Funding to help Albany live music venue open doors for touring acts and boost disability access

Headshot of Sarah Makse
Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
O'Connor MP Rick Wilson, Six Degrees manager Geoff Waldeck and Bob Rees.
Camera IconO'Connor MP Rick Wilson, Six Degrees manager Geoff Waldeck and Bob Rees. Credit: Sarah Makse/ Albany Advertiser

Live music is set to become more accessible at Six Degrees with a revamp of its stage for touring acts and a boost to disability access.

Six Degrees last year secured funding in the first round of the Federal Government’s Live Music Australia program, which allowed manager Geoff Waldeck to start paying local acts.

Mr Waldeck said a $24,000 second-round grant, announced last week, would allow the team to upgrade the stage to accommodate national and international acts.

“With the number of real top-quality bands that have been stuck in WA because they can’t tour, they have been going around to regional areas and putting on a lot of regional tours,” he said.

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“We realised in order to offer an even higher industry-standard system and venue to bigger touring acts, we needed a better PA system and also a better lighting system.”

Disability access is another focus for Mr Waldeck, who will use the funding to widen doorways and improve access to disabled toilets.

Albany Blues Club member and wheelchair user Bob Rees said he hoped other business owners would hear about the changes and consider making their businesses accessible to everyone.

“I think access in Albany could be improved everywhere but it is good to see Six Degrees leading the way,” Mr Rees said.

“I think if somebody in a wheelchair, who is disabled in any way, can’t get to that venue, it’s not enhancing their life.

“You’ve got to live and if you can’t access places, people end up staying at home ... and then their mental health and everything deteriorates.

“I think the more access there is in town, at places like this, the better.”

O’Connor MP Rick Wilson said the upgrades would support budding musicians and the disabled community.

“Geoff told me the story of Bob and the trials that he has been through, and he loves his blues music and he should be able to enjoy it just like everyone else,” he said.

“The fact that a component of the grant is to upgrade the disabled facilities and the disabled access at Six Degrees is the cream on the cake for this little story.”

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