DJ Jerry Poon’s music business, The Operatives, is responsible for touring, artist management, event management and promotions, and he’s among thousands of local artists keen to get back on stage and in front of fans.

“We’ll hit a certain point when we’re able to run events, but for now, events are gone and everyone within the music industry, from promoters to artists and venues, are all suffering,” he said.

A passionate and long-serving member of Melbourne’s music scene, Poon said: “The positive is that when we do have certain restrictions being lifted … we’ll be able to create and develop local music.”

Melbourne Music Week would help set the stage for “rebuilding all facets of our community” and unifying people, he said.

I’m thrilled that we’ll showcase a 100 per cent Australian and New Zealand line-up for the first time ever.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp

City of Melbourne’s chair of the arts, culture and heritage portfolio, Councillor Rohan Leppert, said live music contributed $1.7 billion a year to Victoria’s economy and created 42,000 jobs.

“The virus has devastated Melbourne’s music scene, with musicians, venues and promoters affected by cancellations and job losses,” Cr Leppert said. “It’s more important than ever that we bring people and music back into the city.

“This year’s event will have a focus on nurturing our grassroots music industry and celebrating Melbourne’s music community. While the event is still several months away, we are planning now, so I would encourage everyone to complete an expression of interest.”

Applications are open until June 28 for all types of events – from performances to collaborations, talks and workshops through to multimedia installations and commissioned works. Each application will be judged on specific requirements needed to produce the event or commissioned works.

Meanwhile, Lucie Ribush, from Revolver Upstairs in Prahran, is spearheading the Save Our Scene campaign, which is encouraging greater government support for struggling clubs and live music venues.

“Be they northside or southside, regional or rural, concert halls, rock venues, nightclubs or your corner pub or wine bar – music venues offer art, culture and music and a place of gathering to passionate communities,” Ms Ribush said.

“Victoria has a global reputation as a leader for music, with Melbourne having more music venues per capita than any other city in the world. This is why government assistance is so crucial.”

For further information about Melbourne Music Week 2020, or to submit an expression of interest, visit the City of Melbourne website.

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