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The new series of shows changing the game for all-ages gigs

Why have all ages gigs been declining for 15 years? New Slang is a series of monthly all-ages events with Arts Centre Melbourne.

Why have all ages gigs been declining for 15 years – even after Victoria in 2014 streamlined the processes for venues and promoters to hold such gigs in licensed premises? Youth organisation The Push identifies upfront costs as the main barrier. CEO Kate Duncan explains, “Promoters and artists are required to cover the costs of opening a venue during the day as the venue is unable to sell alcohol to recoup the costs.” This has been compounded by the cost of extra security required. To get over this, The Push introduced two initiatives;  Live At The Steps at Parliament House and Treasury Gardens which drew 10,000 punters – many seeing their first concerts. 

New Slang is a series of monthly all-ages events with Arts Centre Melbourne. Lineups have included P-Unique, François, Arno Faraji, Evie Vlah, Alice Skye and Slowly Slowly, with Firstkiss, The Meeseeks and The Chats coming up. This month New Slang successfully petitioned Gang of Youths to add an under-age show to their upcoming tour. Such gigs create future punters and also the next generation involved in event management, artist liaison and bookings, technical and sound production, stage management, promotions and marketing, photography and video production. New Slang’s’ Juliette Noonan knows how disappointing it is for under-18 peers not to see major bands. “All ages gigs are so important for young people to experience all the fun and the connections made at live music events. We're all about making music accessible for underage youth. We want to see change in music venues across Victoria, making them safe and sustainable places of entertainment for all-ages audiences.”

Now upping the ante is a Creative Victoria grant, which allows The Push to partner with the Northcote Social Club for a series of all-ages events in 2018, curated by New Slang. Kate Duncan says that the NSC and its sister venue The Corner Hotel “are totally leading this space in making their venues more accessible, safe and inclusive for all members of our community.” Both “have regular enquires from promoters and artists to host all-ages events, however the costs associated with staging these types of events has been prohibitive.”  The grant allows the venue to cover costs. “The response from promoters and artists has been overwhelming, with a number of high profile artists secured for the 2018 program.” Sally Mather, music and marketing manager for the NSC and The Corner explains, “We believe it’s important to connect with the next wave of music lovers.” A new Facebook group Access All Ages has been set up.