Call for Music with Mates

30 April 2018

Newly arrived young migrants and refugees are invited to make friends by experiencing Melbourne’s live music at a range of free performances throughout the year as part of Music with Mates.

Music with Mates sources free tickets to Melbourne music shows and links groups of recently arrived young people with groups of volunteer Melburnians to attend shows together.

Since its launch in May 2017, the program has seen more than 60 participants from a range of backgrounds join up to meet new people and enjoy sounds as diverse as rock, hip hop, indie and folk music. Music with Mates has so far provided tickets to see musicians such as Paul Dempsey, Busby Marou, Jen Cloher, Courtney Barnett, Montaigne, Pete Murray and Jebediah frontman Bob Evans (Kevin Mitchell), who founded the program in partnership with Christine Leahy.

In feedback on the program, young people have reported having fun and loving the diversity of music and venues, while the results have included improved English, increased school attendance and of course, new friendships.

Ms Leahy says Music with Mates organisers make sure that the shows are in environments where participants – most of whom have never been to a Melbourne gig before – will feel comfortable.

Young people are welcome to attend with a support person, and participants also meet up together with volunteers and organisers for a chat before the show begins. As part of the program, participants are not provided with alcohol and can attend gigs in unlicensed venues.

Attending three or four shows with the same group encourages participants to make friendships and hopefully continue them beyond the shows.

An audio engineering student who recently migrated from India, Lakshay Kukreja, said the program grew his network while he was just getting settled into Melbourne and became a place to belong.

“I got to watch live gigs and concerts, make new friends, experience the Melbourne culture at a pretty early stage of me staying in Melbourne,” said Mr Lakshay.

“I love the MWM family, and going to prestigious venues in and around the city. MWM is my family and wherever we go, becomes a home,” he said.

Read our previous article on the program and find out how newly arrived young migrants and refugees, or people who work with new arrivals, can make contact with Music With Mates about places for gigs coming up in May and June or throughout the year.


Image: courtesy of Music with Mates. Pictured (left to right): Music with Mates participant Lakshay Kukreja and Madeline Leman, lead singer of Madeline Leman and the Desert Swells and Music with Mates volunteer.

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