With a 15-year history of helping to kick-start the careers of young musicians in WA, YMCA HQ is excited to announce the launch of an expanded youth artist and audience development program. Sweet Oblivion has been running as a regular fortnightly event at HQ for the past two years, in partnership with Perth booking agents Cool Perth Nights.
Thanks to a three-year funding commitment from the Commonwealth Bank to further develop the Sweet Oblivion program, from January 2018 HQ will be able to increase live performance opportunities for young performers, as well as the delivery of an ongoing program of industry skills development workshops, mentoring and networking opportunities for program participants.
Sweet Oblivion events, held at the HQ Gig Space, have provided valuable live performance experience for Perth’s up-and-coming bands and performers, as well as offering regular all-ages events for Perth’s under age live music fans.
Andrew Rigg, YMCA HQ manager says the community and industry partnerships play a big part in the success of the Sweet Oblivion program.
“The program offers great opportunities for WA’s young performers that would otherwise be difficult to access.”
“Young people taking part in the program have the opportunity to get paid for playing at Sweet Oblivion events. To get paid whilst gaining valuable industry experience is one of the things that makes this program unique in WA and possibly Australia,” Andrew said.
HQ is continuing to partner with key industry and community players, including RTRFM and West Australian Music (WAM), to ensure that young people who take part in the Sweet Oblivion program have access to a range of opportunities to develop their careers.
Stu McLeod, General Manager of RTRFM 92.1 says that live music plays such a vital role in communities and provides our young people with a real sense of purpose, self-worth and place to belong.
“Programs like this (Sweet Oblivion) are so important. It’s great to see them being supported and nurtured. RTRFM is really looking forward to expanding on this project and being involved on a deeper level with HQ and its partners in 2018 and beyond,” he said.
Mike Harris, CEO of West Australian Music says the future of music can be said to be contingent on the continual development of next generation artists and audiences.
“Under 18s and all-ages events are a key element of this crucial regeneration and HQ’s role within that ecosystem is significant. WAM sees audience development as one of the biggest issues facing the music industry and is looking forward to working alongside HQ and RTRFM to ensure WA’s music scene goes from strength to strength for years to come.”
As well as the ongoing delivery of industry skills workshops, HQ will also be organising regular special events, where Sweet Oblivion participants will be able to perform in support of well-known headline acts at all age’s shows at HQ.
The Sweet Oblivion program is supported by Cool Perth Nights, partners include RTRFM, WAM, Behind the Wall Training, Drug Aware and the City of Vincent.