Can there be live music in Melbourne this weekend?

Words from Tom Parker

We’re exploring the logistics Melbourne’s live music venues are currently facing.

Yesterday we shared with our readers what the easing of restrictions on pubs, bars and other eateries would mean, but we still haven’t had the full story about live music.

After talking to certain live music operators and looking through the Victorian government’s coronavirus website, we now have some clarity, and unfortunately, this is probably not what many music venues were looking for anytime soon.

What you need to know

  • The current guidelines on whether or not to have live music are now public, and only concerts with fixed seats can be held
  • For those who can accommodate chairs in their band room, they must adhere to restrictions of up to 25 percent of seating capacity, up to a maximum of 50 people per venue. They also have to adhere to a density quotient of one person per four square meters
  • These restrictions apply for the weekend and into the next week

Stay up to date with the latest music interviews, news and reviews here.

As it turns out, we are back to the “sit-down” scenario in June and November 2020, when the restrictions were relaxed after the respective locks last year.

In relation to this document here, “indoor entertainment venues with no seats” must remain closed, while “indoor entertainment with fixed seats” can be operated up to 25 percent of the seating capacity and a maximum of 50 people per venue. The venue must also ensure that the density quotient of one person per four square meters is respected, while the size of any group booking cannot exceed ten people.

Basically, to break the fat, it means they can’t host live music under the current restrictions unless a venue with no seats can put chairs in their band room.

Even those who are able to do this will still work with a tiny capacity – 25 percent of 50 people with one person per four square meters …

For some small to medium-sized band halls in Melbourne, the space is neither designed for chairs nor potentially large enough. Even if they could, the above restrictions would mean they would be able to get a handful of people into the room if they did.

Given the announcement, many live music venues in Melbourne have announced that they will not be hosting any gigs this weekend. The list includes The Old Bar, The Corner, Northcote Social Club, The Tote, Cherry Bar, and Bar Open. There is still a lot to add to this list.

While these and other venues across Melbourne won’t be ramping up the amps this weekend, many of them will be opening their bars. So make sure you get along, reserve a table and support these guys as they are making it super tough right now.

Would you like to support live music events this weekend? Book a table at one of these locations and you are on your way.