Governmental as anything
live music and law and order in Melbourne
Keywords:live music, cultural policy, music regulation
On 23 February 2010, shoppers and café patrons in Swanston Street in Melbourne’s Central Business District were confronted by the sight of an estimated 20,000 musicians, fans, publicans, school children, parents and music industry workers marching to state parliament to protest the branding of music venues as part of the city’s problems relating to alcohol consumption and law and order. In this paper I document the arguments of both the government and the live music industry in a battle that raised important questions about Melbourne’s self-image as the cultural capital of Australia. It also provides a recent case study of how the live music venue remains a constant test case in government attempts to reconcile conflicting cultural, economic and urban policy.
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