communities and communities in general are incredibly important in making people feel as though they belong, whether that’s in a crowded inner city or an isolated rural town.

What makes for a great gig. “I love gigs where…?”

To me what makes a great live gig is the spontaneous or the unexpected.  Some times a train wreck of a performance can be just as great as a perfectly executed show.  At the end of the night I love feeling like I witnessed something unusual or different or that I was a part of something special.  I also love gigs where I see friends I haven’t seen in ages.  Not long ago I went to see Nada Surf play in Sydney by myself and before I even walked in the front door I started bumping in to old mates.  Inside it was like a 90’s indie rock reunion of sorts.

What needs to be done to encourage more live music?

Small venues need to be cut a break.  If a venue has been established in an inner city area for years, then tenants in any newly established residential development nearby that may be impacted by the noise should not be given the power to close it down by complaining about it.  Small venues that host live music should not have to adhere to the same kinds of demands that, say, a super nightclub has to, in regards to how many security staff etc.  The idea that the likelihood of violence in a bar holding 100 people listening to folk music is the same as a night club holding 3000 people is ridiculous.  Small venues play an incredibly important role in supporting the artists that are starting up and artists that have been doing it for decades. They are often doing it for the love of it rather than the desire to make loads of money.