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The inaugural Gold Sounds Music Conference was held on 19 - 21 November in Castlemaine and brought together musicians and music industry professionals from across Regional Victoria.


A dedicated Venues Day was attended by 15 professionals from 11 live music venues in Central Victoria, and featured sessions on accessibility, inclusion and moving forward beyond COVID-19. A dedicated Youth Program convened with the input of local FReeZA committees and featuring Dallas Woods and guests from The Push was attended by over 15 young people from Castlemaine and Bendigo.


The Industry Day was book-ended by rousing keynotes from Liz Stringer and Jen Cloher who shared invaluable thoughts and insights with the delegates. The conference also featured a detailed and inspiring presentation on Accessibility from Eliza Hull, engaging conversation with engineers Anna Laverty and Casey Rice, plus discussion panels on promotion, mental health, and connecting with audiences.


The event wrapped up with a gathering at Castlemaine's iconic Theatre Royal where attendees and speakers were able to continue networking and building relationships.


"A day well spent at Gold Sounds - plenty of great stories at the forum today and a dash of community resilience reminding us all what it is that we do what we love". - Conference Delegate


A new regional music conference is set to take centre stage in Castlemaine across three days from November 19 to 21.

Gold Sounds will bring together the Victorian regional music community and feature speakers from the local area as well as Melbourne. The conference is designed to lead the regional music industry's COVID-19 recovery efforts while addressing the needs of musicians, music professionals and music communities. Participants will be empowered with the skills, networks and strategies they need to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and carry that increased capacity into the future.

The conference is part of the Regional Music Development Pilot Program funded by Creative Victoria and delivered in partnership with Music Victoria and Regional Arts Victoria with support from Mount Alexander Shire Council.


Day 1

Venues Day and Roundtable Sessions

Kicking off with a venues day, Gold Sounds will unite live music venues in Mount Alexander Shire and neighbouring areas including Macedon Ranges, Hepburn Shire and City of Greater Bendigo. Roundtable sessions will be held to upskill venues and their staff in key areas such as improving access, understanding how to nurture inclusive spaces, and will take a look at what the future holds as the industry rebounds in the wake of COVID-19.

Youth Program

Friday afternoon will take a youth-based focus bringing together the Mount Alexander Shire FReeZA committee and other young people from the area to take part in a professional development music conference geared towards young musicians and those aspiring towards a music-related career. Includes Q&A's with Lisa Lorenz & Aarti Desai from The Push, Shaun Adams (Festival & Venue Programmer), and musicians Dallas Woods, Jem Moloney & Maya Rose.

To attend the Youth Program, please RSVP to


Day 2

Keynotes and Panel Sessions

Saturday will see a full day of programming geared towards regional artists and industry alike.
Don’t miss keynotes from acclaimed artists:

Engage with panel sessions featuring:




Tickets for the Saturday event are $10 and are strictly limited.

*Discounted tickets of $5 inc. fee are available for First Nations People, People with Disability and People of Colour. Companion Card holders get in for free. Please contact fionna{at] for the discount code.


Day 3

321 Songwriter Sessions

Sunday will finish with the 321 Songwriter Sessions Castlemaine, a day of in-person collaborative sessions curated by songwriters Jess Ribeiro & Dallas Woods. The day will be presented in partnership with APRA AMCOS.
321 sessions are a fantastic opportunity if you're looking to sharpen and hone your songwriting skills. Register your interest before Monday, November 15th here.


Full Program

Download the full conference program here


For more information about Gold Sounds, please contact Fionna Allan at fionna[at]




Today at 3pm Music Victoria and the Victorian Small Business Commission will jointly host an information session on the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme.

This is a last chance opportunity to get your questions answered on eligibility, the process and how mediation can work for tenants and landlords.

If you’re thinking about applying for the program then, this free online information session is for you!

The Scheme was introduced by the Victorian Government to ease the pressure on Victoria’s small and medium-sized businesses (with an annual turnover of less than $50 million) that have experienced a fall in turnover of more than 30 per cent during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Eligible business owners can obtain relief in the form of a proportionate reduction in rent. For example, a business with a turnover of 40 per cent of pre-pandemic levels can only be charged 40 per cent of its rent. Of the balance, at least half must be waived, with the remainder deferred.

Under the Scheme, the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) is supporting tenants and landlords by providing information to assist with negotiating a rent relief agreement and access to free and impartial mediation if a fair agreement can’t be reached.

Tenants can also apply to the VSBC for a binding order for rent relief if their landlord fails to respond or sufficiently respond to the VSBC or doesn’t engage in mediation in good faith.

The Scheme applies retrospectively from 28 July 2021 and will run until 15 January 2022.

We hope you can join us.



Business Victoria has opened round two of the Live Performance Support Program for suppliers and presenters. If you were contracted to work on a live performance event that has been postponed or cancelled, we encourage you to apply for this funding.

If you’re thinking about applying for Business Victoria's Live Performance Support Program Round Two, register for one of our free online information sessions! We'll cover changes from the last round of funding, program guidelines (including eligibility and how to apply) and answer all your questions.

Click the links below for more info and to register.

Session 1: 20 August at 2pm
Session 2 : 3 September at 2pm

Session 1: 20 August at 4pm
Session 2: 3 September at 4pm

We received great feedback from our last round of info sessions and we hope these next sessions help many more of you submit funding applications!