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Q&A with Best Regional Venue (over 50 gigs/yr) 2019 Winner - Theatre Royal

Pictured: Theatre Royal's Tim Heath, with partner and co-owner, Felicity Cripps

Theatre Royal's Tim Heath (Music Victoria Awards' 2019 Best Regional Venue Over 50 gigs/yr winner) took time out recently to look back on some of his favourite achievements over the past year and to share the local secrets of his area - Castlemaine.

What’s your name, role and which venue do you represent?

Tim Heath, owner and music programer at Theatre Royal Castlemaine.

In which location are you based?


Looking back over the last year, which achievement/s or moment/s are you proudest of?

Launching our membership program not only helped to keep the venue surviving, but it tightened our loyal supporters and strengthened their love for the venue. Proudest moments were seeing our community enjoy live shows and get behind community event like Freeza Battle of the Bands and fundraisers and benefit concerts.

As a regional venue owner, what do you find to be the biggest challenge for the local music scene?

Smaller audiences are great, but it can be challenging to program more obscure music and pull a decent crowd.

What are some ways the music community members in your area support each other and the local ecosystem?

There are several open mic nights, pubs who program local bands often, a local radio station that supports local bands, mini festivals with local bands.


What’s the best thing about regional live gigs?

The audiences are always so appreciative that great artists are playing in their little towns.

Are there any local music initiatives or artists you’d like to tell us about?

There's so many great young artists and bands from the area who have had success. I think there's so many opportunities for young people to perform locally and feel supported by older musicians and artists.

What’s the best-kept secret of your local area? Give us the inside tip.

Swimming at the Golden Point reservoir is beautiful in the warmer months. The Anti-clinal Fold is an interesting geological rock formation that is also worth checking out. There's heaps of great cafes and pubs and the Castlemaine Art Gallery is also worth a look at it's impressive collection.

Your prize was accompanied by a generous $3000 grant from the Bendigo Bank. Lucky duck! What did/will you spend the money on? How will it further your career/business?

We feel very lucky to be able to put this money towards some much-needed new stage lighting!!