Live at the Bundy has a vision….Top shelf live music played in one of the best sounding country halls in Australia.
Live at the Bundy’s beginnings were linked to saving the Bundalaguah & Myrtlebank Hall, near Sale Victoria, from closure due to disrepair and faulty wiring. A submission was made to council about re opening the Hall as an intimate live music & arts venue. The Bundy Hall now hosts regular Live Music and is an asset to the community once again. Paul Versteden of LATB, shares his thoughts:
Would you like to go and see more live music but get turned off by the generally bad to terrible sound at most venues? Would you like to see the artist in an intimate venue and actually listen to their art instead of all the NOISE of everything else happening in most venues? Well we wanted to, and decided to do it ourselves and see what happens! Live at the Bundy is now in its 4th year and still going strong. Our show formula is simple: great music, great sound, great community atmosphere and of course great people.
Having great sound is too often forgotten when it comes to live music. This is because you cannot see it! The amplified sounds system should be able to fully replicate the art, and not become a part of the art as most systems do. Same goes for the acoustics of the venue. When a sound system/venue contaminates the art the magic is lost. We have proved this over and over at our shows and is one of the secrets to our success!
People & Community
Our Hall Committee is 13 strong and has a diverse skill set and a common love for our little hall. Live at the Bundy is an offshoot of the Hall Committee with Paul and Baz organizing events and the Hall committee in full support at all our shows. We also have a bunch of volunteers that help on the nights from selling raffle tickets and manning the door to parking cars and helping with the BBQ
We run approx. 10-12 shows per year. Some of the best in the business have played at our little hall. Ross Wilson, Black Sorrows, The Backsliders, Jeff Lang, Russell Morris, Chris Wilson, Geoff Achison, Lloyd Spiegel, etc etc etc and as often as possible we select local artists as the support. All events are BYO and there is a community BBQ prior to all our shows. Our large shows generally sell out in a matter of hours or days. We comfortably squeeze 200 standing into our hall with enough room to move around. Sometimes for a more intimate show we will seat around 100 at tables.
Our shows feature outside fire drums which helps create great atmosphere and also gives people somewhere to go and have a chat and still be a part of the music which can be easily heard and enjoyed outside.
Everything has to run like clockwork and it does. This ensures a great experience for all our audience and keeps them coming back for more.
It’s not always roses though, there is a fair amount of risk in every show we do, especially when the artists are relatively unknown. The unknown artists are often the best shows, but convincing the wider community can be challenging to say the least… We have a Facebook page with close to 3000 followers and an email list of around 750. And a basic web page. We put ads in the local paper and sometimes get a little radio time on local ABC & community radio. Basically you cannot promote enough, if you don’t promote you most certainly risk failure!
Oh yes, the other most important thing is to really look after the artists, they all talk to each other!
Fundraising for worthy causes.
Homelessness is vey close to one of our organizers. Baz is extremely passionate about helping those in genuine need having been homeless himself at one point through no fault of his own. We have run 2 ‘Blues helping the Homeless’ events raising close to $18k which went directly to Anonymos X helping them to buy a van for delivery of badly needed items to those genuinely in need. We also help others to raise funds, namely for cancer research. We have contributed around $8k to these causes in a short 3 years.
Benefits to the Hall
The ‘Bundy Hall’ was built in the 50’s and has been home to the local CWA from then until now. It is nothing special architecturally, and it had been slowly deteriorating until something happened with the wiring and the council shut it down, leaving the CWA homeless so to speak. In short, since the community rallied to save the Hall with Music, the Hall has undergone a massive transformation. New Roof, new stumps, new toilets, new kitchen, new trees, new storm water and tank, new paint, polished floors, air conditioning, acoustic treatment and one of the most transparent sound systems available today.
Close to $100k has been spent. Through diligent fundraising, community grants, and some generous donations we have been able to renew a community facility that now is in high demand and paying it’s way. It comes down to use it or lose it. Our local shire council has given us unwavering support since we have proved that the community will use this venue.
We provide something that has been lost along the way or perhaps never existed for a lot of people. Genuine entertainment that is not driven by commercial return. Our audience have the best time at our shows, they smile and dance the night away. It truly is a great thing to be a part of.
Help with Halls
We are very happy to help other halls achieve their goals. Feel free to drop us a line anytime and we will do what we can to help you along the way.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a series of halls around the country that could host touring artists ‘The Australian Halls Alliance’ ???