Australian Music Vault celebrates 1 million visitors
The Australian Music Vault had good reason to celebrate yesterday in its home at Arts Centre Melbourne.
Opening in December 2017, The Australian Music Vault has already reached an astounding 1 million visitors.
Last April, TMN reported the figure had hit 200,000 guests in its first four months, drawing 800,000 people in the 12 months since.
Certainly, the Vault’s management and curating team may have had high hopes for the Vault. Even they are taken by surprise at the public’s support.
Until then, the most successful rock exhibits there were La Minogue’s Kylie on Stage (250,000), Nick Cave (351,000) and AC/DC’s Australia’s Family Jewels (230,000).
Celebrating the achievement, Arts Centre Melbourne Chief Executive Officer, Claire Spencer cut a cake. She was joined by Human Nature.
The venue’s milestone coincided with the R&B vocal group’s 30th anniversary of their formation. Human Nature donated the Motown suits they wore during their Las Vegas residency at the Imperial Palace circa 2000. They now reside in a new two-way traffic Human Nature display.
Spencer said, “When we set out to establish a space in partnership with the music industry where music lovers could immerse themselves in the rich history of Australian music, we knew it would have a strong and meaningful impact to learn about these unique stories, interact with the displays and engage with archival footage.
“To have now welcomed one million visitors is such an incredible moment for us and we look forward to exploring these stories further for many years to come.”
Carl Gardiner, the Vault’s music industry consultant, tells TMN that public interest has been on an upward trajectory since the opening.
Attributing two factors to the big numbers.
“We feel good about the fact that it’s attracting a whole new audience.
“It isn’t just the traditional Arts Centre visitors.
“People are specifically coming into the Arts Centre to find out more about Australian music.
“The public is voting with its feet and it recognises what we‘ve known for a very long time – that there is a real passion for the stories of Australian music.”
The second factor is, entire families. Coming together as part of their discovery.
“It genuinely gives connections across generations,” Gardiner points out.
“You’ll see a proud father pointing out an Angus Young’s outfit and telling his kids how he saw AC/DC in concert back in the day.
“And with the new hip hop section, young people are educating their mums and dads, ‘This is who these rappers are, and this is why I find their music so interesting’.
“The Vault does tell a broad story, and music does have that broad appeal of artists from the ‘50s to the current day.
“All kudos to the curatorial teams, they find the right narratives and items to tell a massive story in a condensed way.”
It was a long battle for Michael Gudinski and Ian “Molly” Meldrum to get the Vault off the ground.
The duo was insistent that it had to be free to access, and therefore needed a massive government financial commitment to make it work.
Funded by the Victorian state government through its $22.2 million Music Works package, allows it to use state-of-the-art interactive technology and source items.
Agrees Gardiner, “I cannot say too strongly how right they were, and that it has remained free and accessible, as contemporary music should be.
“Many people come back time and time again to absorb everything because there’s so much of it.
“The video stories alone would take three hours to watch in one sitting.”