After a long, drawn-out and very costly battle, Melbourne‘s live music industry is finally set to gain legislative protection from noise complaints, with the Victorian Government to enact Agent of Change laws that take the onus of sound proofing off of established venues.

The on-going stoush between local Government, venue operators and new residents of property development has its roots in the 2010 battle to save iconic Collingwood venue The Tote – which subsequently closed for a short period of time before reopening.

The new laws contain Agent of Change provisions. In essence, this means that any new property development that is built near an established live music venue – particularly those within 50 metres – must cover the cost of sound proofing the venue, and noise complaints emanating from new residents will not force any venue to close (in short, it’s a “we were here first” law).

The enacting of these new laws comes mere weeks after inner-city venue Cherry Bar managed to raise a staggering $50,000 in under 24 hours through crowdfunding to cover the cost of sound proofing to help ensure its future in the face of the imminent completion of a large residential building at the end of the alleyway that the bar inhabits.

In addition to the new laws, amendments are being made to building codes that exclude venues of under 500 square feet from the same strict regulations that face much larger facilities.

This is arguably the biggest win for live music in Victoria in decades, and will ensure the protection and viability of what is a billion dollar industry – as well as an invaluable cultural commodity – for years to come.

It is, after all, as big a part of the fabric of the city as arguably anything else.

Photo: Martin Philbey via Getty Images.

via Tone Deaf.