Section 8: From Melbourne, With Love

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Section 8: From Melbourne, With Love

Section 8 From Melbourne, With Love
Words by Tamara Vogl

After the world’s most extended lockdown, Melbourne live music and its venues took a colossal hit that threatened to cripple the local arts community. The Level Up series, hosted by iconic container-bar, Section 8, has been an impressive example of local venues giving back to the Melbourne art and music communities post-lockdown.

On April 9, they will host their final event of the series, culminating months of collaboration with the release of their first-ever vinyl record, From Melbourne, With Love. Featuring original selections from a few of Section 8’s favourite artists, this record is a love letter to Melbourne and its music community.

The launch event will include performances and DJ sets from Amin Payne, Ed Moon, Beat Science, Lay Down The Groove, Strictly Vinyl (The Party) and more, as well as a drink menu on the day curated by Coopers, Jameson, Chivas and Headline Acts. For more information, check out the event page here.

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Section 8 was born in 2006. “The idea was to create an inclusive space that was open to all walks of life,” says the venue, “Section 8 was made low cost, using recycled materials, in a time when many new restaurants and bars with expensive fit-outs were popping up. The owner wanted to show that you can create something great without the crazy price tag attached.”

The venue admitted it was a struggle remaining open during Melbourne’s lockdowns, however, they continued to look after their community by creating Section Aid. “Section Aid was a way of supporting our community through a tough time,” they said.

“We raised around $25k by doing a 12-hour live stream with some of our favourite DJs and artists. We made Section Aid merch which we also sold and gave away Eftpos vouchers, Deliveroo vouchers, meals and grocery packs to those who needed them. The venues ethos has always revolved around community, so we kept going by staying engaged with them.”

The Level Up series was a natural continuation of Section Aid and allowed the venue to re-ignite the hype around live art forms once more. The series was structured around six monthly events that kicked off with a record store showcase, followed by four unique battles. From beat battles to live improv, and vocalist showdowns to dance-offs, Level Up created a space for artists of all backgrounds and disciplines to come together and share their passions and talents. They will host the sixth and final event with a massive vinyl release party for From Melbourne, With Love on April 9.

“We had a great response from local musicians, producers and dancers,” Section 8 said of the previous Level Up events, “It was nice to give artists a platform to show their talent. So many artists and regulars have asked us to continue doing these events, particularly the beat battle. The beat battle in particular is definitely something we want to continue to offer, as there are not many spaces in Melbourne that do these. It’s been amazing to witness established artists inspired by fresh talent and form collaborative connections.”

The vinyl release party will be on April 9 to wrap up the summer series, hosted by a range of local DJs, live acts and performance art. The record, From Melbourne, With Love, will be an 9-track multi-genre vinyl, featuring unreleased tracks from local artists that reflect the diverse sounds of the container bar. Of their hopes for the party, Section 8 said, “The whole event has been a nod to the amazing talent we have in Melbourne. We are excited to have had the opportunity to put that all on vinyl and we have curated a great lineup for the release party to celebrate this. We just want everyone to have fun and celebrate our beautiful community.”

The vinyl includes tracks from the likes of Ed Moon, DJ Spell, Sadiva, Nikodimos and many more. Section 8 admits it was tough picking the artists on the record, but decided “make a record that was something you could cook a nice meal to or layback on the couch and chill to.” The release of their first-ever vinyl is particularly significant to the venue and also reflects their commitment to the cultural output of Melbourne and innovative approach to collaborating with artists and empowering creative practice.

From Melbourne, With Love will be available at select record stores, including Northside, Wax Museum and Natural Selection. You can also grab a digital download via Bandcamp. The launch party is from 3 pm til late on Sunday, April 9. For more information, check out the event page here.