Pictured: Tony Joe White performs at Meeniyan Town Hall
Meeniyan Town Hall's Ian Bevington (Music Victoria Awards' 2019 Best Regional Venue winner) took time out recently to look back on some of his favourite achievements over the past year and to give us the local secrets of his area - South Gippsland.
What’s your name, role and which venue do you represent?
Ian Bevington, Event manager, Meeniyan Town Hall & Mossvale Park.
In which location are you based?
Meeniyan, South Gippsland.
Looking back over the last year, which achievement/s or moment/s are you proudest of?
1/-The Lyrebird Gift, Giving Thando Sikwila (Melbourne) $20,000 and Caiti Baker (Darwin) $10,000 to do whatever might further their musical careers.
2/-Jeff Tweedy returned to Meeniyan as a booker I am very proud to get him to Meeniyan once but twice was a total eclipse…!
As a regional artist/venue, what do you find to be the biggest challenge for the local music scene?
A public lack of interest in our own local musicians. Exposure through media is now totally non-existent we need a statewide free music magazine in all public places in all towns across Vic.
What’s the best thing about regional live gigs?
I can only comment for my shows. Presenting the best musicians possible with a state of the art p.a. and lighting rig.
Are there any local music initiatives or artists you’d like to tell us about?
There are a number of great things happening in South Gippsland. There is the Sandy Point Music Club; Archies Creek Pub doing live music; Live at the Bundy. Meeniyan has a new French Bakery - doing great guns; there is the South Gippsland rail trail which entices visitors from all over to come to walk along the great distances of the rail trail; the town of Toora is opening up with new interesting shops and cafes and the list goes on. I feel that the other side of Melbourne has become overcrowded and now people are turning their heads to our great towns and beaches and tourism is enlivening our area. And then of course, you can see great live music at Meeniyan!!
What’s the best-kept secret of your local area? Give us the inside tip.
Loch is a superb little town just off the main highway. The best restaurants, markets, cafes and enchanting boutique shops which includes its own gin and beer distillery, as well as a number of small wineries. Watch this space!
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 are a not for profit group. Meeniyan Town Hall with the generous $3000 grant from the Bendigo Bank will purchase more lighting equipment for our stage.