News March 29, 2021

AFL legend Matthew Richardson lends voice to live music crisis

AFL legend Matthew Richardson lends voice to live music crisis
Pictured: Matthew Richardson, G Flip, Bob Murphy & Phil Jamiesonv / Photographer: Kane Hibberd /

AFL players Matthew Richardson and Bob Murphy have added their voices to the chorus of high profile music lovers desperate to save Melbourne’s live music scene.

Richardson and Murphy, along with Grinspoon’s Phil Jamieson and G Flip, have appealed to the Victorian Government to lift density restrictions.

“Melbourne’s getting its culture back, its vibrancy back, but it won’t be complete until we get our live music back – so I think it’s time that they were afforded the same luxuries that we have in our industry,” Richardson said.

“Obviously the AFL is a massive industry and has the support of the big end of town and I feel like live music has been neglected a little bit.”

Last week, Save Our Scene Victoria urgently appealed to the Victorian government via an Open Letter which has now been signed by over 130 of Victoria’s live music venues.

The letter calls for eased restrictions so that the live music industry can begin to trade sustainably as JobKeeper ends this week.

“Small venues are definitely the stepping stone for any musicians career, it’s the launching pad,” Melbourne musician G Flip said. “It’s like the first two steps of the staircase, if they’re gone, how are you gonna get up?”

Despite some headlines, live music venues are still subject to a one-person per two square metre rule in Victoria, which equates to roughly 30% of normal licensed capacity.

The restrictions mean an average 70% drop in revenue while costs remain the same, according to Save Our Scene Victoria, who also said that no business can survive under the current conditions unless immediate changes are made.

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