‘It’s a miracle’: The Tote celebrating 40th anniversary with huge year-long program

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‘It’s a miracle’: The Tote celebrating 40th anniversary with huge year-long program

melbourne live music
Amyl & The Sniffers - photo by Josh Baybrook

Despite being fire-bombed, shut down for being high risk, and closed for two years during the pandemic, The Tote is celebrating its 40th anniversary in wild style in 2022.

“The Tote’s 40 year cultural legacy is the history of Australian contemporary music of which, we are immensely proud of.  It’s a miracle the Tote endures considering being fire-bombed, shut down by the State Government in 2010 for live music being “High Risk”, the pandemic lock-downs, and the odd plumbing disaster.  We remain today committed to our core value of staging original contemporary Australian live music by celebrating the 40 plus years with hundreds of truly awesome gigs of old school and emerging Australian rock’n’roll bands.” – Jon Perring, Tote owner.

A cornerstone of live music in Melbourne, The Tote passed 40 years as a live music venue in 2021 and now with eased restrictions, is celebrating the milestone in grand fashion over the next 12 months.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around Melbourne here.

It will kick off things in fitting style with at least 12 featured Tote legends gigs. The first of which will go down this weekend with The Meanies. Also, the venue will hold shows by Holy Serpent, Kim Salmon & The Surrealists, The Slingers, Warped, The Grinding Eyes, a celebration of the life of Spencer P. Jones, Desert Highways Festival and more.

They’ll also be handing over the programming reigns to a special series of guest curators, including Bruce Milne, Wally Meanie, Penny Ikinger and Kasumuen Records. These influential connosieurs will stage a series of mini-festival lineups, consisting of bands they see as contributing to The Tote’s music culture and more broadly, Australian contemporary music.

The Tote will also host three outside concerts in their stunning surrounds of the Abbotsford Convent, they’ll release a book of the 40-year history of live music at The Tote, there’ll be a limited-edition Tote Lager by Brick Lane Brewing, and a ‘Tote School’ – a series of public workshops on aspects of live music practice.

In other very exciting news, The Tote will be launching Tote TV, a free live streaming channel where you can watch sold-out gigs on The Tote’s main stage. So, if you can’t get a ticket or you’re out of town, you can tune into The Tote from the couch. Pretty savvy for a 40-year-old.

They’ll record the best selection of these gigs for a vinyl LP release to document The Tote’s 40th Anniversary: ‘Live at The Tote’.

“The Tote is an irreplaceable cornerstone of Melbourne’s, Victoria’s and Australia’s live music and arts community,” Adalita said. “The Tote is a very special place for me, a place packed with memories, a space that fostered my early musical expression where relationships that make careers are made, and a place that I am continually inspired by and come back to in my evolution as an artist, mentor and producer.

“The Tote is a venue that is truly accessible to everyone, with artists across many genres and stages of their career playing there regularly. It is well established around the world as the place to see what is happening in live music in Melbourne. It is a hub of creativity and career building, fostering an environment where young bands can cut their teeth and have the opportunity to develop into great live acts.”

To keep track of the amazing program, head to their website here, or follow them on Facebook and Instagram. When it goes live, you’ll be able to check out Tote TV here.