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Leaps and Bounds: the faces behind some of your favourite Yarra venues

Next week, Leaps and Bounds will once again take over the City of Yarra -- showcasing incredible homegrown talent in music venues and music outlets across its thriving precincts. Before you dive headfirst into their program, get to know the faces behind some of the Yarra's venues.

Laundry Bar With Tina Barrett

What the first record you bought? Tracy Chapman’s self-titled debut album.

What does a good night out in Yarra look like to you? Pre-drinks at mine, a fancy dinner at one of the many restaurants in the City of Yarra , cocktails and then who knows.

What do you love about Laundry Bar? The people, the big vibes, and the music for sure. We are the home of hip hop and rap and there is truly nothing else like it.

What is the best thing about your job at Laundry Bar? The creative freedom and ability to curate events like our Girls To The Front Showcase.

If you had a time machine, what gig would you go to in the past or in the future? I'd head to 1990 for Madonna’s Blond Ambition world tour.

Laundry Bar will host Girls To The Front on Thursday July 19, as part of Leaps and Bounds Festival. The event will feature G Elenil, Netti, Chelsea Jane, Yungbaddie, and more.

 

Evelyn Hotel With Nick Murlane

What are your early memories of Yarra? I grew up in Ballarat and started working at the Karova Lounge when it first opened when I was 18. I used to hear epic stories from the owner about Brunswick Street; the Punter Club, The Tote and of course The Evelyn. After I got enough courage, in 2010 I moved to Carlton, started work at the Evelyn’s Melbourne Cup day and I’ve never left.

What does a good night out in Yarra look like to you? Finishing work at the Ev and then running the gauntlet home, which is Bar Open, Old Bar, The Brothers, Shady Ladys, The Tote, The Bendi, Night Hawks, HOME, then The Tote and back to the Ev.

What do you love about The Evelyn? The family vibe, Maria the owner – who’s in her 70s – is here every day keeping an eye on things. My partner runs the bar at the moment and treats all the staff like her kids. It's quite funny how live music venues become that.

What’s the best thing about your job at The Evelyn? Seeing young bands hone their craft and move on to be huge players in the music industry – not only in Australia, but in the world.

Evelyn Hotel will host Flight To Africa on Saturday July 21, as part of Leaps and Bounds Festival. The event will feature Alárìíyá, Asecuma Beats, Niasha, P-Unique, and more.

 

Dizzy's With Niamh McGarry

What does a good night out in Yarra look like to you? It starts at about 3pm, I head down Bridge Road and find somewhere to eat. I like to change it up and Bridge Road has so many food options. I grab dinner and then head to work at Dizzy’s, work either the bar or the door and finish up around 11.30-12. Sometimes the staff head across to a local bar or another restaurant to grab a late night snack and wind down.

What do you love about Dizzy’s? Dizzy’s has so many different styles that perform under the one roof now, from jazz, funk, hip hop and soul. It’s a great place to be able to see live local music, with a lot of shows dedicated to up and coming artists too.

What is the best thing about your job at Dizzy’s? The best thing about working at Dizzy’s is the ability to book up and coming bands, to give them a platform to host their music. It’s also pretty hard to dislike your job when you get to listen to amazing live music every night.

Daniel Elia will perform at Dizzy's on Friday July 20, as part of Leaps and Bounds Festival

 

The Gem With Annemarie Blades

What are your early memories of Yarra? I’m from Perth originally, but have been in Melbourne for 16 years. My first memories are walking down Smith and Brunswick Street looking for vintage frocks. It felt like there were art, music and creative spaces everywhere. I thought “This is my city.”

What was the first record you bought? My first ever record was The Beatles’ Blue Album and then The Kinks a second later at an op shop for 50c. That was a great day.

What does a good night out in Yarra look like to you? Catching up with friends for some Mexican food and a few drinks then going for a big dance – band or DJ, as long as there’s good music.

What do you love about The Gem? The community – the staff, punters and bands are all such great people. There’s always a warm vibe to the place.

What is the best thing about your job at The Gem? Getting to put on nights with great music and watching them happen successfully. Nothing like a room full of smiling faces and a heap of dancing.

Emilee South will perform at The Gem on Saturday July 21, as part of Leaps and Bounds Festival

Leaps and Bounds Festival will take place across City of Yarra from Friday July 13 until Sunday July 22.