It’s often said that the future of the music industry lies in the live setting, due to the ease of access to free (yet illegal) music on the Internet making it so that ticket sales are the only way fledgling artists can make any money. While this may be the case, people often forget about the amount of talented individuals working behind the scenes that it takes to put on a successful show. Next week RMIT will showcase their students’ talents at The Corner Hotel as future producers, promoters and sound technicians while raising money for Music Victoria.
“Basically it’s put on by the students at RMIT that do sound production and audiovisual, and it’s a culmination of their work,” says Music Victoria’s Bek Duke. “They’re putting into practice everything that they’ve learnt. [The students] do all the production, all the sound, they do the filming, all the liaison so it’s their event that they’re putting on.”
To say the lineup the students have chosen is varied is an understatement, but it will surely showcase their full range of skills, as well as the diversity of Victorian music as a whole. Now in its fifth year, this year’s event will see Melbourne metal overlords Barbarion share a stage with the delicate and ethereal Wintercoats. It’s going to be interesting to say the least, and Bek agrees. “It seems like it might clash but I think it’s actually gonna work really well and I’m really keen to see the bands working together and I think it will be a nice touch.
“We didn’t want it to just be a funk night or a jazz night or pop night. Why not celebrate the different genres of bands that we do have? But also it gives the students a great event to work on that’s got different bands and obviously they’ve all got their different challenges in terms of production as well.”
This is the first year that Music Victoria has been involved in the project. Each year the students choose a beneficiary to donate all proceeds raised from the ticket sales to. Bek is certainly happy that her organisation has been chosen. “We’re chuffed that they’ve chosen Music Victoria this year and we’re really pleased to be involved,” she says. The students have chosen well, as it seems to be a very symbiotic relationship between the students, the musicians and the not-for-profit organisation.
Bek explains what it is that they do. “We’ve got to ensure that there is a future for these music students. We hear about cuts to TAFE programs and all those sorts of things but these students, they’re the future of the music industry so we need to have all the people behind the scenes. A lot of people forget sometimes that there are people making it work behind the scenes with all the production and all the tech people. These students are the future for us and we want to ensure that there is a healthy music industry for them to work in when they graduate and look for work in the industry.
“So what we’ve been doing is [running] workshops for professional development, skills training and all those sorts of different areas of music. [The money donated] will just go towards the general programs to continue with the workshops and the advocacy and everything else that we do. Often as a musician you’ve got to treat your band kind of like a small business so we help to arm people with information essentially.”
As well as working with the students and musicians directly, Music Victoria also does a lot of work behind the scenes, representing the music industry at a government level, fighting for fair licensing laws. Bek talks proudly of the work that Music Victoria has done in this area. “Only a couple of years ago we had all the liquor licensing issues with venues, it’s a long complicated process but we have made some fantastic inroads and made some great achievements in terms of a live music plan and really getting those laws changed. We were involved in the Premier’s Live Music Round Table and looking at all the various issues.”
Within an ever-changing music industry that is constantly facing new challenges and struggles, from illegal downloading to restrictive liquor licensing laws, it’s good to know that up and coming musicians are in good hands, and all proceeds go to Music Victoria. “We’re having a raffle too,” Bek finishes by exclaiming, “so not only can you come see some great music, you might also be able to win some fantastic prizes!”
BY ADAM ROBERTSHAW
M.A.V.I.S. will be held on Monday September 17 at The Corner Hotel, featuring Wintercoats and Barbarion.