The city’s creative opinion leaders and innovative thinkers converged on Hotel Esplanade in St Kilda to set the agenda for live music, night time economy, design trends and culture during the 2019 Melbourne Insights on Tuesday.
The morning of thought-provoking panel discussions critically analysed a series of progressive qualities that define Melbourne before a host of product activations highlighted the evolving gastronomical landscape with the growing trend of urban agriculture.
The event featured three panel discussions, moderated by Triple M’s ACRA nominated presenter Jane Gazzo, and a keynote from highly regarded academic Associate Professional Dr Shane Homan from Monash University.
Visit Victoria CEO Peter Bingeman said that the 2019 Melbourne Insights helped to highlight trends and key priorities for the future with Visit Victoria presenting some of the city’s most innovative and creative minds.
“Melbourne Insights 2019 has set out to ensure that the city continues to show cultural leadership and set the direction for leading the nation across the cultural, creative and culinary pillars.”
Leading music identities Kate Duncan, CEO of non-profit youth organisation The Push; Linda Bosidis, Head of A&R at Mushroom Publishing; and rising indigenous singer-songwriter Alice Skye discussed the impact of digitisation on Melbourne’s live music scene. The city has a long and celebrated tradition of nurturing live music, making Melbourne the nation's music capital – a fact reinforced by the release of the 2017 Live Music Census earlier this year, commissioned by Music Victoria. The city's vibrant independent music scene comes alive every night of the week in pubs, clubs, warehouses, basements and parlour gigs. The city caters for all music tastes with only one prerequisite – a heartfelt love of live performance. The burgeoning live music scene in Melbourne continues to flourish highlighted by the return of the famous Hotel Esplanade in St Kilda, which has opened its doors for the first time in over three years to host musicians across three stages seven nights a week.
At a time of Instagram’s growing influence, the city’s top design bosses - Justin Northrop (Technē Architecture + Interior Design), Miriam Fanning (Mim Design) and Martin Brown (Local Peoples) – argued the challenge of style versus practicality. The city, inside and out, has been shaped by some of the world’s leading creative minds but the growing rise of social media has put an exclamation point on the importance of visual appear. More recently, the city’s love for design has influenced the look and feel of Melbourne’s cafes, restaurants, bars, hotels, retail shops and communities. From Mim Design’s globally shortlisted Richmond café Au79 to Technē’s award winning bars and restaurants, Melbourne has dominated international and national design awards. Design is set to continue to play a key role in Melbourne with a host of new products opening in 2019 as the city manages a visitation and population boom.
Melbourne is a city in endless pursuit of self-expression, an evolving response to the world through progressive and courageous creativity. While not intrinsically linked, progressive technology, social and arts have all thrived in Melbourne. Former editor of The Sunday Age Gay Alcorn once wrote that politically, socially and culturally, Victorians are a breed apart from other Australians. The panel - which included Bastion Live’s Ben Sellenger, Pride Centre’s Stuart Kollmorgen and ACMI’s Seb Chan – brought together a collection of disparate ideas all linked by Melbourne’s progressive attitude. The trio answered the question what is it about Melbourne that people feel free to express themselves through technology, socially and artistically compared to other cities? A study published by Deloitte named Melbourne as the country’s leading tech city. Not just as home to the growing number of global tech companies and start ups but Australia’s leading video game developed and world leading interactive arts centre at ACMI. The socially progressive nature of Melbourne was laid on the Goldfields by the Battle of the Eureka Stockade. The voice of the people has been carried through a strong presence of grassroots activism, challenging issues such as wars, workers’ rights and equality. The panel discussed how Melbourne can remain Australia’s most progressively cultural and creative city in 2019.
MELBOURNE’S NIGHT TIME ECONOMY
Melbourne’s status as an internationally recognised 24-hour city was addressed by a keynote speech from Associate Professor Dr Shane Homan from Monash University. Dr Homan, a leading academic specialist on the after-hours economy, highlighted the importance of live music to a stimulate a successful after-hours economy. The latest statistics from the Local Government Safe Communities' Network Measuring the Australian Night Time Economy Report 2016-17 showed that Melbourne doesn’t shut down when the sun goes down, instead the culture capital experienced a seven percent growth with an increase in food sales and a decline in drinks.
Melbourne’s evolving culinary landscape was brought to life through a number of engaging product activations. When Melbourne’s propensity for progressive thinking and innovation is combined with the city’s passion and talent in the culinary space - what transpires is an exciting and ever-changing gastronomic landscape. As a city with a conscience, Melbourne’s recent urban agriculture movement is a natural evolution of the increased value placed on sustainable practices in the hospitality and restaurant industry.
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