Kia Ora, The following is a press release from Save Dunedin Live Music with comments on the closure of Starters Bar Dunedin.
The loss of Starters Bar is a heavy blow to the longevity and vibrancy of the Dunedin music scene. Starters was a well-run venue and we feel for the staff who worked there and who must be keenly feeling the loss of employment, especially in the current era. Moreover, as it currently stands Starters Bar was the only venue filling the gap for mid-level touring bands with specific technical and capacity requirements and with its closure many tours will have to cross Dunedin shows off their lists.
In addition, the OUSA-ran venue filled an important role in the university’s musical contribution to the city as a launching pad for bands formed on campus and as a home to O-week events, the university Battle of the Bands, music industry workshops and a large number of events designed to foster inclusion, diversity and promotion of music in Dunedin.
Many promoters across Aotearoa struggle to find venues in Dunedin that are economically viable to include in tours and the closure of Starters Bar will have an immediate and very real impact on the kinds of shows that come to Dunedin, reducing opportunities for local bands to be support acts and thus form the relationships that help further their musical careers.
This latest blow to our music ecosystem only reinforces Save Dunedin Live Music’s will to ensure that the music community band together and demand that the importance of a vibrant music scene recognized and encouraged in Dunedin and that it is reflected in the planning of the city and the support offered to the arts in Dunedin now and into the future. We have very few venues left and when they are gone they are very difficult to get back. It needs to be a priority to work with owners of historic buildings to help preserve these spaces. Meanwhile, there are currently numerous barriers to establishing new venues in Dunedin, and we hope the DCC continues to work towards facilitating a vibrant city so that people like the Starters team can continue to provide both safe spaces for entertainment to the young people in our city; and opportunities for our young musicians.
Save Dunedin Live Music
“The loss of Starters Bar will be a heavy blow to the Dunedin music scene, particularly for our young music fans and young musicians. We need to do more to protect our existing venues and to facilitate the opening of new venues.”
David Bennett Save Dunedin Live Music spokesperson