The jackboot descends on the throat of the Backanalias?

johnboy 17 July 2008 32


In his Culturazi email Loadedog has detailed the iron grip of Government encircling the throat of one of Canberra’s more endearing cultural institutions, the Backyard Backanalias:

    Backyard Backanalia under threat

    This morning I had a visit from a very nice police lady who was responding to an ‘expression of concern’ from a member of the public about the goings on in our backyard. It was all very amicable and, while there are clearly risks for me personally from a public liability perspective, and some grey areas about what constitutes a private party versus a commercial proposition, she was satisfied that we were taking steps to keep the crowd numbers to a reasonable level and has left me thinking we have a green light from the cops to proceed.

    Which would be great if we hadn’t last week received a letter from our real estate advising us they were onto us (having seen the web site) and that we should cease activities immediately lest they throw us out. Hmm. We’ve previously been investigated by PALM (now ACTPLA), the cops have passed it, we might have a case to argue, but at this stage the status of the Backanalias is ‘under threat’.

    Oh, and in the middle of writing this, Liquor Licensing came to the door. Just informing us of the rules and regs and firing a warning shot. We can (and probably will if we go ahead in future) apply for a permit to sell grog (in which case no byo), but probably can’t charge money at the door, nor sell food other than suasage sangers if, as expected, the health authorities turn up next (the police informed Liquor Licensing). That’s assuming we can convince the landlord.

While it’s nice to see such unexpected thoroughness and rigour from the local bureaucracy it’s a shame if it means the end of an institution that has caused little harm and brought much happiness.

In slightly better news Loadedog has moved websites. If you used to read you can now find him at Pictures of what he’s done to his ute ASAP.

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32 Responses to The jackboot descends on the throat of the Backanalias?
el el 8:25 pm 24 Jul 08

The last Backanalia I went to was just fantastic. People of all ages (including kids) enjoying live music in a wonderful, welcoming atmosphere.

I’m sure there’s a few of us that would make ‘quiet’ donations to set up a generator at somewhere like….Corroboree Park in Ainslie?

Quite frankly I’d like to carney all over the resident who ‘expressed concern’ at such a soulful event. Sigh.

Mordd Mordd 7:47 pm 24 Jul 08

Ignore the fact that at both houses he has lived at, he regularly discussed the parties with his neighbours, got their consent, always invited them along, and quite often many of them would turn up each time.

The music is off by 10pm, before noise restrictions even apply, the fact is if entry wasn’t charged at the door then legally there wouldn’t be that much the authorities could actually do. Unfortunately making it a Canberra Musicians Club only thing will probably be the only way to continue as a unincorporated organisation can put on events like this and charge their own members and be well within the law doing so.

People just want something to complain about, and the “glad im not next door” comments are typical of the attitude of the whining middle class wankers that populate canberra, you don’t even stop to consider how it has been going successfully for 3 yrs with 0 complaints until now if they have been pissing off their neighbours the entire time. Heck, any licensed venue would be damm proud of a record of 1 single complaint in 3 years of operation, the government should take on Backanalia as consultants to advise them how to improve other live music venues so they don’t impact on the community as much (sarcasm in that last statement in case you can’t tell).

I would like to see our government authorities being so pro-active in the other areas of law they are responsible for, the fact is Civic is a dangerous place to go out at night, and with all the live music venues gone, some of you are seriously going to question why people are gathering in backyards instead? For crying out loud, wake up and smell the culture dying all around you.

ant ant 9:29 pm 18 Jul 08

I like the do-it-yourself scruffy amateurism of this, but would feel a bit hesitant to go to a gig at someone’s back yard, whom I didn’t know. If it was in a public spot, or a paddock, and was bring your own chair etc, it’d be more attractive.

fabforty fabforty 6:47 pm 18 Jul 08

I like the idea – but then again I can say that because I don’t share a fence with you.

You all look pretty cold and miserable though. Before I read the article I thought it was about homelessness !

If you really want to bring live music back to the masses, I agree with those who suggest taking it to a public place such as a hall or community centre or take a generator down to the lake (in summer).

Anyway music lovers “viva revolution” !

I-filed I-filed 6:09 pm 18 Jul 08

There have been lots of basement venues in central Canberra. Gypsy bar was the best, but that wasn’t closed because of noise, but because the owner was opening a cafe right above and was jealous of the owner I think? Unfortunately basements are becoming a thing of the past – its all underground car parks now.

gullygroper gullygroper 4:25 pm 18 Jul 08

What were you doing in that back yard no don’t tell me. In any case was it anyone else’s business? Providing you weren’t making a racket. Welcome to the new woserism.

Mælinar Mælinar 2:39 pm 18 Jul 08

Oh that lot, I thought they were just tpg.

Danman Danman 2:11 pm 18 Jul 08
Mælinar Mælinar 1:38 pm 18 Jul 08

what’s tpgi ?

Danman Danman 1:26 pm 18 Jul 08

Saturday night can well be done….email me at chefboy (at) tpgi dot com dot au for a mobile number (Premium call charge of $4.95 a minute)

Thumper Thumper 1:12 pm 18 Jul 08

Hey Danman,

I may be heading out on Saturday night to do some research. I’ll let you know if so, and when if you want to come along and take some photos.

Danman Danman 1:06 pm 18 Jul 08

I need an editor.

Danman Danman 1:06 pm 18 Jul 08

The Asylum in the bus interchange suffered that fate….

No ownder there are no live venues left… They build flats on top of them and then complain when its too noisy… Flats = more money than aliv evenue so join teh dots on which ine has to cease and desist.

Thumper Thumper 12:25 pm 18 Jul 08

Or put simply, noise restrictions put in place to placate residents have seen the closure of many small venues, the places where original music was once played.

Thumper Thumper 12:23 pm 18 Jul 08

The city centre is dead exactly because of these complaimants.

Once upon a time, in a land called Civicshire that was overseen by a benevolent giant, there were lots of little live venues dotted around the city centre and the serfs and bergers were happy.

Over time the benevolent giant grew old and cranky and decided to cast the realm away as it was cauing him to many headaches. In his place stepped evil little warlords, all intent on power and prestige and none having much respect for the serfs and bergers. And as a result, over time, they realised that they could make money, lots of money, by destroying the old buildings that made up the centre and replacing them with high density housing for those serfs who had become a bit richer in this new and seemingly brave realm.

With the residents now firmly entrenched in these inner city dwelings the musicians of the land began to look with some trepidation at their dwindling areas of performance as the newly instated residents complained loudly and bitterly to the new rulers, who, scared that they may lose a vote or two, clamped down noise restrictions to please the residents, but in doing so, destroyed the live entertainment venues.

Now, there are only a few, hanging on at the fringes of society, banished by the power of uncaring, money grubbing governments over time.

And still it goes on. The government sells land, the serfs move in and complain about the noise, the government slaps noise retrictions on any venue within ear shot, and sadly, the venue dies.

Or something like that…

bugalugs bugalugs 12:07 pm 18 Jul 08

Bunch of bloddy hippies!

There is nothing sophisticated or cool in sitting in someones backyard surrounded by a paling fence in North Ainslie/Downer/Hacket wherever.

Get some money and go to a legitimate establishment

No wonder the city centre is dead

Can imagine the fine folks of Paris,Berlin,London or New York sitting in someones backyard and bemoanign the fact it is being criticised

jakez jakez 10:05 am 18 Jul 08


The Government has arrived to save us. The fun police are on their way.

Danman Danman 9:58 am 18 Jul 08

Ask for a suggested donation at the door – that would cover the cost of ones estimated food and drinks consumption.

Mr Evil Mr Evil 9:55 am 18 Jul 08

Move it out to Tralee! 🙂

Mr_Shab Mr_Shab 9:55 am 18 Jul 08

Does anyone else note that “community event” has to mean “government-funded oppotunity for breeders to congregate”. I don’t call that “community”.

Of course, when someone with a bit of nous like loadedog decides to organise something that is actually a “community event” (that being a grassroots event organised by a community off its own bat), it will be shut down, because it hasn’t been nerfed within an inch of its life.

For the record, I never attended a Backanalia, but the very fact that such a thing existed made me happy. As JB said, why pick on an event that causes little harm and makes many people happy?

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