The Bakery, Monday night
The Bakery, Monday night

The much talked about Perth Venue Action Meeting took place last night at The Bakery. ALFRED GORMAN took notes…

On Monday night The Bakery hosted a public meeting, called as a forum for discussion following recent news of more key venues closing in Perth, notably The Bakery, The Fly By Night and Deville’s Pad. There has been a big reaction from industry players and public alike. One of the first to make his voice heard was Life Is Noise Director Dave Cutbush, who seemed to strike a chord with many after his formation of the Facebook group ‘Perth Needs More Music And Arts Venues’ gathered almost 3000 likes in a short space of time. Spurred on by this, many scene stakeholders and punters got behind the idea, culminating in the creation of this Perth Venue Action Meeting.

There were some vital discussions regarding the future of the live music scene in Perth and what can be done to improve the situation. A crack panel of key players was formed including Cutbush, promoters Andrew Ryan and Luke Rinaldi, artist Abbe May, WAM CEO Mike Harris, RTRFM General Manager Jason Cleary and X-Press’ own Bob Gordon. Local hip hop artist Mathas chaired the meeting.

Panellists noted the importance of smaller sized venues fostering local talent, promoting venues to improve attendance, as well as the elements that make a venue successful, using examples like The Bird. Other topics discussed included the difficulties involved in opening a new venue, liquor licensing, noise restrictions and various legal obligations and red tape, as well as how to involve the local government, win their support and initiate new policies. Creativity, innovation and perseverance are all important aspects, as well as utilising social media to engage with the public and create a sense of community in our venues.

There’s still a lot of work to be done to put some of these plans into action, and it’s up to all of us to do our part, but it was highly encouraging, inspiring and positive and to see such unity and support for a grass roots movement like this, which demonstrates just how important, and close to our hearts, many hold our local music scene.