Our music community may emerge from the pandemic in better shape than any other Victorian region, according to the Mornington Peninsula Music Network. In a summary of its recent professional development and networking event Connecting the MP Music Community, which was held virtually, MPMN says industry personnel were looking to the post-COVID future with confidence, despite describing the State Government’s roadmap out of the pandemic as doing “nothing for the music sector”. “The four square metre per person capacity restrictions, or 150 max for venues the size of The Forum, means that there will be few indoor gigs until February or March, so outdoor gigs are the go for the summer and the beginning of autumn,” the MPMN said.
Part of its optimism for the future was fuelled by Mornington Peninsula Shire’s draft music plan, which has been released for exhibition and feedback. The MPMN said Mayor Despi O’Connor and Deputy Mayor Sarah Race both spoke about their passion for music, and said the council was “stacked with music supporters who want to elevate music’s role in council priorities”. It said the council’s festivals and events co-ordinator, Steve Harris, announced several new Shire initiatives, including a set of grants available for music activities, events and festivals, and the Shire would be waiving fees for busking musicians.
The MPMN said the message from the artists’ panel, which featured musician Ali Barter and artist/producer Hayden Calinin, was that the past two years had been “dreadful”. “We need to help artists and musicians reconnect with the community for the mental well-being of artists and fans/punters. Artists have missed human contact and interaction during lockdown and some are dispirited by performing streamed shows.”
Other event highlights included:
- Indigenous musician Carissa Nyalu stressed the importance of artists being able to play in “culturally safe spaces”, and venues needed help to improve their cultural awareness and to consider booking culturally diverse acts and Indigenous artists.
- BaHa’s will be reopening as HABA under the direction of Jerome Borazio.
- New owners plan to reopen SoundBar in Capel Sound.
- Main Ridge’s Pig and Whistle is planning to extend live music to its 1000-person capacity lawn area and offer free rehearsals.
“Overall, the mood at the event was positive,” the MPMN said. “Feedback has been encouraging and everyone is looking forward to the next networking event – hopefully in person and with live music early next year. Shaun Adams, a respected music industry booker, said the Mornington Peninsula is poised to emerge from the pandemic stronger than any other Victorian region.”
Mornington Peninsula Magazine features an MPMN artist every month. November’s is singer-songwriter Aimee Francis, pictured.