A piece on the importance of Designated Entertainment Districts and the explosion of The Valley in Brisbane, by our guest writer, Samuel Tate. Check out his work at http://samueltate.wordpress.com/ where you’ll find articles on tech, law, arts and entertainment
The Valley has been the darling of the Australian music scene for the past few years, hosting industry showcase Bigsound, featuring The Zoo, X& Y, The Tivoli, and many dinky little hidden venues where you’re as likely to find a violinist shredding a loop pedal as you are to find a cover artist singing “The Summer of 69”. It’s also leading the way in creating a regulated area that protects venues and artists and encouraged noise and moderate debauchery.
And it’s working, out of this hotbed artists like Last Dinosaurs, DZ Deathrays and Dune Rats have emerged, spitting beer and kicking over mic stands like nobody’s business.
I caught up with Patrick Balfe – Booker and Promoter, and the man behind Trainspotters, to chat about how he’s seen it grow.
Sam: How have you seen the Valley change?
Pat: We’ve seen a few different club nights come and go and come back again. A few new venues have popped up. The valley liquor accord has also worked hard on providing more taxis around lockout and instigating a few other measures to reduce the amount of vomit and street brawling which is good.
Sam: Does it represent the scene in Brisbane?
Pat: As the only designated entertainment precinct in Australia there’s not much else happening in Brisbane so it’s hard to say that it doesn’t at least represent the indie scene. The West End crew have their own thing going on though.
Sam: Is there anywhere else up and coming in Brisbane?
Pat: I hear there’s a cool club night in the city called Trainspotters.
It’s to the point where Mayor Darcy Byrne is attempting to “Rockify” Parramatta Road in Sydney to emulate the success of districts like The Valley.He’s doing this by protecting the businesses and venues, changing liquor licensing laws and zoning regulations to make them venue and artist friendly.
This legislative protection is something that all thriving arts scenes need to protect parties from grumpy neighbours and onerous licensing obligations.
Melbourne’s own “Pure Pop Records” who run boutique shows out the back in their beer garden are now facing a $150,000.00 renovations bill because of one neighbour who has lodged over 100 complaints.
Port Phillips Mayor, in a slightly less progressive approach than Cr Byrnes, has simply stated that the timber structure was built improperly and contrary to regulations and has stood by the bill.
Pure Pop is allowing punters to buy a brick to help pay the bill.
With more and more venues closing their doors or being hit by regulation, the approach of Cr Byrnes and the model tried and tested in The Valley may be the only way to keep live music alive and rocking.
Have you been put under pressure because of the noise you make or the hours you keep? We offer a free consultation to help navigate your legal rights.