Respect My Authoritah

In my opinion, those famous words by South Park's Cartman are a timeless statement. Of late I've been checking out the Tribute Shows at The Retreat Hotel in Brunswick, VIC and have thoroughly enjoyed the talent displayed with every live music performance. Though having returned from BigSound16, there's something I need to get off my chest: singer/songwriters, regardless of whether they are a household name (or not - YET), deserve our respect. Aside from the epic fail that was my Australian Idol audition 2008, I've never stood in front of an audience to pour my heart out + soul out in a set of songs. Side note: Props to Erana who said yes, not so much to the Rolf Harris lookalike who said no because I didn't have the 'look' they wanted. Here are my tips for showing a lot of love + respect during a live performance at your local pub.

#1 Understand

The musician who stands before you is sharing their story through their music. They didn't pick up a guitar overnight + they aren't making up the lyrics on the spot. Musicians, more often than not, will put everything on the line to create what you are listening to. Not every musician is paid $$ (let alone top dollar) to perform live, and even if they are, that dollar amount could cover as little as a tank of petrol plus a couple of Facebook sponsored posts to keep building their social media following. Understand performing live as a musician is NOT a glamorous role.

#2 Appreciate

I decided to check out a live performance in Brisbane outside of the BigSound program + was somewhat apalled by the lack of appreciation shown toward the musician. He was performing his own original material and mid song, partons rudely interrupted + asked him to play a cover song. I get where you're coming from - after a couple of drinks, it's easy enough to mistake live music for a jukebox but this is in itself a huge insult. All too often, we choose to default to the songs we know + love. Why not set yourself a challenge to listen to new music, and what I mean by 'new' is listening to an artists that isn't currently featured in the ARIA Charts. Show your appreciation for original music by sharing a photo or video across your Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram. Hop online, connect with the performing artist + start the conversation on how much you appreciate their contribution to the world of music.


Supporting unearthed artists in the Aussie music scene goes beyond understanding their story and showing an appreciation for their talents. In a world dictated by digital sales, you can not only show your support by attending live gigs but also by adding to the buzz online. Hustle your online crew, invite them to like/follow + support artists on Facebook + Twitter. Watch a live stream of their performance (if you can't get to the gig in the flesh), leave a comment, react + share with your friends. What takes only a couple of clicks will help spread the word of their talent across the globe. Support their crowdfunding campaigns + make a difference.

The success of Australian musicians is in your hands, literally. Maybe Cartman was onto something after all.

Ellie first started in community radio back in the noughties whilst completing tertiary studies. Experienced in hosting podcasts, and as a regular radio announcer on community radio in Melbourne, she is incredibly passionate about giving a voice to music artists yet to be discovered. Now editor + publicist for international acts, Ellie brings to you a transparent insight into the world of music.