As we established in our guide to the 2014 Victorian election, politicians and the general public have finally woken up to the importance of live music and have launched initiatives and schemes to ensure it remains part of the cultural and financial fabric of Australia.
But while many states are finally implementing measures to protect live music venues from constant threats like noise complaints, what is being done to ensure there are enough quality bands to keep people coming to the venues and propagating our vibrant music scene?
Well, as far as the City of Sydney is concerned, a lot. For anyone that’s ever been in a band, you’ll know that one of the toughest logistical issues that faces your continued existence as a living, breathing musical unit is the endless search for a place to rehearse.
But as the Sydney Morning Herald reports, thanks to the council’s new initiative, bands in the NSW capital will never have to suffer complaints from their irate parents or neighbours again. The council have opened up 17 public buildings as practice spaces for young musicians.
From Millers Point, to Glebe, underused community halls have now been converted into rehearsal spaces that musicians of all styles and genres can utilise completely free of charge. “We’re giving students the opportunity to practise and develop their skills close to home when it suits them,” said Lord Mayor Clover Moore.
As any gigging musician will know, having access to a free community hall will save bands in Sydney hundreds per week. Spaces covered by the initiative include the Harry Jensen Centre at Millers Point, Green Square Community Hall, Redfern Town Hall, and the Sydney Park pavilion at St Peters, among others.
However, Sydney bands aren’t the only ones lucky enough to be afforded a free place to jam. In Melbourne, the Testing Grounds in Southbank are open to any creatives looking to put on a performance, rehearse, or do “anything conceivably creative”.
Meanwhile, Brisbane offers young musicians and creatives vibrant spaces like Visible Ink, which is open to anyone between 12 and 25 years, though amplified music is barred so acoustic musos only. For those wielding mighty Marshall stacks, you can head to the State Library of Queensland’s Music Practice Room.
Meanwhile, the rest of Australia is rife with very reasonably priced rehearsal rooms that are more than happy to host bands of all shapes, sizes, styles, and sounds, and there’s even awesome online resources to help you find them, including our favourite, Creative Spaces.