Members of the newly created Live Music Task Force met for the first time at the Wickham Park Hotel on Tuesday, to begin planning for the future of live music in Newcastle.
Attended by Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, State Member for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp, local musician Grant Walmsley, Wickham Park Hotel owners Marcus Wright and Andrew Kelly, Australian Hotels Association (AHA) Newcastle Hotels Representative Nikki Taylor, music industry members, and representatives from Newcastle City Council, the meeting marked the first step toward ensuring live music will continue to thrive in Newcastle.
AHA Newcastle Hotels Representative Nikki Taylor said it was encouraging to see a group of passionate people all working together toward a common goal.
"Everyone who has been appointed to this task force wants the same thing - to ensure live music will always have a home in Newcastle," she said.
Everyone who has been appointed to this task force wants the same thing - to ensure live music will always have a home in Newcastle...
"As an organisation that represents hotels, it is important to the AHA to make sure our venues can continue to support local live music. Newcastle has always been known as a city that embraces live entertainment and while progress is a positive and necessary thing, we cannot afford to lose our identity along the way."
Initial discussions at the meeting included identifying key goals and finalising the role and structure of the task force.
"Suggestions including Agent of Change legislation and the creation of entertainment precincts were high on the agenda, as was the importance of ensuring live music be broadly promoted across the city as an entertainment option," Nikki said.
"It's one thing to make legislative changes that ensure our venues are safe and have a future, but it's equally important for people who love live music to regularly come out and see bands.
It's one thing to make legislative change that ensure our venues are safe and have a future, but it's equally important for people who love live music to regularly come out and see bands...
"There's a lot of people out there willing to sign a petition and share posts on Facebook, which is fantastic, but nothing speaks louder than coming out in person to support our musicians and venues. The old adage actions speak louder than words still rings true in this case. The best way to ensure our venues can continue to provide live music, is by making it clear how much people want to come out and enjoy it."
The Newcastle Live Music Task Force was created as part of Newcastle City Council's Newcastle After Dark Strategy and in conjunction with the State Government's Labor Loves Live Music initiative.