It’s a big win for the City of Port Phillip’s live music community. Earlier this week local council member Andrew Bond announced the unanimous decision to create a new class of parking permit to allow musicians to park in loading zones outside live music venues while they load or unload equipment.

Cr Andrew Bond commented, “Port Phillip and in particular St Kilda is home to many live music venues. This small and simple change from Council to its parking regulations can help minimise one of the least enjoyable elements of being in a band, which is carrying heavy equipment, and drum kits from a distant car park to the venue.”

“Live Music is an important part of the vibrant culture of St Kilda and this tiny change will hopefully make this live music culture just that little bit easier to incubate.”

Port Phillip is home to prominent music venues such as Memo Music Hall, The Prince, The Fyrefly, Dogs Bar and The Vineyard all of which have had musicians struggle with legal parking close to the venue when trying to load their gear in.

Port Phillip is now the fourth council to implement this solution, but it was a long process in the making; music promoter Nick Haines explains “When I ran (unsuccessfully) for council of October in 2016, this was one of my election pledges so to work with council on the idea, particularly Councillor Bond was very nice. All 8 Councilors voted yes for the idea and it is nice to have a council united on the side of live music.”

St Kilda Live Music Committee president Suzi Dhol said that the original request from council was to provide each venue in the area with permits for bands to put on the dashboard. “The council will be now also be changing the loading zone signs in St Kilda to say ‘Loading Zone and Musicians’, which is very sweet,” Dhol said.

“The fact it was unanimous is a big plus, because to have everyone across the board support live music is a really big positive for us.”

Individual music venues will need to apply for the Musician Loading Permit, with the flexible permits able to be transferred between performers’ vehicles.