If you love Australian music, help to save it with your protest
UPDATE: Funding for half a year approved - see details in comment below
Do you like Australian music on the radio? Well, you’d hear hardly any of it if it weren’t for a government funding programme set to end on 31 December.
It’s AMRAP, the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project, helping more than 3,000 musicians and 1,500 broadcasters on community radio stations across the country to air Australian music.
And they’re asking for your protest to the government at http://www.amrap.com.au/funding.html.
Ten 10 of the 14 winners of this year’s ARIA Awards got community radio airplay through Amrap. Many Indigenous musicians would not be noticed at all if the service collapsed.
Click here for an idea of what they promote. Community radio presenters can get an account and can both download the tracks from the web and/or ask to have them posted to them.
Community radios don’t have budgets to buy music. It’s the presenters’ own or what they can get from AMRAP that goes to air. Imagine the hole that would leave if it stopped.
Government spends so much on other culture – and on nonsensical, unfair things like polluting dinosaur industries, but let’s not go there – AMRAP spending is peanuts by comparison.
Their manager, Chris Johnson, tells me they're looking for a paltry $600,000 per year. Their spending includes grants they give to stations to record Australian artists like these: http://airit.org.au/airit/Exclusive-Recordings/
If the pollies let AMRAP die, they don’t care about Aussie music, full stop. Now, that’s a vote-killer!
Also worth reading on this: http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/11/30/govt-kills-the-community-radio-stars...
Here’s a selection of comment on the AMRAP site:
The Conversations - Amrap has helped us as independent artists to get out there beyond our hometown ......we've sent in a begrudging email to the senator! Hope it helps.
The FireTree - As a young Australian band our biggest support comes from community radio and the volunteer presenters across Australia playing our music. Without this widespread exposure I'm sure we would not have survived as an act. AMRAP's AIR IT and CD MAILOUT is the only reason presenters across Australia heard our music!
Catherine Haridy - Without AMRAP Australian artists of all stylistic persuasions are left with no clear distribution option for their music throughout the considerable community radio network that we are lucky enough to have in this country. Working towards establishing solid careers for young Australia artists is hard enough and AMRAP Airit, pages and charts have such immediacy and positive effects. The funding needed for the project is a pittance in comparison to the consistent and undeniable results it produces. C'mon Conroy, you can find the funds, we know you're a supporter of creating content for community broadcasting, Put your money where your mouth is!
4ZZZ - The Amrap Pages have been the best thing to happen to Community Radio's play lists probably since the invention of the computer! 4ZZZ and our announcers would hate to lose the opportunity for continued development and progress of this great resource, not to mention the fantastic opportunities for Australian musicians that AMRAP provides. Community Radio is where most musicians get their first radio air play and organisations such as AMRAP are an integral part of this process.
Simon Winkler - Melbourne. In terms of support for artists, support for radio, and support for the music industry in general Amrap’s work is unparalleled. At Triple R AMRAP has a direct and substantial ongoing impact not only on the supply of music to the station, but also in pioneering a whole system for playlists to be compiled and shared on our website, enabling presenters to provide more meaningful information to listeners (AirNet). Please support AMRAP to ensure that Australia's strong and diverse music scenes remain represented and championed.
Frank Varrasso -= Melbourne. AMRAP is a critical organisation in exposing and shaping the musical landscape here in Australia. Without it, young musicians would never be heard, particularly if they cannot secure the airplay across the mundane commercial radio fodder that currently exists. As commercial stations predominantly place US & UK artists into high rotation, where will new, emerging AUSTRALIAN talent be heard? How will young Australian artists be given the opportunity to develop their music, have it exposed to a wider audience and learn more about the music industry? AMRAP is the perfect organisation to ensure Australian music is fostered, developed and championed...let's keep it that way.
Luke Mysliwy - Big ups to AMRAP, just got first AirIt report for my band Jack Flash and discovered that 16 different music directors/presenters from community radio stations from Kalgoorlie WA to Cedar Pocket, QLD have either downloaded one of our songs or ordered a CD version from AMRAP. Very, very excited to get this news. AMRAP take a lot of the hard work out of distributing music for airplay for unsigned acts, and have a reach that is only accessible to bands on big labels. They charge a very small fee (compared with what you'd be spending if you tried to do it yourself), OR they actually do it for free if you are eligible for the AirIt programme! We were fortunate enough to be accepted for the FREE AirIt service, and I could not be more grateful for the help. I can't believe I didn't apply months ago! If you're in an unsigned band APPLY NOW! http://www.amrap.org/unsigned
Michael Solo – Record label manager. All the artists with Bird's Robe and all the community stations we interact with are incredibly grateful to AMRAP and the work they do to help connect us. We are saddened to hear of the loss of public funding to a program which we feel is a highly-valued and important part of the Australian music industry and which delivers immediate and long-lasting results for independent music.
Bird's Robe Records has been an avid supporter and beneficiary of AMRAP since 2010. Since then, AMRAP (and specifically the AirIt program) has helped us distribute 25 releases to Australian radio, including albums from sleepmakeswaves, Meniscus, Anubis, Toehider, Dumbsaint, Pirate and more.
Lachy Doley – Sydney. AMRAP Works and I love it! Why take away one of our Music industry's last real initiatives? Our serious independent artists have got their backs up against the wall enough as it is.
Dave Dreimann - AMRAP has been a wonderful service for me personally. It allowed my band to reach radio stations all over Australia and find fans in rural and remote areas that we otherwise would not have been able to service.
Georgina Reed – Sydney. I too, work as a VOLUNTEER presenter at a community station (Northside Radio FM99.3 in Sydney), where I've been presenting and promoting Australian artists since 1991. Without AMRAP and AIRIT, just how I would've found many of the artists I play, I have no idea. Community radio has always been at the cutting edge of bringing unsigned and local muso's to the attention of the listening public.
Maddy Macfarlane - Breakfast Co-host at PBS 106.7fm Melbourne. AMRAP genuinely provides a multitude of mutually beneficial resources and services for those creating music, creating radio, and for our listenerships.
Marcus Whale - AMRAP has consistently been an invaluable tool for my group Collarbones in getting our music out of our own community networks and particularly into regional and rural areas. AMRAP's support of our early (Australia Council-funded!) single could arguably be attributed with much of our exposure on community radio outside of Sydney and thus helping us at least start to break out of this insular, inner city world.
Tony King - State Government of Victoria. Through the independent radio station 3MDR we were introduced to AMRAP. We were fortunate enough to be taken into the AIRIT program and our music was distributed nationally. Within weeks our music had become the most requested on independent radio stations across the country.
Radio Adelaide - Radio Adelaide has been using AMRAP for a while and we see it as a great resource for both sourcing new releases and also helping our South Australian artists to get national exposure. With independent labels suffering as they have in recent years, this is now a vital resource.
Andrew Matters - Without Amrap we'd be fucked, it has allowed us to tour and break even, plus expanded our listening base.
Chance Dylan Waters - AMRAP are one of the most important musical bodies in Australia, people may not realise, but if independent and community radio don't have unfettered access to independent artists you're cutting the tree off at the stump. AIRIT is a progressive and forward looking initiative and losing that alone, especially while it's still fledgling, will disadvantage local artists in a big way.
Scott Ludlam, Australian Greens Senator, Spokesperson for Communications - "Amrap's Funding in 2011/12 was a drop in the ocean for the Commonwealth Government... I urge the Government to change its tune and support Amrap into the future."
Michael Gudinski, Chairman, The Mushroom Group - "It will be a serious loss to the Australian music industry if Amrap is unable to continue. Amrap's AirIt initiative has helped a myriad of Australian artists forge closer ties with radio stations all over the country and to lose this service would undermine the chances of these local musicians and songwriters developing a vital audience locally and possibly internationally."
Jess Beston, Director, Tiny Monster - "Amrap is an incredible initiative that changes Australian musicians' lives every single day via providing a once inconceivable but now utterly invaluable bridge between independent artists and community radio across this entire country."
Julia Wilson, Director, Rice is Nice Records - "Community radio is so valuable for building our artist's fanbase. We couldn't possibly reach all these stations and listeners without Amrap's help."
Dan Zilber, Music Director, FBi Radio Sydney - "Without Amrap, everybody loses. Artists lose access to much needed support and airplay. Community radio loses a fantastic resource to improve their broadcasting and support of Australian music. And the biggest losers in all this are the listeners."
Matt O'Connor, Director, The A&R Department - "Amrap is so valuable for getting airplay for developing Australian artists, and is now a crucial part of the new indie music models evolving in Australia."
Stu Thomas, Indie Musician - "I would not have been able to spread my music as far as it has gone without Amrap's help. And two years on, community stations and DJ's are still accessing my songs: I'm talking on radio, people are interested, they are buying CD's. Amrap's kept my album and my music alive and being played, not ignored."