The Victorian Government today announced the launch of a free online streaming portal Victoria Together, to showcase the Melbourne culture that has been put on hold due to COVID-19.
The streaming service will provide Victorians in lockdown comedy, live music and other forms of entertainment.
Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley said in a press conference this morning the launch of Victoria Together is a multi-platform attempt to “thank Victorians for the work they have done over the last six or seven weeks”.
“In an age of social distancing, we don’t have to be socially kept apart. Particularly, we want to make sure that social distancing does not mean cultural distancing,” he said.
“We want to make sure that we provide an opportunity for Victorians right across a diverse cultural, community, multicultural, platform, the opportunity to engage.”
Victoria Together will also be home to a new online series developed with Mushroom Group, State of Music, which will feature weekly live-streamed performances.
“There’s nothing more Victorian than watching a live gig, trying out a recipe from one of our best chefs, or visiting our outstanding regional galleries – that’s why we’re bringing these experiences into people’s homes,” said Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews in a press release.
“I know we’re asking a lot of Victorians at the moment but following the rules and staying apart keeps us together as a community,” he said.
The first episode of State of Music will be live-streamed on Sunday 3 May at 7:30PM AEST and will be hosted by Rosie Beaton, featuring an interview with James Reyne and performances by artists Birds of Tokyo, Diesel, G Flip and Michael Gudiski.
The project will also produce other local content, dedicated to supporting and sharing the talents of emerging local artists.
Minister Foley said Victoria Together would allow Victorians to engage in a “diverse cultural, community, multicultural platform” while they are “staying at home, protecting lives”.
“This digital offering will not only share Victorian creative content with more people – it will also help generate new opportunities for our creative industries hard hit by this pandemic,” he said.
Supported by a $2.35 million grants and partnerships program, ACMI will help curate the transition of local artists who have lost work into online content generation.
The Victorian Government has also launched a new campaign reinforcing that “Staying apart keeps us together”. Starting tonight, the campaign will extend across digital, radio and print.
Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed there were 1364 cases of COVID-19 in Victoria in the press conference this morning, which is an increase of three, and there have been no further deaths.
“We have to be patient and really clear about the fact we are all in this together and we have to stay the course,” he said.
Photo: Person using MacBook Pro by Glenn Carstens-Peters available here and used under a creative commons license. The image has been resized.