Melbourne, as usual, is bucking current trends by bolstering its arts scene with two new live music venues.
The Melbourne Pavilion in Kensington is set to undergo a refit which will enable it to host big-name touring acts by increasing its capacity from 1300 to 2250. The new facilities will operate under the name Pavilion Live.
The venue’s owners are hoping to give both fans and promoters a fresh mid-size event-space option in the city, which will help fill the gap caused by the recent closure of the Palace Theatre in Bourke Street.
“There’s no doubt that Melbourne has an incredible music culture, and in particular live music has always flourished in this city,” Pavilion Live spokesman Andrew Watt said in a statement.
“Part of that has been because local and touring acts have been able to build their careers and their fanbase by graduating through a series of venues of different sizes as their popularity has increased,” Watt added.
Elsewhere, South Melbourne’s Star Hotel is set to launch regular nights of live music later this month. Also known as Sunday night spot Star Bar, the hotel will host unsigned local artists, as well as touring acts from Australia and beyond.
“We want to turn back the clock to the ’80s and ’90s when Star Hotel was a destination for live music”, said Area Manager Tim Velema. “We want to fill the gap in the South Melbourne area for punters who love live music.”
Star Hotel’s first live music night will feature Secret Tsunami, LeBelle, Valkyries and Novello on Friday, 18th July. Sunday nights at the venue will remain with DJs performing weekly.
Melbourne City Council recently voted to introduce the Melbourne Music Strategy 2014-17, a three-year program which will help the city build and maintain a strong live music scene.
“Music is a vital part of the city’s cultural scene but the industry is also an enormous economic contributor,” Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said in a statement.
“Each weekend, around 97,000 people attend music performances in the city which generates $5.4 million in ticket sales, entry, hospitality and merchandising.”