Thousands of Melburnians are expected to turn out in force tomorrow (Feb 23) for a public rally to protest new liquor laws leading to the closure of Melbourne’s music venues.
Save Live Australia’s Music (SLAM) – an independent collective of Victoria’s musical community – have organised the rally which will march from Melbourne’s State Library up to Parliament House where guest speakers will be heard from 6pm.
There are 10,822 confirmed guests on Facebook for the SLAM rally, which has been publicly supported by Australian music heavyweights, Paul Kelly and Nick Cave.
The protest comes after the recent closure of iconic music venue The Tote and the announcement that The Arthouse may also close.
The closures are the result of Liquor Licensing Victoria’s decision to treat live music venues as ‘high-risk’, penalising them with higher fees and greater costs for security – in a supposed bid to address alcohol-related violence.
The protest coincides with the 34th anniversary of AC/DC’s ‘It’s A Long Way To The Top’ film-clip shoot along Swanston Street in Melbourne – the same street protesters will march on.
In honour of this, the RocKwiz Orchestra with guest performers will lead the rally, repeating the three chords from ‘It’s A Long Way to the Top’ in the back of a flatbed truck as protesters follow holding placards and instruments.
The protest starts at 4pm at the State Library and is alcohol-free.
By Annette Shailer