Last St Pat's Fest At Dan O'Connell

Dan oconnell hotel

Tomorrow is St Patrick's Day, and like the past 100 years, there will be celebrations at Carlton's Dan O'Connell Hotel, which is known for its Celtic and folk music. Thousands of people come each year to party in the park next to the pub, and the event has the support of police, residents and the Melbourne City Council.

However this year's may be the last, because Liquor Licensing Director Sue MacLellan will only give the event a 10pm liquor licence rather than the usual 1am licence, which makes it financially unviable. Worse, without income from this annual event the hotel business will not be as healthy as it was, apparently… see the Dan’s pages for more on this.

The Hotel’s manager Toby Kingsley says "Crowd behaviour has been exemplary in the past" and that "the director of liquor licensing has insisted on maintaining a draconian approach to live music venues while many violent inner-city nightclubs continue to trade unabated".

Read about this in Last St Patrick's at Dan O'Connell (The Age 4/3) and on the Dan's website: The last ever St Pat’s Day?

You may wish to join Facebook group Save St Patrick's Day at the Dan O'Connell.

And come along to St Pat's at the Dan! But be early… it finishes at 10 o'clock.

~ Robin

Police Raid And Stories

I found the following story on blues guitarist Martin Cooper's website recently… Death by Centimetres - All-out Attack on Live Music.

It's about a raid by gun-carrying, plainclothes police on a peaceful Brunswick bar at 10.30pm, to stop a band playing.

I've set up a new Stories page on this website, with links to this story and others, where the music has been stopped. They make sad reading, as far as I am concerned… the ability to go out to a small, personal venue and play or listen to music is so important to so many people.

One thing about the Brunswick raid above that I find incredible is that it happened only five days before the SLAM rally. This was only four days before the Live Music Accord was signed and well after the Government began having discussions with music representatives. Guess I have been naive in thinking there might have been some common sense afloat.

John Brumby
I have updated my page about John Brumby, and also my page about a letter he gave MPs to sign and send out about the Tote. They are here: John Brumby page and Brumby letter page.

This website
You may be interested to know that the State Library of Victoria is now archiving this website on a regular basis, along with some other relevant sites, for their collection on this music issue, in their permanent collection of online publications. It's nice to know it's all being recorded for posterity.

Till the next time,

~ Robin

Where Are The Police?

I was fascinated by this report in today's Sunday Age: Hundreds caught in CBD police blitz

A "surprise" police blitz last night on drunken behaviour in the CBD lead to 69 arrests, 22 people banned from entering licensed venues, and 368 people given $234 fines.

My question in this… why are the police letting these people get away with it on all the other nights?

And why is our government so, so stupidly attempting to deal with this behaviour by introducing fees and regulations that punish safe music venues—and consequently the creative work that goes on in them?

With the obvious result that the only safe place to go out will be the pictures at Chadstone (I would not describe Crown Casino as a safe place).

Victoria has had drunken yobs for a very long time, but it has only been since so many suburban venues have been taken over by pokies that so many of them have headed into the CBD for their "night out".

Wouldn't it be a more creative approach to do something about decentralising entertainment venues?

Lunch outcome
Read about the meeting between government and music representatives last Wednesday in Perring: ‘No Deal’ For Live Music Just Yet

Better yet, read the MINUTES of the meeting from Dave Graney, here: Dave Graney: ‘We Need A New Proxy!’

I was rather alarmed to read of Brumby's rule change suggestion: No security demands if music is over by 10pm and not if there are less than 50 people in a venue open until 1am. Weird. But at least he talked about new rules.

There is another smaller meeting tomorrow between music people and government representatives, to try to sort something out.

~ Robin