Yarraville’s Mantra Studio expands hours

David Baird and Patsy Toop in the studio. (Joe Mastroianni) 219958_01

Goya Dmytryshchak

Country music stars Patsy Toop and David Baird, who form country music duo The Long and Short of It, once overtook Keith Urban in the charts.

Now, the owners of Yarraville’s Mantra Studio Kitchen and Bar, they are preparing to overtake the COVID crisis by expanding the hours of their sound-proof recording studio.

Mantra hopes to extend its studio hours on Thursday-Saturday until 1am and other days 11pm.

Currently, the restaurant will be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The venue is one of a few local businesses awarded an $80,000 state government live music venues grant, which enabled its survival during the pandemic.

“There’s been a decree by the state government that there’s going to be protection of live music venues to enable them to operate outdoors and to enable them to have more relaxed planning so that they’re protected because really, there’s a limited number of them and live music is so important for Victoria” Ms Toop said.

“Live music venues are not allowed to open with public facing shows at the moment.

“The best that we can do, subject to council approval, is to have live music, outside with no more than 50 people in attendance.

“The grant was obviously welcomed. What it’s enabled us to do is to prepare alternative ways of combatting the fact that we can’t open, so providing us with the ability to fund our audio engineers and other creatives in other ways, purchase more equipment for the studio and, in our case, because we have a high upload speed to the internet we can run shows in isolation.

“We are hopeful that council will work with the state government to bring about the protections we need to survive.”