THE absence of a central community hub is stifling Ballarat’s live music scene, participants of a Music Victoria summit last night heard.
Staged at the Mining Exchange, the forum brought together stakeholders from the music community to discuss growing and supporting the live scene in Ballarat.
Talking points included the future of music in the city and the issues facing venues, musicians and patrons.
Music Victoria project co-ordinator Bek Duke said Ballarat maintained one of the strongest live music scenes in regional Victoria, with many talented musicians calling the region home.
But finding the right opportunities for them to perform and coming together as a community were critical to ensuring it was sustainable for the future, she said.
Ms Duke said the lack of a central community hub had been sorely felt since the closure of Ballarat’s Bridge Mall Inn.
“I’m sure a lot of bands and partnerships were formed in that front bar,” she said. “There’s not that central community hub where people feel they can get together and meet people.”
She said participants also identified ways the Ballarat City Council could play a role in improving the music scene.
Legal ‘poster poles’ to promote events and more awareness of alternative venues and spaces were called for, she said.
Others at the forum said there was a need for parking permits for musicians in loading zones.
“It’s really hard to get a park near venues but a lot of venues have got loading zones outside,” Ms Duke said.
“A few people have said they’ve been fined.”
Ms Duke said venue entry fees had barely changed in the past 20 years and people were more careful with their discretional spending.
Musicians still weren’t earning enough and remained at the bottom of the food chain, she said.
“We know musicians are always doing it tough,” Ms Duke said.