Dimitron: Benefit for Dimitra
Unfortunately, it's not quite as often as in times past that you see people banding together to help each other out. With the 'progress' of modern society leaving people more and more individualised and less connected to others, the world has become a cold place for many people.
Melbourne's music scene, however, has long upheld a tradition of community and so when local musician Dimitra Bucolo was hospitalised due to complications from lupus, bands and individuals banded together to help raise money for her treatment. What has resulted is Dimitron, a benefit show featuring some of the city's – and indeed the country’s – best talent.
“When Dimitra got hospitalised we realised this was pretty serious and that she needed serious rehabilitation,” 3CR broadcaster and one of the organisers of Dimitron Nicole Hurtubise explains. “It's very hard to get money through any of the government systems that are in place, but we realised she had a lot of friends in the Melbourne music scene, so we decided to get them all together to raise these funds. It's been really amazing, the amount of people who've dedicated time, services, goods, it's just been a relentless stream of goodwill.”
With a line-up featuring The Drones, Zond, Hoss, Love Of Diagrams, The Stabs, Kes Trio, New War, Matt Bailey, Breathing Shrine as well as Eddy Current and The Twerps DJs, Dimitron looks set to be one of the best shows Melbourne has to offer this year. But that's not all it has going for it, as there will be a raffle on the night with a prize list that is just staggering. First prize is four tickets to the Animal Collective-curated All Tomorrow's Parties Festival to be held at Minehead, UK next May (including accommodation, but not airfares), plus there's also two tickets to Golden Plains in March, as well as lots of CDs, vinyl and tickets all up for grabs, and more.
What is so remarkable about all this, though, is how it's come together; the whole event growing out of the music community's spirit of generosity. “People who know Dimitra know people who have different connections to different worlds. With the ATP tickets for instance, (fellow Dimitron organiser) Lewis (Boyes) is friends with the people who run ATP, and he just phoned them up… and it's all just sort of been like that; people just asking their friends, saying ‘my friend needs help’ and people have just pitched in.”
Where others may have met the situation with cynicism and despair, what has led to Dimitron gathering so much momentum is that it was started on a grassroots level; the organisers were wanting to do whatever they could to help. “We're surprised, but at the same time not surprised by the success we've had with the planning. There is a bit of cynicism in all of us, but it started out on such a small scale so we've only recently stepped back and seen where it's gotten to and just been like 'fuck, that's amazing!' It's just been this slow build and we've realised that when it really matters people do come together and help each other out.
“Melbourne has a very interconnected strong community that's part of the music scene,” Nicole continues. “Community is such a big part of music, if you didn't have a community you wouldn't be able to play music; you wouldn't have anyone to play music to.”
Considering government initiatives weren't able to help, it seems amazing that such an impressive amount of support has come out of such a small operation. Nicole and Lewis don't have any massive infrastructure or funding behind them – the project is essentially a side project from their work in other fields. Consider then how many people around the world are in a similar situation and aren't lucky enough to have people like Nicole or Lewis around to help them. Then ask yourself, why?
Not to say everyone who gets sick can have a benefit concert organised to help them get treatment, but Melbourne's music community, and its spirit of supporting its members despite the time, effort and price that goes into something like this or events like the SLAM protests, should serve as a model for communities everywhere. Communities where government planning and intervention is replaced with personal involvement and social bonds. Not to sound like a hippy, but as a communal approach to society dwindles, so too I think does our humanity and happiness.
DIMITRON: BENEFIT FOR DIMITRA is at The Corner Hotel tonight Wednesday December 1. The show features The Drones, Zond, Hoss, Love Of Diagrams, The Stabs, Kes Trio, New War, Matt Bailey, Breathing Shrine and Eddy Current and The Twerps DJs – proceeds go to helping Dimitra Bucolo . Raffle tickets will be sold on the night, and all proceeds will help cover Dimitra's medical costs. Doors open 7pm and tickets are on sale from The Corner box office, 9427 9198 or cornerhotel.com.