A guitar made from timber taken from some of Melbourne’s best-known venues has been made to celebrate the local music scene as it battles capacity restrictions.
The Maton MM3000, modelled on the Aussie guitar company’s BB1200 JH, contains wood cribbed from Cherry Bar, The Corner Hotel, The Espy and The Tote as a symbol of Melbourne’s reputation as a music city.
The guitar is the centrepiece of the Made From Melbourne project, designed by Support Act, Mushroom Group and in particular the late Michael Gudinski to celebrate and raise money for the Melbourne music scene as it recovers from coronavirus shutdowns.
A documentary of the same name will premiere after the Music From The Home Front ANZAC Day concert this Saturday (April 24) on Nine. It features legends of the local scene, like Tim Rogers, Adalita, and Jane Gazzo, speaking about Melbourne’s musical history as well as how to save it.
Watch the trailer below.
Following this week, Made From Melbourne will go up on streaming platforms for an as-of-yet undetermined price with all proceeds to go towards Support Act.
Matt Weston, the film’s director known for his work with Cosmic Psychos and The Chats, said “the importance and value local venues add to Melbourne cannot be underestimated and needs to be celebrated”.
The MM3000 guitar will reportedly be put to practical use after the premiere too, passed around the venues and studios of Melbourne, free to play.
Over the last month, local musicians have amplified grassroots organisation Save Our Scene’s calls to further rollback restrictions on venue capacity in Victoria. Though seated venues in the state had their capacity limits increased to 75 per cent, a density limit of one person per two square metres remains in place.
It’s a prohibitive measure, say Save Our Scene organisers, who claim that as a result, many venues are operating at around 30 per cent of their licensed capacity – a 70 per cent drop in revenue while fixed costs such as rent, insurance, utilities and staff remain static.
In March, over 130 Victorian live music venues signed an open letter appealing to the state government to ease restrictions. Organised by Save Our Scene, the open letter called for attention to the revenue loss incurred by the current density quotient, particularly in the wake of the government’s JobKeeper program ending at the end of that month.