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News February 24, 2022

Victoria’s ‘Always Live’ festival of music was Michael Gudinski’s ‘passion project’

Senior Journalist, B2B
Victoria’s ‘Always Live’ festival of music was Michael Gudinski’s ‘passion project’

For Victorians, the light at the end of the tunnel is accompanied with music.

Dan Andrews’ state government this week unveils Always Live, a state-wide live music festival which its organisers hope will restart Victoria’s legendary live scene and eject the memory of those months-long lockdowns.

The ambitious program is the brainchild of Mushroom Group’s legendary late founder Michael Gudinski, who passed away a year ago next week, and is headed up by his son, Matt Gudinski, now CEO of the independent music powerhouse.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews with Mushroom’s Chairman and Founder Michael Gudinski

As previously reported, Foo Fighters will ignite the festival with a one-off exclusive concert, held at Geelong’s GMHBA Stadium on Friday, March 4.

It promises to be an extra-special show. On the night, the Foos will become the first international act to play a full-capacity stadium show since the pandemic was called in March 2020.

Mushroom Group’s Frontier Touring will produce the show.

Always Live was a “passion project for my dad to ensure Victoria continued to be recognised as the music capital of Australia, and Melbourne as one of the leading music cities in the world,” says Matt Gudinski, who serves as Always Live Chair.

“Dad worked tirelessly over many years to bring his vision and concept to life and to obtain the support of the Victorian Government.”

Dave Grohl plays guitar with the Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters

The initiative, explains Gudinski, has “been in the works for a long time” and has been impacted by COVID-19 leading to several postponements of its launch and delivery.

Its envisioned that Always Live will become a fixture on Victoria’s major events calendar, sitting alongside the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, RISING, AFL Grand Final, Boxing Day Test, Spring Racing Carnival and Australian Tennis Open.

“I’m honoured to be part of now making it a reality,” says Gudinski, “at a time when the live music scene needs all the support it can get.”

After two years of misery, during which Victorians lost their AFL Grand Final and Melbourne claimed the unwanted status as the city stuck in the world’s longest lock-down, the smell of freedom is in the air.

Density limits are now lifted on venues, dancefloors are back, and masks will no longer be mandated in most indoor settings from midnight Friday (Feb. 25).

Matt Gudinski

It’s a similar story up north, where restrictions are lifting and the NSW Government will jolt the state’s live music scene with the return of Great Southern Nights in March and April 2022.

Always Live will be something of a coming out party for Melbourne, a city that prides itself as Australia’s cultural hotspot.

And it will have MG’s fingerprints all over it.

The focus of this year’s inaugural instalment is “reinvigorating and reconnecting the State through the power of live music,” says Matt Gudinski.

“I know Dad would be very proud to see the event launched and form a major part of re-establishing a thriving live music scene.”

Visits ALWAYS LIVE for more.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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