Entertainment, News

Forum to tackle Wollongong’s music issues

A FORUM for local musicians and fans of live music is to be held to tackle important issues facing bands and young musicians in Wollongong.

There will be a number of speakers including Alex Masso from the National Music in Communities Network (MiC), local music fan and film-maker Jessie Hunt, and a number of venue bookers and musicians from the local music scene.

The State of the Music Scene Forum Wollongong is to take place at Music Farmers, 5 Crown Lane Wollongong, on Tuesday October 30, 7pm.

The MiC has partnered with Wollongong music scene advocates to produce the forum. Masso from MiC attended the forum in 2011 along with 200 other people. He says: “It was a great success, it brought the live music scene together to nut out issues – important issues – facing bands and young musicians. The Forum was so successful that organiser Rob Carr ended up being a finalist in last years’ national MiC Awards.”

The event is sponsored by Haworths Music, who will be offering door prizes on the night, as well as Music Farmers, Yours & Owls, Main Street Studios and Relative Silence.

Co-organiser and musician Rob Carr says the key issues this year will be venues, advocacy and getting gigs in Wollongong.

“Last year many musicians were concerned about the lack of venues. That’s what our survey of the 200 participants showed, that musicians see venues as an important place to express themselves and enjoy city life,” he said.

A big issue at the moment, Carr says, is the impact police are having on local venues.

“Musicians seem to be aware of an increased policing of music venues. While the Oxford Tavern’s closure was the big issue at last year’s forum, policing of venues is the major difference and is likely to set the tone in 2012,” he says.

“Musicians in Wollongong are not alone though. It’s not something specific to Wollongong. Sydney’s pop-up venues seem to be having similar issues with licensing.”

Organisers hope Wollongong City Council will work with music scene stakeholders to address these and other issues impacting the music scene.

Co-organiser Nik Russo says: “This year we’ll be seeking the interest and support of the wider community. Rather than just talking about the music scene, we’d like to see some movement towards addressing the big issues.”

Organisers are hoping for a Resolution from the Forum to create the first Wollongong Music Scene ‘Accord’.

Co-organiser and musician Scotty Campbell, drummer from Wollongong rock band Crash Tragic, says the Forum will bring light to issues facing musicians in tough times.

“Crash Tragic released a video clip for our song ‘The City’ recently, and we wanted to reach out and have a discussion with people about the decline of Wollongong. Jobs are going, the city is changing, all of that is feeding into the music.”

Campbell said “If there is anything Council can do to support musicians trying to gig, or young people being creative, and the Forum can help bring light to issues effecting musicians, then I encourage Council to take notice and do everything they can to support the Wollongong music scene.”

Contact Rob Carr for further details and to RSVP on 0402 716 475 or Nik Russo on 0422 300 319 or email robcarr09@yahoo.com.au

 

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limted), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications.

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