The 2nd anniversary is fast approaching of the SLAM rally in Melbourne, which saw 20,000 people march through Melbourne to the tune of AC/DC’s definitive ‘Long Way to the Top’, in protest against the Victorian Government’s misguided policy link between live music and violence.
The Melbourne music community at the time was galvanised by the closure of iconic pub The Tote after a range of measures brought on by the government made it impossible for the publican to keep it open. The close served as a lightning rod that eventually erupted until it saw thousands of music lovers at the foot of Victoria’s Parliament demanding a change to the law.
The unprecedented backlash forced the then Labor Government to capitulate on the issue resulting in a range of changes to existing laws and a new funding for organisations to better foster the live music scene in Victoria. It also claimed the scalp of then-Director Of Liquor Licensing Sue MacLellan who was promptly removed from her post.
However the government was unable to turn the tide and eventually lost the election to the Liberals a short time later, who have no wreaked havoc by slashing arts funding across the state.
Organisers are now looking back to the rally for inspiration to start a movement that hopes to music communities all across Australia. SLAM are encouraging venues to host their own National SLAM Day gigs on the anniversary of the rally, February 23rd.
Any venues who are interested in signing up to the event can do so at slamrally.org, and musicians are encouraged to contact their local venues to try and organise an event. All events will be promoted on the SLAM Rally website and Facebook.