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Music Victoria in the regions

Hi readers, Laura Imbruglia here – I’m Event Producer and Marketing Manager at Music Victoria.
I’m also a working musician and thought I’d give you a little update from the life of a touring muso...

Throughout May, I’ve been touring Australia to promote the release of my fourth album which has been a massively rewarding undertaking after spending a year and a half working on it behind the scenes.
The first thing I had to organise was funding, and was thrilled to secure grants through Creative Victoria, City of Melbourne and Creative Partnerships Australia. I also raised additional money through crowdfunding (I wrote some handy tips on crowdfunding here and a guide to releasing music independently here).

I wanted to cover a little more ground to grow my Victorian fanbase so I booked shows in Tallarook, Castlemaine, Kyneton and Ballarat in addition to my Melbourne headline show. However, as a solo artist with a backing band, my overheads are quite high and I foot all the bills myself.
I applied for Creative Victoria Quick Response Grant to help cover the regional touring costs and was lucky to receive the cash just before the tour. This grant covered costs including van hire, accommodation and promo, and took a lot of the stress out of the tour for me. I urge all artists to apply for grants in the interests of career sustainability and business growth.

The regional shows were a real delight, too. The hospitality of the regional venues and the genuine enthusiasm from attendees (some of whom travelled 1-2 hours to get to the shows) has reminded me of the importance of regional touring. There’s a hungry audience out there and they want to support Victorian artists.

My colleagues Patrick Donovan and Dale Packard visited Ballarat last week after they heard that Karova Lounge would be closing after an incredible 15 years. They reported back that there will still be plenty of live music options for bands and fans after Karova shuts its doors. The Eastern is doing a roaring trade, catering to diverse styles of music, as is the Cabaret Club, Main Bar and Lost Ones. Rex Hardware is starting to showcase shows at the historic Trades Hall. The White Night Festival will be promoting Ballarat’s rich creative offerings in September, and the council has just hired an experienced gallery and venue owner, Tara Poole, to oversee the implementation of the Creative City Strategy (to be launched on June 7) and the Ballarat Live Music Strategy. And Music Victoria members can get a 10 per cent discount on vinyl and the best breakfast in town at Léspresso!

In the meantime, make sure you get out and support your local live music venues.

Til next time,
Laura from Music Victoria