5 Minutes with… Paul Fairhead, Kindred Studios

Sitting on the border of Footscray and Yarraville, by the gardens and the Maribyrnong River, Kindred Studios is a fully equipped arts incubator with a focus on music and performance. We chat to General Manager, Paul, about the evolution of one of Footscray’s most creative centres.

What happens at Kindred Studios?

We have rehearsal studios, a performance space and recording facilities for musicians; a television studio; photography studio; and creative office spaces and hot desks. Victoria University asked Simon (owner) if their music program could move here, so Simon custom built half the building for the school and they will move in this year. It’s a really creative space on any given day.

We also run the Kindred Spirit Festival once a year (in the third quarter). It’s a full day of spiritual teachings, healing, workshops and guests from India and Byron Bay.

When did Kindred Studio’s first open?

Kindred opened eight years ago with a few rehearsal rooms. It was a labour of love for Simon. It was created with his own money and it doesn’t receive any funding. He got it to this point and now I’m here and it’s ready to go.

Why Footscray?

There was a big gap in the music market out here. It’s been noted with the Big West and Big Band festivals. It’s also affordable out here, especially for small bands to come and rehearse. It was a build it they will come, Field of Dreams attitude, and it’s been very successful.

What’s new for 2014?

We have a new coffee shop, the first to bring organic coffee to this part of Footscray. We will be booking out the performance space with band nights, uni nights, comedy and theatre. We will be hiring out spaces for private functions and tapping into the underage music market. Plus there’s a new yoga and dance studio.

What’s your ambition for Kindred Studios?

We would like to help more bands get legs, have them work with the creative types here, do their PR, images. As Lance from The Bamboos (band) said, “It’s the Simon Cowell experience. A band can rehearse, perform, record, get their costumes designed, and be promoted on the market all in one building.”

Kindred Studios
212A Whitehall Street
9687 0233