What is SLAM?
SLAM (Save Live Australia’s Music) was born in 2010 in response to draconian regulations imposed by the Victorian government which, wrongly assuming a link between live music and violence insisted that every venue, no matter how small, hire security staff whenever live music was performed. A kid playing a guitar in a coffee shop would have incurred the expense of hiring professional bouncers. The situation was disastrous and absurd. Something had to be done.
In early 2010 the SLAM rally, 20,000 strong, flooded the streets of Melbourne in protest, leading to the Live Music Agreement which officially acknowledged that live music does not contribute to violence. A new law was passed in 2011 which recognised live music in the Objects of the Victorian Liquor Licensing Act.
We continue our work at SLAM and we are now a national entity with solid achievements across three states and federally.
Who is SLAM?
We are a national activist advocate action group, established and built by volunteers. We receive no government funding, and do not seek it — our independence is important to us.
We are not a lobby group as such, although we do advocate to governments on specific issues.
We rely on the support of people in the industry, lovers of live music and the generosity of organisations who provide benefits and services in kind to survive and continue our work.
We rely on you.
What has SLAM achieved so far?
In case you don’t have time to research and trawl through the mountain of articles, Hansards and interviews pertaining to SLAM here is a brief list:
- Staged the largest cultural protest in Australia’s history, 20,000 people marched in the SLAM rally
- the Deloitte Access Economics report into the Social, Cultural and Economic contribution of the live music sector (was a direct result of one of our key demands to the Victorian state government ) that found more people attend small gigs than AFL home and away games.
- Law change! The recognition of live music in the objects of the liquor licensing act in Victoria.
- the commitment to the Vic State Govt. round table, where best practice, all ages gigs, planning laws, music noise are being reviewed
- jump started the funding of Music Victoria (before the SLAM rally Victoria was the only state without a peak body for music yet regarded as the music capital of the country)
- Law change! We have lobbied for and were successful in the passing (unopposed) the S.A. government’s small bars act which has laid ground for the revitalisation of S.A.’s grassroots live music scene.
- we have succeeded in our calls for a national live music coordinator and Dr Ianto Ware has been appointed
- SLAM has been represented in Sydney and particularly in Leichhardt & Marrickville during public submissions to support live music
- countless meetings with politicians, formal submissions, letter writing, interviews and mentoring
- In 2012 SLAM went national launching National SLAM Day as a live music campaign encouraging awareness and participation. Slam day has received unprecedented support from radio and press nationally with 150 venues signed up last year and 332 this year. SLAM Day is now an established national event.
And the work continues, although we don’t tackle individual claims we certainly aim to improve the bigger picture for artists, the industry and the community.
Current and future campaigns
- continuing dialogue with Federal Govt. around live music issues
- a push to implement the national arts accord, including live music strategies at all levels of Govt. via the National Cultural Policy; Creative Australia
- calling for live music policy from all candidates in coming elections
- supporting the ‘commit to community radio campaign’
“Live music coverage relates not only to artists, gigs or festivals, but also covers the galvanisation of the local community to ‘protect’ the live music industry.The formation of interest groups such as SLAM provides further evidence of the value attributed to live music by community members. The interest groups are a manifestation of community pride in the reputation and legacy of the live music industry, which they value as something ‘worthy of protection’.”
Deloitte Access Economics Report - The economic, social and cultural contribution of venue-based live music in Victoria’