Words by Natalie Blacklock
For as long as I can remember, I have always been an Australian Music girl at heart. There is something about the homegrown aspects of Australian music that speak to me (as I’m sure it does to a lot of us) on a much deeper level than anything an international act can produce. Yet, I do not have a definitive answer as to why this is … Is it because these artists sing of shared and sometimes uniquely ‘Aussie’ experiences of growing up, moving out, getting drunk and making bad decisions? Is it because their songs talk about the familiar streets of our towns? Or is it about that feeling of ‘pride’ when you see a band from your hometown kicking goals and you just want to say you knew them before they were huge? Whatever it is, it is probably fair to say that in 2023, the Australian music industry has a more diverse playlist than ever before.
Whatever music is your vice for; it is a necessary part of our lives. So much so, that often, we look to musicians to get us through our tougher times, but who looks after them when the chips are down? Over the years, far too many friends, colleagues and idols have been dealing with a multitude of Mental Health concerns (some more vocal than others), with little to no support, while still trying to maintain a life on the road. For many years, the lifestyle of musicians has been glamourised and romanticised to seem like life on the road is the quintessential ‘rock n’ roll’ dream but that lifestyle is not without its pitfalls. For the best part of the last 10 years, I have gone out of my way trying to learn more about Australian music and the local scene here in Brisbane with many a night spent lingering in dark rooms, starting at times awkward conversations with people I was standing in front of screaming along with only a few minutes earlier. Soon enough, one conversation turned into a high-five, a hug, a mid-set shout-out or post-gig beers and the friendships that I have built here are some of the most important that I have. However, the more I learnt about these musicians, the more apparent it became that the struggle they face when it comes to Mental Health is realer that any of us really acknowledge.
Enter Support Act – an industry-based entity that could help provide human and financial services that would positively impact on the health and welfare of people working in the music industry – singers, songwriters, composers, musicians, roadies, techies, managers, staffers and countless others. In what has become Support Act’s annual fundraising drive, AusMusic T-Shirt Day has become the centrepiece of AusMusic Month every November. This year, November 30th is THE day to celebrate Aussie music and to raise vital funds for those in the music industry who are suffering from financial hardship, mental illness and other crises.
To celebrate, our mates at Carlton & United Breweries are supporting the live music and hospitality industries to the tune of around $100,000 as part of CUB’s LIV LOUD 2023 program, featuring artists including Pacific Avenue, You Am I, Boy & Bear and Touch Sensitive. Around 40 venues across the country are participating in the program’s inaugural year, with each receiving a cash grant to host live events on off-peak days throughout November. Additionally, CUB will donate funds directly to charity Support Act in December to further assist their incredible work delivering crises relief support, mental health programs and more across the country.
To get us in the groove, we had a chat with a couple of Aus Music’s finest, and got the lowdown on their AusMusic T-Shirt Day selections.
“I’ll be wearing a Mimi Gilbert T-shirt! I’m a huge fan and went and saw her play a little while back at Low Bar in Sydney. I think she’s quite an amazing artist and can’t wait to see what she does next.” – Dave Hosking, BOY & BEAR
“This year I’ll be wearing my ‘Mushroom 50’ T-Shirt. It’s been a momentous occasion for Mushroom and whether it was hearing stories on the MG Documentary or from people themselves, it’s been inspiring to learn how the label has supported and nurtured not only the musical talent on their roster, but has also been feeding a whole ecosystem of Australian music whether it be the next crop of Managers, Publicists, Label Managers and more, which is something I feel is worth celebrating – Happy AusMusic T-Shirt Day everyone!” – Matt O’Gorman, BRITISH INDIA // TRIPLE M HOMEGROWN ANNOUNCER
“I am going to be wearing my 30/70 Collective ‘Fluid Motion’ long sleeve tee on AusMusic T-Shirt Day. It’s one of my absolute favourite shirts and they are one of my favourite collectives. The collective are full of generous, caring and very talented artists/musicians who are paving the way in both music and social justice.” – Emma Volard
“I bought this shirt when I went to see Northlane at The Tivoli in Brisbane last year. A great band, huge sound and a killer stage and light show. Pyros, sparks and CO2 cannons were the icing on the cake, if you get a chance to see them, DO IT!” – Clint Boge, THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT
So how are you planning on celebrating AusMusic T-Shirt Day? What’s the story behind your AusMusic T-Shirt of choice? Hit us up on our socials and let us know! Remember to tag us @goodcalllive and hashtag #ausmusictshirtday
AusMusic T-Shirt Day is brought to you by Support Act, ARIA, triple j, Heaps Normal, Gildan and AAMI. If you are able to, we would love for you to get behind our fundraising effort and stand with us to support our mates in the music industry. Visit Good Call Live’s Team Fundraising Page HERE and donate NOW!
With thanks to On The Map PR