As a first for their venue, The Tote is hosting three outdoor concerts down the road in the beautiful Abbotsford Convent to celebrate their 40th anniversary.
Are 40 . passede anniversary in 2021 amid lockdowns – The Tote is celebrating this milestone with plans for a full 12 months of celebrations, taking full advantage of these relaxed restrictions. They put on a huge show called CONVOLUTION at the Abbotsford Convent, a two-stage mini-festival featuring major acts such as the Kylie Aulidist Band, That Gold Street Sound and theremin player and composer Miles Brown.
“This is the first of a number of major shows we’re producing, showcasing the absolute gems of Melbourne’s live music scene,” says Jon Perring. “We’re consciously expanding into genres that aren’t traditionally associated with the Tote’s independent rock/punk/hardcore roots. It is a privilege to be able to highlight and focus on the diversity and depth of Melbourne’s music scene as part of our 40th anniversary of live music in such a very important setting as the Abbotsford Convent.”
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Famous for hosting Australian punk, post-punk, heavy metal and hardcore bands, they are expanding their horizons with CONVOLUTION – their new two stage mini festival at Abbotsford Convent featuring projection art from Electric Light Brigade. Melbourne’s diverse music scene is celebrated with The Kylie Auldist Band, That Gold Street Sound, Steppers and the cream of the crop of Melbourne’s electronic underground – Miles Brown (Night Terrors), Null Hypothesis, Quell, iceclaw and Justin Ashworth performing in a quadraphonic will play in the suggestive Conventen Industrial School. Combining the quadraphonic sound field with the lightscape of the Electric Light Brigade makes it a truly immersive experience.
“The Tote is a venue truly open to everyone, with artists from many genres and stages of their career playing regularly. It’s well established around the world as the place to see what’s happening in Melbourne’s live music scene. It is a center of creativity and career building, an environment where young bands can cut their teeth and have the opportunity to develop into great live acts.”
“The Tote’s 40-year cultural legacy is the history of Australian contemporary music, which we are immensely proud of,” said Jon Perring, the owner of the Tote. “It’s a miracle that the Tote survives considering being bombed, being shut down by the state government in 2010 because live music was ‘high risk’, the pandemic lockdowns and the strange plumbing disaster.”
“We remain committed to our core value of hosting original contemporary Australian live music today by celebrating the 40 plus years with hundreds of truly amazing performances from old school and up and coming Australian rock’n’roll bands.”
They will be recording the best selection from these performances for a vinyl LP release at The Tote’s 40. to documente Anniversary: ’Live at The Tote’.
From its closure for being a ‘high-risk venue’ in 2010 – an event that sparked a movement of protests from locals mobilizing to oppose the site’s closure – to an incendiary bomb attack by a Molotov cocktail in 2012, The Tote has had its share of excitement over their 40 years. Popular myths surrounding the location include ‘The Tote Ghost’ – a ghost that haunts the landing of the stairs and is said to be neither friendly nor unfriendly. Maybe a lost patron, maybe a faded rock god who died a tragic death, maybe a victim of Melbourne mobster Squizzy Taylor on a rowdy New Years Eve, maybe you catch a glimpse of the ghost walking upstairs under the banner of ‘Cobra Woman’. In addition, there have been persistent rumors of a maze of tunnels that allowed outings for bookmakers that used to operate out of the pub, which supposedly run from under Johnston Street of The Tote.
“The Tote is an irreplaceable cornerstone of the live music and arts community of Melbourne, Victoria and Australia,” said Adalita. “The Tote is a very special place to me, a place full of memories, a space that nurtured my early musical expression where relationships are made that make careers, and a place that I am constantly inspired by and come back to in my evolution as an artist, mentor and producer.”
CONVOLUTION takes place on Saturday 25 June. Tickets are available through the Oztix and The Tote website.