Despite being one of the worst years in modern history for live music, 2020 has been served with a small glimmer of hope, with Melbourne Music Week confirming the event will return this November.
Having celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2019, the presence of COVID-19 and the effect it has had on the global music industry undoubtedly left many fans of the annual event feeling a little dismayed at the prospect of November coming and going without the yearly celebration.
However, Lord Mayor Sally Capp has now confirmed that Melbourne Music Week will indeed take place in 2020, running from November 18th to the 22nd with a lineup comprised entirely of Australian and New Zealand artists.
“We’re breaking with tradition by not creating a Melbourne Music Week hub and will instead hold key events in bars and entertainment venues across the city” Lord Mayor Capp said. “There will be free and ticketed events to support our hospitality businesses.
“We want people to safely return to our venues and enjoy Melbourne’s famous live music scene. I’m thrilled that we’ll showcase a 100 per cent Australian and New Zealand line-up for the first time ever.”
The 2020 event will indeed be a little different to previous years, with the Melbourne Music Week hub set to be absent this time around, while the length of the festivities have been shortened to just over half the normal length.
“Melbourne and the world have been turned upside down with the global COVID-19 pandemic,” a statement on the event’s website noted.
“Acknowledging the economic and social impact that this crisis is having on our community, Melbourne Music Week will return 18-22 November with an innovative program that directly responds to the challenges our industry faces.
“It’s been a time of upheaval, but we’ve taken it as an opportunity to reset, respond and adapt to the new.”
Speaking in support of the decision and how it is undoubtedly set to reinvigorate the state’s struggling live music scene, Chair of the Arts, Culture and Heritage portfolio, Councillor Rohan Leppert explained that Melbourne Music Week is an important event for the cultural calendar, and more necessary than ever right now.
“The virus has devastated Melbourne’s music scene – with musicians, venues and promoters affected by cancellations and job losses,” Councillor Leppert explained. “It’s more important than ever that we bring people and music back into the city.
“Live Performance Australia conservatively estimates that more than 200,000 people have lost income and work as a result of the pandemic.
“This year’s event will have a focus on nurturing our grassroots music industry and celebrating Melbourne’s music community. While the event is still several months away, we are planning now so I would encourage everyone to complete an expression of interest.”
Melbourne Music Week 2020 will take place between November 18th and 22nd, with the necessary regulations surrounding social distancing set to be enforced. Expressions of interest for artists, venues and, promoters are open now via the event’s website, and will remain open until 10pm on June 28th.