Victorian All-Age Regulations Branded "Ridiculous"

11 July 2012 | 3:19 pm | Scott Fitzsimons

Victoria also dubbed a "nanny state" ahead of the first Live Music Roundtable meeting.

Frustrations with red tape and regulations surrounding all-age events in Victoria have made themselves apparent in a recent article analysing the situation.

Unlike elsewhere in the country, Victorian liquor laws mean that a venue can either hold under-18 or over-18 shows, not all-ages. In an article that appeared in Inpress today, Rae Harvey, manager of The Living End and 360 who got her start in the industry running all ages shows under previous laws, slammed the current regulations, calling the Victoria a "nanny state".

"It's a ridiculous situation,” she said. “It's such a shame Victoria has become such a nanny state and it's leading more of today's teenagers to stay indoors listening to music on their computers instead. I can't think of one fight or incident that occurred during those all-ages events, by the way.”

As well as the logistical problems of having to split an audience into over 18 and under 18, running all age shows are extremely costly compared to an over 18 show. Harvey gave the example of a recent 360 tour to highlight the discrepancy.

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Charging the same ticket price, "For the over-18s we were allowed to sell 1,400 tickets and paid $2 a head to the venue. For the under-18s show we were only permitted to sell 750 tickets in the same venue and had to pay $11 a head to the venue to cover their expenses. You do the maths on that one!”

The article comes just as the state's peak contemporary music body Music Victoria are set to bring up the matter with Victorian Minister For Consumer Affairs Michael O'Brien at the first Live Music Roundtable meeting. Taking place Thursday 12 July, representatives from Victoria Police, the VCGLR and the music industry will also be at the meeting.

Music Victoria's CEO told Inpress, “The government passed legislation in December basically inserting an object into the Liquor Licensing Act recognising the contribution of live music, which is fantastic, because basically now they can't just say, 'That's a law and order issue', we get to say, 'No, the Liquor Act has to acknowledge the importance of live music'.

"We've done quite a lot of research of underage gigs, we're taking in the research, our position paper, and basically saying, 'These are the problems, this is the effect they're having on the industry, and these are some recommended solutions', and they are going to have to take more consideration of the cultural impact simply because of that object being in the Liquor Act.”