By Romy Stephens
An online music festival is set to raise money for struggling musicians and venues in Belgrave over two days in September.
Keep It Live will feature two days of musical acts and workshops, with all proceeds going to the Belgrave music community.
Event organiser and musician Rachel Tattersall said she wanted to give back to the music community, which was struggling during Covid-19.
She said that since she first began performing at open mic nights last year, venues such as Sooki Lounge and 12 Bar had been vital for her development.
“I felt really supported and I think the community is super strong up there, especially between artists,” Ms Tattersall said.
“Before this, I was just writing songs in my room and I had never got up on stage and shared them with anyone. It forced me to become better as a musician.
“In the last year I have grown so much as a performer and it’s completely because of the open mics and the community.”
Ms Tattersall said she was disheartened to see how much of an impact Covid-19 had on local music venues.
“I saw the Sooki Lounge was closing down for a week because they were so stressed and overwhelmed by everything that’s happening with coronavirus,” she said.
“Twelve bar hasn’t been open since March because of coronavirus.
“That’s been a huge hit for them and that entire family.
“So the idea is to give 50 per cent (funds raised) to artists and 50 per cent to venues in Belgrave.”
SORCHA is a local artist that will be performing for Keep It Live. She began her eight-year career by performing at Emeralds Gemco Theatre, acting in musicals and singing at their open mic nights.
Before Covid-19, she would perform at 12 Bar’s open mic nights weekly.
“These venues bring people from all over the place together to share their love for music,” she said.
“Being able to perform live is an amazing experience and really helps you grow as an artist, getting to meet new people and share your story.”
SORCHA said she hoped Keep It Live would also help spread awareness of the impact Covid-19 has had on some musicians and venues.
“Not all artists have access to recording software or platforms where they can share their music unless it’s live, and venues are unable to be open during this time which I can only imagine the stress that’s put on their businesses,” she said.
Lili-Violet is another local artist that’s getting involved in the festival. She said Keep It Live was a fantastic opportunity for music lovers.
“I hope they just have a good time in general, it’s hard that we can’t have a venue,” she said.
“But I hope people can take the positive out of it. They’ll have access to all the musicians and workshops over the two days….None of the musicians sound like each other, we all have unique genres and types.
Keep It Live will be held from 19-20 September.
Tickets are now available for purchase, $10, via https://www.trybooking.com/BLAJB.
For updates, follow Keep It Live Festival on Facebook.