19.03.2020Presenting Melbourne Digital Concert Hall

Melbourne Digital Concert Hall (MDCH) is a social enterprise run by musicians, for musicians. It was formed out of a deep concern for local artists who’ve lost all income in the COVID-19 crisis. With venues closing and seasons cancelled around the globe, the Australian arts sector faces losses in the billions, with soloists and small ensembles particularly vulnerable due to their reliance on freelance and contractual work. MDCH exists to help them continue their profession and to reach their many fans with music in this troubled time.

The concept is straightforward. In the coming weeks, MDCH will host a range of concerts and festivals online with the support of principal streaming partner, 5stream. Each concert will be performed once, at a set time just like a regular recital, and will be professionally streamed. ‘Seats’ will be sold online, with all ticket revenue going directly to the artists. Tickets to individual concerts are $20, with subscriptions also available for whole weekends of performances.

The Digital Concert Hall will launch with an online music festival from March 27–29 featuring some of Melbourne’s leading classical musicians, with a plan to hold multiple concerts each weekend throughout the coming months. The programming will showcase the full spectrum of artists who’ve lost work due to COVID–19.

A number of leading venues have already come forward to support the program, which is fully compliant with Government health and safety recommendations and can readily adapt to new conditions. In a lockdown scenario, the technology could even be installed in an artist’s living room to allow them to keep sharing their craft with the world. The initial response has been overwhelming, with great capacity for further sponsorship and partnership arrangements as the company evolves.

Co-Directors Chris Howlett and Adele Schonhardt are uniquely placed to lead this social enterprise thanks to their backgrounds in performance, artistic planning, broadcasting and arts management. They are glad to offer their services and would like to thank founding partners 5stream, 3MBS Fine Music Melbourne and CutCommon, who all share their goal of supporting the industry during this devastating time.

For further details or to become a supporter, please visit www.melbournedigitalconcerthall.com

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