ENHANCING Ballarat’s live music scene will be the focus of a summit hosted by Music Victoria next month.
To be held at the Ballarat Mining Exchange, the invite-only forum will bring together key stakeholders from the music community in a bid to explore the opportunities and barriers that exist in the region’s live music scene.
Local musician Paige Duggan said it was important for artists to voice their concerns surrounding live music in Ballarat.
The new mother said there were several issues she would raise at the summit in the hope they would be addressed.
“I think some of the barriers are around musicians getting paid what they are worth,” she said.
“When you consider the amount of time they put in at home practising and writing their own material and then the financial outlay they have with instruments and taking time to perform, it’s difficult to get paid what they deserve.
“It’s also difficult to have a gig in Ballarat where there’s a door charge because people aren’t prepared to pay to see you perform, but in Melbourne that’s stock standard.”
The day-long summit will also include a public live music workshop, providing established and aspiring musicians with key information about the music industry.
Topics covered will include grants and funding, radio airplay, venues and performance spaces, and regional touring.
City of Ballarat art and culture co-ordinator Deborah Klein said Ballarat was home to some of Australia’s best musicians.
She said it was important to skill up more artists and empower them to build a career for themselves.
“With the rise in the pokies culture, fewer pubs have live music and that’s something we’ve been wrestling with for years and years,” she said.
“There’s a reduced opportunity for musicians to perform and develop and generate the talent that we’ve been noted for.
“Ballarat has a hunger for excellent homegrown music and we have some phenomenal talent and we want to celebrate that.”
Ms Duggan said she hoped the workshops would build a stronger music community and a stronger network of musicians around the city.
“I’ve had experience talking with other musicians on a casual basis but this is something that will support people to strengthen their musical interests and careers,” she said.
The Live Music Summit will be one of two held in regional Victoria, with the other being held in Geelong.