Music retail is going down the gurgler.

On Sunday I wandered into Allans Music retailers for what is probably the last time I will do so. Ever. Allans is a company that has existed in one way or another for about 150 years. It used to publish music and it supplied all of Australia with music products. Just one month ago it came as a shock to find its main creditor had abruptly withdrawn funds and that without this important financial line, Allans would go into receivership. More on the story here:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-23/allans-and-billy-hyde-enter-receivership/4217864

I’m a bit devastated. The loss of Allans means more than the loss of one music retailer. It means the loss of valuable high visibility of music in the market place. It means the loss of jobs. It will devastate the local manufacturing industry production lines of musical instruments and other equipment. It will mean the removal of an important hub of music community. Allans was more than just a retailer: it was part of a music network. I don’t know what it means for music in Australia. Just when our voices were getting louder over the value of music to positively affect children’s and adult’s learning. Just when we were finally acknowledging the centrality of music in our lives. Just when music advocacy was gaining traction. This retail failure will hurt.

And don’t get me started on Newman’s savage cuts to the Yarts. $20 million cut from the Yarts budget. It will break Queensland for sure. We were never really known as the smart state, but now we will certainly be known hereafter as the “dumb, hick, dangerous” state. And our children will get stupider and our brains will get smaller. Today I am in mourning for the Arts in Queensland, for the future of music and for the future of our retailers.

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