Having just completed its fifth year, the Melbourne Music Week was better than ever at providing the residents of Melbourne with more chances than ever for them to be seen attending concerts. Funded by Melbourne City Council, the 10 day, 110 event festival offered something for everyone who wanted to be seen standing at shows by their peers.
With a large collection of Australia’s best bands, and even some international acts, the unique concert program curated a large variety of genres for people to conduct loud conversations over. Festival highlights included German prog-rock act Tangerine Dream, whose dreamy, ambient passages meant I could tell my friends about how my new novel is going to “fundamentally reshape the way we understand post-modern science fiction” without much interference from the band.
Courtney Matthews, a Brisbane transplant who now calls Melbourne home, explained to the (un)Australian why the festival is such an important part of Melbourne’s cultural identity: “In Brisbane, there were hardly any shows, which means it was rare for people to see you at them. And if we were lucky enough for a Brisbane stop on a band’s national tour, anytime you tried to tell your friend about the amount of Ecstasy you took on Thursday night, the crowd would ‘shoosh’ you or rudely tell you to ‘shut up’.”
Terrance Hardy, a University of Melbourne alumnus with several unpublished screenplays agreed. “I once went to Sydney to see Arcade Fire, in 2008, before they won the Grammy,” Hardy said. “People were dancing and jumping around. Nobody even had their arms crossed. It was très embarrassing. Needless to say, I haven’t left the state since.”
Melbourne Music Week Festival Director Elise Peyronet is already excited about next year. “We’re going to be pioneering a new Melbourne Music Week App that will allow you to share which bands you’re seeing, so even people on social media can be aware of what concerts you want to be seen at.
“It will fundamentally reshape the way we understand live music.”
While next year’s line up is still months away from starting to take shape, one thing’s for sure. You’ll see me at the next Melbourne Music Week. I’ll make sure of it.