Speaker TV are back with an all-encompassing art event: Citizens of the Streets.

Speaker TV have been a go-to website for music and entertainment news for years. However recently they don't seem content on just reporting on entertainment as they have ventured into the realms of creating entertainment!

They’re embarking on a monthly residency at The Shadow Electric to showcase the most exciting bands on the scene today along with curating local art exhibitions and live music photography exhibitions at the same time.

Sounds good? We thought so. We caught up with Sarah and Ivan from Speaker TV to find out more about their Citizens of the Streets.

Why have Speaker TV started this Citizens of the Streets series of shows?

We started Citizens of the Streets to help promote new and up-and-coming Australian artists in an original ethos, aiming to connect university students and crowds, music lovers and of course, the artists involved.

It’s our way of projecting artists onto the national music scene, by capturing exclusive footage and interviews as part of the long-running Speaker Sessions that are documented and shared across Speaker TV’s online platforms and national weekly television broadcasts.

Tell us about Citizens of the Streets. What’s the meaning behind the name?

When you’re walking down the street, no matter who you are or where you’ve come from, you’re a citizen a part of something bigger: a community. Citizens of the Streets is an event providing an opportunity for these people to do extraordinary things, connect with their community and chase their passions. This platform allows them to create meaningful experiences and real networks that will help them pursue their dreams. Whether you want to be a musician, photographer, engineer or business manager, Citizens of The Streets can support your journey to reach your aspirations.

It’s unusual to have an exhibition with a live gig. Or is it? Can you tell us the reasons behind bringing the two together?

It’s not unusual to do anything anymore. Speaker TV covers arts; culture, fashion and comedy, so you may even see some stand up at a show at Citizens sometime soon…

How important is the venue in creating your vision for these shows?

I personally see Shadow Electric as an art space that doubles as bandroom, in an incredibly creative environment within in the Abbotsford Convent. We chose the space and then workshopped as a team what we could do within in it. The art exhibition element came very naturally for the space, as the outdoor courtyard doubles as a cinema in the summer and the venue already had gallery light installed.

You say that you are trying to bridge the gap between music lovers, uni crowds and artists. How do you think your event will do this?

We had many conversations with uni students, where they told us that live music shows don’t really happen at university campuses much anymore. Based around this information we decided to bring the music to them, so we approach universities and other creative independent colleges and invite their students along to each show as a networking experience with industry people and to expose them to new local music, photographers and visual artists. Each month we approach a different graphic artist to design our poster artwork and exhibit on the night of the show, and so far both have been graduates from Monash University.

I’ve seen more and more live gigs putting on more effort in the whole night. Creating an atmosphere and mini festival sometimes. For instance within the Leaps and Bounds festival and Melbourne Music Week larger more complex events are the norm. Do you think there is a shift in the way people are putting on shows in Melbourne? Moving from three-band lineup to curated art events?

I think there has been a massive shift from the standard three-band line up to more curated events over the past couple of years purely because people are looking for more of an experience these days and things in general are forever evolving artistically.

Tell us about the night - who’s playing, why are you excited by the bands/DJs/exhibitions?

This month we have Sex on Toast, New Venusians, The Do Yo Thangs playing live with DJ AM Radio spinning vinyl only in between. Brisbane photographer Markus Ravik, along with Melbourne photographer Emily Day are exhibiting some of their favourite live music shots and Melbourne collage artist Kathryn Pappas who designed our gig poster this month also will be exhibiting her some of her recent pieces too.

If you come to the show, you’ll know why we’re exciting about all of the artists being a part of Citizens of the Streets…