ABOUT music hunter
Based in the Blue Mountains on the Western edge of Sydney, Music Hunter breaks new ground. We know that musicians aren't just providers and gigs aren't products. Music Hunter is a human and respectful approach to showcasing live music.
In 2010 Meg Benson went to a Skorba gig at 505 in Sydney that cemented her commitment to the resuscitation of the music industry. Brilliant transcultural musicians, Andy Busutill, John Robinson, Llew Kiek, Bertie McMahon and Paul Jarman, played to a very small crowd in a venue with much more capacity. How do musos make a quid like this? How can making music be sustainable for them when there's such a small audience? All around Meg, brilliant musicians were struggling to find fair pay and engaged audiences. And on the flipside, adventurous listeners and people seeking connection couldn't figure out where to access quality music that didn't fit in the regular charts, or venues that had that sought-after ambience.
Meg sees herself as a community builder,. As well as the standard definition of vulnerable people that welfare groups identify as marginalised and vulnerable, Meg began including musicians and artists in the discussion as among those on our social priority lists. The challenge Meg took on was to gather together a community that gets why music matters. To start helping to book the right gig in the right location, trail-blazing at a time when no-one was operating independently as a freelance event organise in the Mtns, just those attached to single venues. And to promote the idea that it's good for our mental health. That music is something that nurtures connection and community. That it's good for the soul.
Some of Meg's first events involved connecting the dots, initiating collaborative Harmony Day Events, engaging community stakeholders and school students while delivering exceptional cultural concerts and workshops with world class international musicians such as a 10 piece group including dancers rom Budapest Tukros
It started small, but Music Hunter has grown up. It's been a decade that Music Hunter has participated in, promoted and staged hundreds of gigs all over the Blue Mountains and beyond, including the Music of the World project underground in Jenolan Caves and also Katoomba Live and Local a collaboration with Blue Mountains City Council, that employed 80 musicians at best practice rates in just one day.
Known for an integrative appreciation for the Arts, Music Hunter Events frequently involve exceptional stage settings or are asked to curate events bringing together event styling, art, and performance, such as for Hands Heart and Feet "Banquet of Dreams" or the The Blue Mountains Creative Arts Network re-launch and first ever Blue Mountains Creative Leader Awards (of which Meg was a recipient in 2018) delivering audiences sculpture, commissioned poetry and live music coupled with dance performances all from impressive local talent. In 2019 Music Hunter accepted the role of music curator and promotor for the ART of Lunch project.
Music Hunter loves music of all stripes and shades and styles. We have hosted a diverse range of world-class musicians from near and far, who play all sorts of styles and instruments, both traditional and genre-bending. We know that there is a time to get up and shake it and a time to sit and steep in beauty. Sublime experiences come in many different guises.
Music Hunter is grounded in a commitment to bring incredible musicians to brave, curious audiences. We care about presentation and the subliminal vibes that envelop audiences who step into a welcoming creative space. We are building a community of people who care about music, who dare to venture beyond the mainstream, and who are attracted to a scene where they can enjoy the pleasures of discovery and the human warmth of connection.
ABOUT MEG BENSON
The first time Meg Benson got involved in promoting music was at high school. Organising the school dance, she booked the first ever band signed to the rooArt label, Crash Politics, 'It was a bit of a coup,' she laughs, 'but hardly anyone came! The kids at my school thought it was a political event!' Meg was ahead of the pack even then.
Meg has been involved in showbiz and the arts across a wide variety of platforms. She founded and directed Blue Mountains Children's Theatre for five years, where she witnessed first hand the benefits of community arts programs on imagination, belonging, mental health and well-being. But music was her first love. Raised on the good stuff she heard at the Cat and Fiddle, the Sandringham, parties with live music hosted by her mother plus countless festivals, Meg developed broad and eclectic tastes. And she experienced the power of music to uplift us in the dodgy times and make the good times sweeter still. Meg believes that music offers transcendence, the kind where losing yourself in the music paradoxically becomes the way that you feel most yourself. 20 years ago Meg decided to measure the abundance in her life by how much culture she could experience, and she' s never regretted it.
A qualified psychotherapist and family therapist with 20 years experience, Meg is acutely aware of the way music can assist people to live more fulfilling lives, bringing people together. Meg created Music Hunter to find and grow engaged and adventurous audiences for the incredible musicians living and working in the Blue Mountains & beyond. Today, Meg's Music Hunter is going strong, offering a range of services and rich experiences to brave music lovers while also balancing some serious work with PIC Professional Individualised Care.
'In reality, Music Hunter Projects isn't something new on the block here in the upper Mountains. It's emerged organically over time with an enormous amount of love, enthusiasm, dedication, courage and hard work from Meg Benson. Her experiences and associations with musicians in our area have inspired a big vision at work in her - to nurture and support musicians, as music, in turn, sustains the community.
Music Hunter Projects is made from the very dirt and soil of the Mountains. Thanks Meg, for getting your hands dirty!'
Blue Mountains composer and performer