The FReeZA program is an innovative youth development program that provides opportunities for young Victorians aged 12-25 across metropolitan, regional and rural Victoria to enjoy live band gigs, dance parties and other cultural, recreational and artistic events that are drug, alcohol and smoke-free in supervised and safe venues.
A key youth initiative under the Victorian Government’s ‘Turning the Tide’ drug and alcohol strategy, FReeZA was established in 1997 to provide affordable and accessible music and cultural events in safe venues for young people and to give local performers development and regular performace opportunities. The initial success of FReeZA with young people set the stage for the expansion of the program in 2003/04, with the Victorian Government providing annual grants to local government and community organisations across the state.
FReeZA also provides important performance opportunities for local musicians and emerging artists to showcase their talent through a state-wide competition, FReeZA Push Start Battle of the Bands. In recent years a number of bands involved in the FReeZA Battle of the Bands have signed record deals with major international labels and undertaken Australia wide tours including Airbourne, The Vasco Era, Her Nightmare, Showcard, Crimson Flames, Kisschasy, Lemon Smile, Celadore, Michael Paynter, Howl, Leon Love.
The Push is a non-profit organisation that provides the young people of
Through networking with FReeZA committees around the state, The Push help to support young people to get the skills they need to organise their own live events. It also provide information, advice and training to young people who wish to develop their career in the industry.
From its initial involvement in the 1996 FReeZA pilot program and the 1997 FReeZA Live Tour, The Push continues to provide support to young people, FReeZA workers, their networks and associations with their bands, DJs, managers, booking agencies, security firms, sound and lighting companies, local, metropolitan and national radio, television and newspapers, street press, record companies, publicists, graphic artists and recording studios.
One of the major programs facilitated by The Push is the FReeZA Push Start Battle of the Bands competition. This competition is a chance for emerging artists around the state to showcase their talent!
It begins with local heats staged by FReeZA providers across
Young people participating in FReeZA actively participate in Push Over, making decisions about their preferred venues, dates, artists line-up etc. Each year up to 80 young people from FReeZA committees gain valuable experience in working at a large event by volunteering at Push Over.
Q. Were young people involved in the development of FReeZA?
FReeZA is for young people so it was vital that the suggestions and requirements of young people be incorporated in the development of the program. To this end, eight focus groups of young people aged 14 to 18 years, from a variety of regional and metropolitan backgrounds were established. Their comments and suggestions were included within the final program specifications. The involvement of young people is key to the program. All FReeZA events are organised, promoted and managed by young people. As a result, local FReeZA Committees are involved in a continual development process for their local events.
Q. How do you know young people will attend?
Young people are involved at every step of FReeZA events, from selecting the band or DJ through to promotion and management of the event. So it's a case of young people organising entertainment for other young people. There's no one in a better position to understand the taste and the requirements of the audience group. Thanks to the high level of commitment and participation from young people in planning the events, and the support shown by parents, promoters and the community, FReeZA has established the reputation for staging safe, successful events across Victoria, which is important for parents, and high quality and credible events, which is important for young people.
Q. What does Local Government contribute to this program?
Local Government support for FReeZA events and the FReeZA Committees in their regions has been invaluable. Local Government is a key player in the program and many of their facilities are used as venues for FReeZA events. In addition, there is a strong commitment from Local Government for FReeZA events and support and resources provided by Local Government youth workers.
If you have further questions, please contact FReeZA HQ.
FReeZA supports all Artists that promote their music on the FReeZA, FReeZACentral and youthcentral websites by holding an APRA licence.
The Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) collects and distributes licence fees for the public performance and communication of our members' musical works. The Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS) collects and distributes mechanical royalties for the reproduction of our members' musical works.