Battle to save a local music venue – again

The fight to protect Melbourne's beloved Tote was supposed to have been won in 2010. But now history is repeating itself.

In 2010, historic scenes were witnessed in Melbourne, when tens of thousands of people came out in support of The Tote and other live music venues. Fast forward 13 years and once again the community is rallying together to save this important and long-running venue.

Shane Hilton and Leanne Chance – the owners of The Last Chance Rock and Roll Bar in North Melbourne – have stepped in with a public crowdfunding campaign, which has so far raised a mammoth $1.5 million. The hope is that the campaign will reach its goal of $3 million, matching their own personal contribution and in turn preserving this space for future musicians and audiences alike.

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Jessi Ryan (they/them) has been creating performance and exhibitions for the past 20 years, both locally, nationally and abroad- in this time collaborating with a huge number of artists from a broad cross section of cultural backgrounds. As a journalist they have written for and been published by some of Australia’s leading arts and news editorial across the last 10 years-and was recognised as a finalist for Globe Community Media Award in 2021. Ryan has also taken photos for a number of print and online publications.