According to the now-defunct ALP-Brumby State Government, music no longer makes us violent. Go to this blog post and the Oct-Dec 2010 links page to read about the agreement between Govt and music representatives, signed October 6, 2010.
This was great news at the time, but unfortunately the ALP lost government shortly afterwards, in the November election. The new Baillieu government has policy that supports music, but has yet to act.
As of April 2011, many potential music venues cannot afford to put music on because of the high cost of complying with their liquor licence conditions. Read about it below…
Does music make you violent?
Liquor licence conditions here in Victoria link music with anti-violence measures, such as hiring security guards and having surveillance cameras.
The expense of complying with these conditions is causing music venues to cancel music. Or not have music in the first place.
But why link music with violence?
I started putting this website together after the news The Tote was closing (announced Jan 14), but I have been very concerned for some time about the effect Victoria's liquor licensing is having on music in this state. I'm adding information constantly as it comes to hand, and using the blog to let you know about the more significant updates.
I hope I can provide information that helps sort this problem out.
Jon Perring at the Tote rally
Here's a video of the first speaker, Jon Perring, at the Tote rally, 17/1/10. Below that is a transcript. I've put this here on the front page because he talks about the fact that liquor licence conditions are linked to "cultural activity" e.g. playing music, rather than alcohol consumption and behaviour.
Here's most of what he said (he was in the window, but had to stand back to avoid feedback from the speaker):
“While Bruce is getting ready, I'll just run over some of the technicalities for you about what the problem is.
The real issue that we've got is that on the liquor licences it has this clause that says that if live music and amplified music is played, you need to do a whole stack of things. Which is basically have a whole stack of security guards at a particular ratio, CCTV, etc etc. Now, no-one's advocating you don't need security, but security basically should be associated with the consumption of alcohol, and when bars are busy, there's a lot of people out… not with cultural practice… basically, playing in bands.
So, the problem is that if you've got a band on a Saturday afternoon, starting at 4 o'clock, you've got to have maybe 3 or 4 security guards on, which is going to cost something like 100-120 bucks an hour, and they've got to run all the time from before the band until the venue closes. Basically the economics just don't stack up.
And, what the government has said is that really the high risk time is between 1 and 3 o'clock. Now, you probably also know that 99% of gigs finish by 1 o'clock.
So the whole logic of the way that these licences is scripted by the Director of Liquor Licensing is completely flawed.
There's a whole stack of petitions going around. What we're asking the government to do is to firstly, do some research on the relationship between music and alcohol-fueled violence. First off, know what you're talking about. [cheers]
Secondly, until you've actually done the research and know what you're talking about, DROP any association on liquor licences between live music, and amplified music, and basically all the compliance issues.
Thirdly… [he goes on to talk about how the government should have policy and funding that supports live music].”