Today we received the sad news from The Old Bar that our weekly Unpaved Sessions will come to an end on Monday, March 31. The positively-worded email makes clear that The Old Bar feel we’ve done a fantastic job on the music side of things, but frequently low attendances and bar takings have made the night unviable. The Old Bar has been a great venue and the option of holding future events there remains open, but not as a weekly songwriters session.
I can honestly say that every week has been fun and inspiring and it’s been an honour hosting so many brilliant songwriters since November 2012. These sessions began after Gerry Hales’ Monday night Bluegrass Sessions folded. As a regular attendee and participant, I was devastated because the bluegrass sessions did a great deal to improve the musicianship of dozens of artists and bands. When offered, I saw running the night as a session that focused on songwriting as another way to positively nurture the talent Melbourne has with performances from established as well as new songwriters. We’ve also been able to host touring artists from interstate and around the world. Support from friends on community radio stations 3PBS, 3RRR and Southern FM has been outstanding.
Any promoter will tell you that getting people out on any Monday night is no small feat and the sessions have done a lot to bring new original music to people and strengthen the music community. It’s encouraging to see that a number of similar events have sprung up in its wake and hopefully they can continue to enrich Melbourne’s music scene. The Unpaved project will continue with supporting Melbourne country, folk and roots music via this website, Facebook and Twitter with the daily gig guide and heaps more.
After March, I’ll be taking a break from running events, but keeping an open mind about future plans. We encourage all of our readers, musicians and supporters to get along to our final batch of sessions at The Old Bar, including this coming Monday Public Holiday band show with Little Rabbit, Weeping Willows and Ayleen.
We’ll be filling the last weeks with the largest possible lineups, so come raise a glass with us at The Old Bar and celebrate the music that makes Melbourne great.