Calling all designated drivers, PT planners and resourceful ride sharers: Natalie Bassingthwaighte and Budjerah are in search of Victoria’s ultimate road crew for ALWAYS LIVE and TAC.
Lead image L-R: Natalie Bassingthwaighte and Budjerah
Music, theatre and television icon Bassingthwaighte and rising soul and pop star Budjerah have joined forces as the faces of a new campaign aimed at separating drinking from driving, in a partnership between the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and Victorian Music Festival, ALWAYS LIVE.
This festival season, they’re shining a light on the unsung heroes of the road who keep the band together – calling on music lovers right across Victoria to nominate their favourite deso drivers, PTV planners and couch concierges to join the road crew by sharing a short story on how these mates have saved the day by helping to separate drinking from driving. There’s a swag of prizes up for grabs, including one of dozens of $100 rideshare vouchers to help you get home safe from your next night out, and a major prize pack valued at $4000, featuring a state-of-the-art audio-technica record player, KEE Speakers and a stack of vinyl from artists across the ALWAYS LIVE program. In addition, those who complete the TAC’s road behaviour survey will be entered into an additional prize pool of five $1000 travel vouchers from RACV Resorts to put towards your next destination gig in Melbourne or regional Victoria.
Head to the Always Live website to nominate a mate, explain how they’ve saved the day (or night out) by separating drinking from driving in 25 words or less, and select which type of road crew legend they are.There’s six to choose from: The Deso Driver, a beacon of responsibility who understands that drinking and driving never mix. This friend takes charge of the wheel and by not drinking, ensures everyone reaches home safe and sound. The Planning Prodigy, a friend in every group, is the type A planner who fires up the group chat and coordinates the whole operation, including the deso, the public transport and rideshares, eliminating any worries about you and your mates getting home safely. The Couch Concierge is that super-hospitable friend who offers a cozy place to crash after a night out, fluffing pillows while others prepare their outfits – all to ensure you don’t even need to consider driving home after a drink. The PTV Planner is the most eco-friendly pal who knows the trains and tram lines like the back of their hand. They plan the way home on PT so you can have a drink and get home safe. The Resourceful Ridesharer takes care of business, ensuring everyone can have a drink and reach home without needing to drive – they’re on the hunt for discount codes, arranging rideshares, and are even willing to give up the coveted AUX cord. And The Bad Idea Bouncer – the last line of defence, ensuring the mere thought of drinking then driving never crosses anyone’s mind. They’re ready to confiscate phones, keys, and book taxis, doing whatever it takes to guarantee their friends’ safety.
Now in its second year, the keep the band together initiative with ALWAYS LIVE is part of TAC’s continued push to reduce road trauma by finding new ways to reach high-priority groups, focusing on deterring behaviours like drink-driving.Both Budjerah and Bassingthwaighte are among the stars of ALWAYS LIVE’s mammoth 2023 program which runs from November 24 – December 10, supported by the Victorian Government through Visit Victoria and includes 254 local, national and international acts. Bassigthwaite takes to the stage on Saturday 25 November as part of the line-up at Christina Aguilera’s exclusive one-night-only show at Flemington Racecourse, while Budjerah will perform at Music in The Park presented by ALWAYS LIVE in Mornington on Saturday 9 December alongside The Cat Empire, The Veronicas, KAIIT, Pierce Brothers and special guests. “Many Victorians will be looking forward to spending the warmer months enjoying live music with their friends and loved ones and we want everyone to make it home with fantastic memories. Our partnership with ALWAYS LIVE aims to build a culture that values road safety by prioritising safe travel options,” Tracey Slatter, TAC CEO said. “ALWAYS LIVE is all about celebrating music, community, and safety. We’re proud to partner with TAC for the second year running for their Keep the Band Together initiative, and shine a light on the friends who keep our nights fun and secure,” Steve Smith, ALWAYS LIVE CEO said. “I’m thrilled to be part of this fantastic initiative to Keep the Band Together with ALWAYS LIVE and TAC. Designated drivers, planners, and ride sharers are unsung heroes who ensure our nights are not only enjoyable but safe. Let’s celebrate them!” Bassingthwaighte said. “Music is about joy and unity, and keeping everyone safe is a big part of that. I’m excited to support this campaign, recognizing the amazing people who make sure we have a great time,” Budjerah said.