Who do candidates listen to?

Bendigo band Chase the Ace launched their album at the Music Man Megastore last year. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo band Chase the Ace launched their album at the Music Man Megastore last year. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Which council candidate plays the bassoon? Which listens to death metal? Which has ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic on high rotation? 

Bendigo voters can find the answer to these – and many other music-related questions – thanks to a survey run by Music Victoria. 

Fourteen of 32 City of Greater Bendigo candidates responded to the ‘Support Live Music’ survey, which aims to connect potential councillors with music loving communities across the state.

In addition to questions of musical taste, the survey quizzed candidates on their record and proposals to promote live music in Bendigo. 

And for the operator of the city’s only dedicated live music venue, council policies can be the difference between staying afloat or going under. 

Paul Tzounezourkas said the Music Man Megastore had a brush with death this month when the venue’s lease was up for renewal – with $21,000 of rent in arrears.

Mr Tzounezourkas managed to raise the money and secure another five years, but said the difficulty in obtaining permits had contributed to the venue’s “tough patch”.

“I don't think we’re a priority for council,” he said. “We’ve been chasing our tail working on permits and it seems every time you speak to a new person and there’s a new set of goals and criteria you have to meet.” 

The venue operator said council was a strong supporter of blues and acoustic music, but that other genres had been left out in the cold. 

“All other minority genres like metal, punk and rock don’t get much of a mention,” Mr Tzounezourkas said. “It’s very narrow minded.” 

He backed proposal in the Music Victoria survey, which asked asked candidates whether they supported policies parking/loading zones for musicians outside live music venues and grants for all age gigs.

'Weird Al' is a big hit in my household," - Whipstick Ward candidate Gordon Moore

They were also asked if they believed there was adequate council funding for musicians – Whipstick Ward councillor and rock fan James Williams and Eppalock Ward candidate George Flack said ‘yes’, while eight candidates answered ‘no’.

Mr Flack is a Marist Brass Band life member after a playing association stretching 52-years.

All the respondents said they would support the increased use of council facilities and buildings for musicians to rehearse, record music and hold all ages events.

Greens-endorsed candidates Rosemary Glaisher – into “folk, contemporary and ‘trad’” – and Michelle Goldsmith used the opportunity to argue for less pokies and more live music.

Current councillors like Whipstick Ward’s country, blues and folk fan Peter Cox raised noise complaints from neighbours as a major threat to live music venues. 

Whipstick Ward candidate Malcolm Pethybridge said it was the prohibitive costs which face owners to run and advertise venues. 

Lockwood’s John Cooper was more concerned about the cost faced by musicians in hiring those venues.

He said he listened to blues, jazz, death metal, classical and trance.

See all responses from the 79 electorates across the state surveyed by Music Victoria.

See all responses from the 79 electorates across the state surveyed by Music Victoria.

Full survey answers of City of Greater Bendigo candidates 

Q1: What kind of music do you enjoy?

Rosemary Glaisher - Folk - contemporary and trad

George Flack - Brass, jazz, blues, rock, youth.

Colin Carrington - Classical, Jazz, Orchestra, Guitar, Banjo, Fiddle, Harmonica

Geoff Stephens - Many and varied

John Cooper - Blues, jazz, death metal, classical, trance...

Vaughan Williams - Almost all, apart from most RAP! But I am really an 70-90's music fan

Matt Emond - My musical tastes are quite diverse.  I enjoy rock, blues, jazz, baroque, classical, hip hop, country and western, musical theatre and more exploratory forms of music. I also play the tuba.  

James Williams - Rock

Thomas Prince - I appreciate a range of music. Through the classical music that a grew up learning on the piano and bassoon all the way to the modern hits that are on our radio stations

Wayne Gregson - Opera, pop

Peter Cox - Country, blues & folk

Gordon Moore - various. depends on song more than style. Weird Al is a big hit in my household

Michelle Goldsmith - All kinds, depending upon the occasion and the ambience

Malcolm Pethybridge - All sorts

Q2: If you are renominating and have previously served on council, please outline the support your council has provided for the music community during those term/s.

Rosemary Glaisher - N/A

George Flack - Candidate in 2012 unsuccessful but I replied to Music Australia's survey in 2012. The only change being is fours years on I have been a playing member of Marist Brass now for 52 years, a life member of the Band and I have written the Band's 75th Anniversary and Centenary Books in 1984 and 2010.

Colin Carrington - N/A

Geoff Stephens - N/A

John Cooper - N/A

Vaughan Williams - N/A

Matt Emond - N/A

James Williams - The construction of Ullumbra theartre in the old Jail. Managing and hosting many musical and music performances at both Ullumbra and the Capital theartre. Jazz and Roots festival along with many other music and food orientated festivals. Community grants to various bands, choirs and musical events.

Thomas Prince - N/A

Wayne Gregson - N/A

Peter Cox - Many street festivals have been supported and commitment to new theatres and venues. 

Gordon Moore - N/A

Michelle Goldsmith - N/A

Malcolm Pethybridge -  N/A

Q3: What do you consider to be the biggest issues facing musicians in your municipality?

Rosemary Glaisher - I think it is a mixture of lack of support from punters all the way up to venue owners and that inflation mysteriously doesn't seem to apply to Musicians wages in this area.

George Flack - See my 2012 reply.

Colin Carrington - Individual performers, groups, or bands especially have difficulty in securing suitable venues at reasonable costs. It is difficult to get reasonable numbers in audiences, with the competing wide variety of  entertainment on television, DVD's of movies and live sport. Unless musicians have a 'big name' and following, many cannot cover their costs of arranging and performing.

Geoff Stephens - Unknown at this time. I would like to engage with them and discuss their issues.

John Cooper - Cost of venue hire. 

Vaughan Williams - I honestly don't have enough information on this subject, but I would say from experience, that good and enough live venues would be an issue. 

Matt Emond - Ongoing support to ensure the viability of the music sector in Bendigo.  Pay equity is a big issue for musicians.  There needs to be a more concerted effort to ensure musicians are being paid appropriately and more employment opportunities are available.

James Williams - Finding paying customers who appreciate good music.

Thomas Prince - There is no public avenue for music to be celebrated in Bendigo.    One of Bendigo's only live music venues and also our largest is at risk of closing down and the avenues for live music to be featured are shrinking. Music needs to be celebrated so it can be appreciated

Wayne Gregson - Access to tertiary education in this community. As the father of an opera soprano, I am acutely aware of the massive financial challenges facing region performers.

Peter Cox - Steady work and consistent income

Gordon Moore - local and reliable venues

Michelle Goldsmith - Pubs moving on to pokies rather than live music, lack of/restrictions on venues,difficulty in maintaining a living wage from performing

Malcolm Pethybridge - Cost in running a venue 

Q4: What do you consider to be the biggest issues facing live music venues in your municipality?

Rosemary Glaisher - Lack of support as well as residents moving to an area where there is a venue that has been operating for years and then them trying to get the venues closed over noise complaints.  Pokies getting installed in pubs etc. "Less pokies; more live music"

George Flack - See my 2012 reply.

Colin Carrington - With the decline in attendances at hotels, few individual performers, groups or bands especially are unable to secure gigs with some degree of remuneration, that even covers their expenses in performing. Consequently there has been a decline in live entertainment at public places. Costs of hiring venues are mostly prohibitive to individuals and groups.  

Geoff Stephens - I believe there is sufficient. Will discuss with them. See above

John Cooper - Not enough and maybe not maintained as well as they could be.

Vaughan Williams - Not enough and maybe not maintained as well as they could be.

Matt Emond - Venues that are wanting to support diverse and eclectic genres and who are committed to supporting emerging musicians need support.  Festivals that activate many venues across the city that are being run on a voluntary basis with minimal funding need more support to ensure organisers do not suffer from festival fatigue and potential loss of a successful festival in the future.

James Williams - We have many venues and noise and location is always raised as a concern by those living near by.

Thomas Prince - Please refer to the above answer

Wayne Gregson - Building a following

Peter Cox - Complaints from public

Gordon Moore - noise and licensing issues

Michelle Goldsmith - Noise complaints/restrictions   Anti-social behaviour from patrons

Malcolm Pethybridge - Cost in running and advertising 

Q5: Are you aware of the agent of change principle, how it applies to venues and how your council can use the principle to support venues in your area?

Rosemary Glaisher - Yes

George Flack - Yes

Colin Carrington - Yes

Geoff Stephens - No

John Cooper - Yes

Vaughan Williams - Yes

Matt Emond - Yes

James Williams - No

Thomas Prince - Yes

Wayne Gregson - No

Peter Cox - No

Gordon Moore - Yes

Michelle Goldsmith - No

Malcolm Pethybridge - No

Q6: If elected, would you be willing to undertake a music audit to identify your music community?

Rosemary Glaisher - Need more information

George Flack - Yes

Colin Carrington - Yes

Geoff Stephens - Yes

John Cooper - Yes

Vaughan Williams - Yes

Matt Emond - Yes

James Williams - Need more information

Thomas Prince - Need more information

Wayne Gregson - Yes

Peter Cox - Yes

Gordon Moore - Yes

Michelle Goldsmith - Need more information

Malcolm Pethybridge - Yes

Q7:Would you then support the development of a music strategy in your municipality? 

Rosemary Glaisher - Need more information

George Flack - Yes

Colin Carrington - Yes

Geoff Stephens - Yes

John Cooper - Yes

Vaughan Williams - Yes

Matt Emond - Yes

James Williams - Need more information

Thomas Prince - Yes

Wayne Gregson - Yes

Peter Cox - Yes

Gordon Moore - Yes

Michelle Goldsmith - Need more information

Malcolm Pethybridge - Yes

Q8: What initiatives is your municipality currently undertaking to support music?

Rosemary Glaisher - FReeZA events like Battle of the Bands

George Flack - Community Grants provided by Council

Colin Carrington - Main events are:  Annual Blues and Roots Festival  Annual Jazz Festival  Annual Groovin' the Moo (mainly pitched at younger people)  With the state of the art Ulumbarra Theatre in Bendigo now operational, many large musical productions are able to be held there. Also music only entertainment, such as orchestral and big bands.  The Capital Theatre in Bendigo, though ageing, provides a suitable venue for individual, duo, trio, group or band entertainment.

Geoff Stephens - Unknown at this time.

John Cooper - Community festivals throughout the year

Vaughan Williams - I do know there is a Regional Live Music Action Plan. But I would need to do further investigations on this subject. 

Matt Emond - We have grants and support available to select activities.  I would like to see a fair and sustainable management of our cultural organisations and activities in the city and look at the role contemporary music plays in the cultural landscape of Bendigo.

James Williams - Our municipality recognise the value and need to support not just musicians but actors, the theartre and educational aspects of encouraging young people to be involved in the music industry. We host and support bands, choirs and musicals through a raft of venues, festivals and grants.

Thomas Prince - It helps sponsor one of the best weekends in Bendigo's calendar. The Bendigo Blues and Roots fesitval brings a large array of music types and sounds to Bendigo in a way that encourages the public to emerse themselves into the wonderful culture that music can bring.

Wayne Gregson - It has built a magnificent 1000 seat theatre and injected large funding into the performing arts

Peter Cox - Improvements to theatres and programs

Gordon Moore - I am unaware of any initiatives to support music

Michelle Goldsmith - Various festivals incorporating local musicians; annual Blues and Roots music festival; state of the art Ulumbarra Theatre

Malcolm Pethybridge - Groove on the moo

Q9: A number of municipalities have introduced some or all of the following initiatives in an effort to support live music in their areas. Would you support their introduction in your municipality?

Free rehearsal spaces in council-owned venues

Musicians parking / loading zones outside live music venues

Grants for all age gigs

Partnering with Music Victoria to run industry professional development workshops

Encouraging local venues to operate using safe and inclusive practises

Rosemary Glaisher - All of these sound pretty sensible.

George Flack - Several Victorian Councils already have good music strategies and I would encourage CoGB Council to consider adopting sound (pardon the pun!) practical strategies that are working within those Councils already - without re-inventing the wheel!

Colin Carrington - Yes, all of the 5 initiatives in lines above 'Other' but I am unable to get a tick to 'hold' in more than one box.

Geoff Stephens - All of the above

John Cooper - All of the above, including widespread busking

Vaughan Williams - All options actually make sense and I would support them.

Matt Emond - I would support all of these initiatives in the context and as need would dictate in the City of Greater Bendigo.  

James Williams - We already support many of the above principles and provide help and assistance as required or asked for.

Thomas Prince - 1. 3. 4. 5. 

Wayne Gregson - Grants and support for all ages gigs

Peter Cox - Grants and support for all ages gigs

Gordon Moore - yes to all the above

Michelle Goldsmith - All of these initiatives are worthy of support - new and ongoing

Malcolm Pethybridge - All of the above

Q10: Do you think there is adequate funding (e.g. grant opportunities) for musicians and industry events in your municipality?

Rosemary Glaisher - Need more information

George Flack - Yes

Colin Carrington - No

Geoff Stephens - No

John Cooper - No

Vaughan Williams - Need more information

Matt Emond - No

James Williams - Yes

Thomas Prince - Need more information

Wayne Gregson - No

Peter Cox - No

Gordon Moore - No

Michelle Goldsmith - Need more information

Malcolm Pethybridge - No

Q11: If you answered no, would you support an increase? 

Rosemary Glaisher - N/A

George Flack - N/A

Colin Carrington - Yes

Geoff Stephens - Yes

John Cooper - Yes

Vaughan Williams - Yes

Matt Emond - Yes

James Williams - N/A

Thomas Prince - N/A

Wayne Gregson - Yes

Peter Cox - Yes

Gordon Moore - Yes

Michelle Goldsmith - N/A

Malcolm Pethybridge - Yes

Q12: Would you support the increased use of council facilities and buildings for musicians to rehearse, record music and hold all ages events?

Rosemary Glaisher - Yes

George Flack - Yes

Colin Carrington - Yes

Geoff Stephens - Yes

John Cooper - Yes

Vaughan Williams - Yes

Matt Emond - Yes

James Williams - Yes

Thomas Prince - Yes

Wayne Gregson - Yes

Peter Cox - Yes

Gordon Moore - Yes

Michelle Goldsmith - Yes

Malcolm Pethybridge - Yes

Q13: Thank you for your feedback. Is there anything else that you’d like to share?

Rosemary Glaisher - People love playing music so much that they end up allowing themselves to be exploited just to "get a gig". I'm not sure what the answer to this is.

Colin Carrington - Your survey is a great idea. Easy to complete other than Question 11. Should I be elected, I look forward to better representing musicians, and the music / live entertainment industry throughout the Greater Bendigo council.   Bendigo

John Cooper - More entertainment for all means less anti social behaviour. 

Vaughan Williams - Great survey. Not really my area of expertise, but hey! who does not love music!

Matt Emond - The music sector is a high performing and significant contributor economically and artistically to the creative industries and broader economy in Australia.  It would be advantageous to continue exploring opportunities and building partnerships to ensure future growth is possible in Bendigo.

James Williams - Music, theartre, culture and the arts underpin most succesful communities and as a regional centre we strive to provide oppurtunities for all ages to both enjoy and engage in music of all varieties.

Thomas Prince - Thanks for having me involved in this process. If you'd like to talk to me feel free to contact me via email: tpprince10@hotmail.com. My opinion isn't whats important, I would love the chance to listen to the people a part of Music Victoria (particularly the Bendigo members) to learn about what we can achieve together. Please encourage your members to contact me

Wayne Gregson - Greater Bendigo is building its cultural credibility through physical assets, but more needs to be done on the human resources now

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