Melblog Map

Here is a map full of great places around Melbourne to do with art, culture, music and more. We recommend you check out all these places as no doubt you will find something you like. All places are also relevant to the articles we have posted here on this blog. Have fun!


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Good News for Melbourne arts festivals

Some of Melbourne arts and culture industry appears to buck the trend as the global economy enters its worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

As the only major developed economy to avoid recession, some of Australia’s arts and culture industry seems to follow the nation’s lead in bucking the trend in this poor economic environment.

A report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Fundraising Institute Australia and Centre for Social Impact, regarding the impact of the economic downturn on not-for-profit organisations suggests that the arts and culture industry, heavily dependent on funding, whether public or private, will be adversely affected.

According to the survey, nearly three-fifths of the respondents report a decrease of income over the past six months. 31% report a decrease of 10% or more including 17% who experienced a drop of 15% or more in revenue.

An additional 17% indicated no change in income over the same period.

Furthermore, three-quarters expects their income to stay constant or decline over the next 12 months.


Graph taken from "Managing a Downturn"

Government funding remains stable while income from investments suffered the most.

Chris McMillian of Fundraising Institute Australia said, “…evidence suggests a drop in fundraising capacity…at the same time, the need to contribute more to appeals and grants for services to support charitable activities remains constant.”

However, some arts and culture festivals appears to be unfazed by this gloomy economic situation.

The Melbourne International Arts Festival 2009 announced that they raised $2.6 million in corporate funding, an increase of 20% compared to last year.

Furthermore, they gained ten extra sponsors without losing any of their previous major sponsors.

Louise Walsh of Artssupport Australia said, “One reason that arts festivals are doing better is because they tie funding to multi-year deals. Another reason if that funding the arts is more attractive to businesses than other sponsorships. It is cheaper than sports and definitely cheaper than advertising.”

The positive trend is also seen from the attendances of these festivals.

This year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival announces record attendances of 490,000, which is a 10% increase from 2008, among which 420,000 are paid attendances.

The festival earned more than $10 million in box office, which more than covers production, venue and staff costs.

Melbourne Comedy Festival Director, Susan Provan, says that low and accessible ticket price helped the festival to attain the record attendances.

As the economy recovers, the arts and culture industry in Melbourne appears optimistic over the levels of funding for next year.

For more information in funding and donating to Melbourne International Arts Festival and other arts organisations please visit

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Melbourne’s live music scene continues to thrive

CD sales have continued to decline in Australia over the past few years and legal download services, while steadily rising in popularity, are yet to make the impact record labels have been striving for. Illegal downloading via peer-to-peer networking, blogs and other means is still a popular and enticing option for many consumers.

Still, Melbourne manages to have a full-bodied and lucrative live music scene despite these commercial setbacks as demonstrated at the recent Spring Tones festival. It is only in the last six months that the Australian music industry has made a small, yet significant financial comeback in music sales.

image Statistics taken from ARIA sales charts

The Melbourne independent record label Mistletone recently hosted another of their seasonal festivals at Roxanne Parlour on the last Saturday of this past September, the same day as the AFL Grand Final. Spring Tones was a festival showcasing musical artists both signed and admired by Mistletone founders Ash Miles and Sophie Best over the course of one night.


Local experimental pop group Rat vs Possum

The festival featured fantastic performances from international guests Vivian Girls, Ducktails and more; as well as Australian artists St Helens, The UV Race, Rat Vs Possum, Woollen Kits and many others. It was a celebration of new and interesting music, an event that managed to succeed despite obstacles faced by those in the Australian music industry.

UV Race2

Melbourne punks The UV Race

The event was a great success according to Mistletone’s Sophie Best, co-founder of Mistletone. She was worried the AFL Grand Final might detract punters, but in the last 24 hours before the event, it almost sold out with over 700 Melbourne music fans filling Melbourne’s Roxanne Parlour. After the event took place she described it as a “great haven away from the drunken Grand Final celebrations”.

Ms Best was glad people thought the lineup was interesting and believes if other promoters put effort into creating versatile events they shouldn’t have a problem with attracting an audience in this changing music landscape.

Aria sales charts comparing January – June 2008 to January – June 2009.

Ms Best thinks more more labels should “embrace illegal downloading”. She says it is futile to resist its impact and that it has been a great way for her label to discover new signings and increase interest in current ones. She does not see it as a negative thing at all, although persists that Mistletone will continue to prioritise the creation of CD albums over other formats.

Tom Hardisty, from fuzzed out Melbourne popsters Woollen Kits, doesn’t have a problem with people downloading his music for free. “If someone’s listening to it then they’re listening to it” he explains. He started the record label Periodic Collective, with friends in 2007 to put an emphasis on physical vinyl releases and a friendly DIY attitude.

The label has since been steadily releasing handcrafted vinyl 7 inches, EPs and albums for bands in Melbourne.

Vinyl sales over the past six months compared to the same period last year have increased by over three hundred percent.

Independent labels such as Mistletone and Periodic Collective have been capitalising on this success with increasing attention being paid to vinyl releases, how they are packaged, marketed and where they are sold.  Nowadays most vinyl releases include a download code so customers can easily add the tracks to their PC or mp3 player.

image Taken from ARIA statistics

Vinyl sales still pale significantly compared to CD and legal digital sales. Ms Best describes it as a format that is “unwieldy and expensive but beautiful” and that it will continue to have a cult following from passionate music fans. The merchandise table at Spring Tones was full of the stuff and seemed to be very popular with the crowd who were keen for some good live music and a nice souvenir.

Mistletone website
Periodic Collective website
More photos from Spring Tones at Flickr

Here is a map detailing the best live music venues and record stores in Melbourne

Nick Adams

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Gen Y Get Proactive For Charity

On September 10, six students from Box Hill Institute organised a charity benefit for the movement To Write Love On Her Arms, to help raise awareness of suicide and depression.

A relatively new organisation, To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) has amassed a cult following, with its fan-base growing as its message spreads around the world.

Established in the US in 2006, TWLOHA is a non-profit movement that sets out to increase awareness of depression, self-injury, addiction and suicide, whilst directly investing in treatment and recovery.

For founder Jamie Tworkowski, what began as a mission to help a friend, has quickly become a vision of optimism for young people all around the world.

To Write Love On Her Arms is a worldwide movement of young people committed to hope, help, conversation and community,” Jamie Tworkowski said.

Jamie Tworkowski & Renee Yohe at Warped Tour's TWLOHA Booth.

Jamie Tworkowski & Renee Yohe at Warped Tour's TWLOHA Booth.
Image courtesy of

As the Geelong community grapples with the suicide of four students from the same high school, the downward spiral of teen depression appears to have no end.

Newly released statistics from The Royal Children’s Hospital show that suicide continues to be a leading cause of death among young people, second only to motor vehicle accidents. And the sharp rise in risk of those aged between 15-24 is worrying for many in the community.

Suicide Deaths by State/Territory, 2008

Suicide Deaths by State/Territory, 2008
Source: ABS, 2008

The World Health Organisation estimates that approximately one million people die from suicide each year, with this figure predicted to increase to one death every 20 seconds by 2020.

As youth violence escalates, and more teens turn to alcohol, drugs and antisocial behaviour, TWLOHA presents a positive message of faith, encouraging young people to be proactive in the community.

A generation labelled for their laziness, Gen Y’s media portrayal is less than flattering. Yet, there are a number of youth wanting to contribute to the community.

Young people are taking advantage of Melbourne’s vibrant arts and music scene, using the city’s culture to support causes and raise community awareness.

Following this vision, Shannon Stephens and Madeleine Harrop, along with four other students from Box Hill Institute, organised a charity benefit for TWLOHA in September.

Showcasing up-and-coming bands from Melbourne’s underground music scene, the group put together a music event, with all proceeds going to the charity of their choice.

“We believe in To Write Love On Her Arms’ mission; to present hope and aid people in finding help for depression, addiction and suicide,” Ms Stephens said.

“These different things affect so many people, but our focus for this benefit was for people our age.”

TWLOHA has closely aligned itself with the music scene, joining forces with popular and underground bands to promote its message on a mass scale.

“We liked how they had associated themselves with so many bands that we, and many other people our age listen and relate to,” Ms Stephens said.

“They have already made a name for themselves in Australia and we knew people would want to help support this great cause.”

Headlining band Dream On, Dreamer had no hesitations in supporting TWLOHA.

To Write Love On Her Arms has been a charity that we, as a band, have believed in and supported for some time. So it was an honour to be asked to play for such a cause,” Dream On, Dreamer guitarist, Callan Orr said.

“After all, we’d only heard of the organisation because of the bands that we look up to that represent this charity, so we feel it’s very important to keep the ball rolling.”

Callan Orr from Dream On, Dreamer

Callan Orr from Dream On, Dreamer

The gig raised over $550 for TWLOHA, as well as awareness and hope; hope for young people everywhere, and hope for more young people to take control.

“It’s amazing that young people can be mature enough to take time out of their lives and put so much effort for nothing more than to help out those less fortunate,” Callan Orr said.

“A lot of organisation goes into an event like this and I think the staff deserve a big pat on the back.”

For more information on To Write Love On Her Arms, or to donate, visit

Entertainment and Music venues in/near Chapel St.

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Salvador Dali: Liquid Desire

Salvador Dali: Liquid Desire is the first comprehensive retrospective of the work of artist Salvador Dali ever held in Australia. The exhibition brings together over 200 of his works, in all different types of media.
Salvador Dali: Liquid Desire ends on 4 October, so don’t miss out! There’s also 24-hour Dali on Saturday 3 October when Dali will be open all night.


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High Vibes 2009

This Sunday the 20th of September once again brings us High Vibes for another year; the chilled out street party happening in High Street, Northcote. If you have any interest in music, food, beers, arts or generally relaxing then you should probably be thinking of going. Programs are up so have a look and see if you want to spend your Sunday having fun instead of sleeping off a hangover.

Qua, Spoonbill, Black Cab, Aleks and the Ramps, St Helens, The Sand Pebbles, Kid Sam, Megan Washington, Mista Savona, The Little Stevies, Mal Webb, Clinkerfield (plus tonnes more)

Official Website


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Chapterfest 09


Hey come check out all the rad bands on Chapter Music playing at The Tote on Saturday the 19th. It’s only $15!


Tote Stage:

8.00 Bum Creek
9.00 Primitive Calculators
10.00 Jeremy Dower Y Las Palmeras de plástico
11.00 Minimum Chips
12.00 Tenniscoats

Cobra Bar Stage:

8.30 Dick Diver
9.30 Twerps
10.30 Hit The Jackpot
11.30 Pikelet

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