It’s been a rough time for artists, venues, and fans during the global pandemic that is COVID-19, but now a new initiative has been launched to help get fans back to their local for some live entertainment.
Spearheaded by former AFL player, broadcaster, and TV presenter Luke Darcy, mum Janet, and sisters Alysha and Kim Darcy, alongside Richard Chatfield, the Back To Your Local campaign serves as a way for the struggling hospitality, pub, and live entertainment industries to be united as Aussies are reminded of the sense of community and connection their local pub provides.
Supported by Carlton & United Breweries, Triple M and the Mushroom Group, they’ve curated an industry first national in-venue and online event, which kicks off Saturday, June 13th at St Kilda’s Gershwin Room of The Espy, with Hunters & Collectors frontman Mark Seymour performing songs from his new album, Slow Dawn, alongside a range of classic hits.
As Darcy, who grew up in the South Australian desert town of Roxby Downs, is aware, the local pub plays a vital role in local communities. With industries deeply affected by recent events, the Melbourne Public Group look to help bring everyone together to support these industries and provide a sense of community following the devastating impact of the global pandemic.
“The sudden and unexpected closure of venues across Australia has led to unprecedented disruption within the hospitality industry,” Darcy explained. “Sadly, the impact of this has not yet been fully realised, as people begin to open their businesses with trepidation, limited capacity and onerous restrictions, we are yet to see how the market will respond and if hospitality businesses will survive.
“The hospitality and live performance industries are also bracing for an onset of mental health and social issues as the reality of job losses and isolation is no longer masked by the stimulus efforts of our government. Our hope is to not only unite the industry but to remind people of why supporting local has never been so important.”
While the inaugural event this weekend will be an exclusive event featuring just 20 guests, an interactive Pub Party livestream will be hosted on Zoom and will feature exclusive celebrity guests, competitions to meet the band, a ‘pint with the publican’, and song request polls.
More events are scheduled to take place in Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth across the coming weeks, with headlining artists set to be announced soon. For more information, be sure to head to the Back To Your Local website.
Back To Your Local
Saturday, June 13th
The Espy, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday, June 17th
The Orient, Sydney, NSW
Monday, June 22nd
The Plough Inn, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday, June 24th
The Shoe Bar, Perth, WA