60+ Micro-Gigs Bring Live Music To Vulnerable, Disadvantaged Communities Across WA

Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

If 2020 has taught us anything, it is as humans we crave connection.

Music has always been an outlet people have turned to during crisis to provide small comforts in difficult times.

With the past few months affecting all of our social lives, live music is certainly one form of entertainment a large chunk of the community can't wait to return.

A stepping stone to the 'new' normal, West Australian Music (WAM) and Minderoo Foundation have partnered to deliver 60 'micro-gigs' across Western Australia.

To take place in women's refuges, Indigenous health centres, hospitals, shelters, and community centres, the performances are aimed to boost the spirits of those doing it tough during the health crisis. Not to mention providing paid work for local musicians.

Artists and bands involved include Grace Barbé, Carla Geneve, Fraeya, Bodes, Perth Symphony Orchestra, Freeze Frame Opera, Rachel Vibart, Joan and The Giants, Jacob Diamond and Fieldsy, with more to be announced.

After a successful pilot week of the programme, WAM is working with venues and local authorities to make sure each performance adheres to current government guidelines on gatherings and social distancing. "WAM is thrilled to be partnering with Minderoo Foundation, to deliver the micro-gigs across WA," WAM CEO Mike Harris says.

"Not only does the series deliver the excitement and energy of live music, to people that perhaps don't often get to experience it, it also provides the WA music community with paid performance opportunities – a welcome relief after COVID-19 decimated the sector."

The micro-gigs have already provided positive outcomes as Claire Millet, an advisor at St Bartholomew's House, explains. "The micro-gig was a breath of fresh air for St Bart's," Ms Millet says.

"Even prior to the current social restrictions, the people residing within our services did not have many opportunities to attend live music events and it was obvious how much it lifted their spirits.

"Some of our residents don't often socialise with one another, but they made an exception for this event. As one resident said: 'It brightened my day. . . no, scrap that it brightened my whole week!'"

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