save live australian music

by georgia frances king

If you like live music, then you should get to know a little bit more about SLAM (Save Live Australian Music). They are an organisation that is aiming to bring together the music communities of Australia - from the punters to the musos - to create awareness of the unfair laws that govern the live gig scene. In honour of SLAM Day, we had Kram answer explain a couple of things that you might like to know.

Tell us a little bit more about SLAM Day. The original SLAM rally in Melbourne saw 20,000 live music lovers protesting against the state government's liquor licensing laws, which made it impossible for a lot of venues to operate. The laws made the insane assumption that there was a direct link between live music and violence, so we were all protesting against that as well... and shaking our heads in disbelief. Why were these laws bad for live music? The laws were making it simply too expensive for a lot of smaller venues to operate, as they had to provide extra security staff and pay exorbitant fees. A lot of great gigs were shut down as a result. How did the laws affect you? I had been going to the Railway Hotel in North Fitzroy on Friday nights for years. It became a cultural hub of our neighbourhood. My little son Lonnie loved the place. When the new laws kicked in this pub was one of the first to have to stop having bands play. The Friday night gig was gone, and a piece of local culture with it. How can we support SLAM? The best way to support SLAM is to support live music and go to gigs!

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