Every November the streets are alive with the sound of music
If you’re going to organise Melbourne Music Week, you may as well do it with an office overlooking Swanston Street, where AC/DC filmed their clip for 'It’s a Long Way to the Top'.
Rohan Leppert has been Chair of the Arts and Culture portfolio at the City of Melbourne council for around one year – just long enough to enjoy the historic rock’n’roll view from his desk – but also to oversee some excellent events in the city's music calendar. Barely has he announced the formation of a new Advisory Committee comprising 12 music industry leaders dedicated to developing the City of Melbourne's Music Strategy, than he's elbows-deep in November's Melbourne Music Week.
This massive event on Melbourne's calendar was launched by the City of Melbourne back in 2010. The programme has now grown to have 90 event partners and runs across 60 locations. Acts include Pantha du Prince (GER), Canyons & Daniel Boyd, Gold Fields, the Bats (NZ), Awesome Tapes From Africa (USA) Dick Diver & the Twerps, Naysayer & Gilsun, Jacques Lu Cont (UK), Shed (GER), Mikal Cronin (USA), Roland Tings, Breton (UK), the UV Race, Andras Fox, Hieroglyphic Being (USA), Oscar Keysung, Boomgates, SNKDKTL DJs, No Zu, Fraser A Gorman & Courtney Barnett, Bombay Royale, Ooga Boogas, Footy, Willow Beats, Forces and Home Travel. For the full line-up and individual ticketing go to the Melbourne Music Week website.
“Nobody should come to Melbourne Music Week without visiting our pop-up hub, the Residence,” Leppart advises, “and the beauty of it is that we’re partnering with a different producer every night.”
This venue will be built by the People’s Market (on a hiatus from making a Collingwood carpark our shopping epicentre) on the banks of Birrarung Marr and offer video mapping, light installations, digital art, food from local chefs, Mess+Noise lunchtime music, a bash by cult label Polyester Records, and some Triple R broadcasts. In other words, if you were expecting hipsters in shipping containers, think again.
I Oh You – the indie club night-turned label – is also celebrating its fourth birthday during Melbourne Music Week, from 8pm on Saturday, November 16 at Flagstaff Station. “That will be a very exciting live music pop-up venue,” Leppert promises. Normally the haunt of the legal profession during the working week, Flagstaff will be transformed into “the type of all-out chaos Melbourne has never seen’ according to I Oh You.”
Over 75 percent of artists at MMW are from Victoria, but the international headline stars this year are Pantha Du Prince and the Bell Laboratory (pictured), who fly in from Germany and Norway to appear at an exclusive evening event on Monday, November 18 at the Melbourne Recital Centre. The Bats, from New Zealand, are another major drawcard. The majority of people performing and working throughout the event are local, though – making MMW the ultimate Victorian showcase.
“It’s something you won’t find in any other city of Australia,” says Leppert. “Our city council is throwing one hell of a party.”