Urban Spread brings gigs closer to home for fans to reduce travel

Two young women hold up Prepare to Party coasters from the Urban Spread gigMusic promoter Urban Spread, together with the Transport Accident Commission, are bringing bands to the suburbs this summer. The partnership is a way for young people on the urban fringes to see their favourite bands without having to travel as far as they do for other gigs.

By holding live music events closer to the homes of fans near Werribee, Chelsea Heights and Mulgrave, Urban Spread takes away the need for lengthy drives to festivals or city-centric venues.

Young drivers aged 18 to 25 only make up about 14% of all licensed drivers, but they account for more than a quarter (28%) of lives loston Victorian roads. The first six months on P Plates are the most dangerous for young drivers – they're 30 times more likely to crash when they start driving on their own.

A key factor in risky driving among young people is their tendency toward risk-taking behaviour. Research shows young people's brains are highly reward-sensitive and less able to control impulses or consider future consequences. This wiring of the brain makes them more susceptible to peer-pressure and prevents them from seeing the potential negative outcomes of their choices.

Further research, headed by TAC projects manager Sam Buckis, shows there is also a connection between extended adolescence driven by kids staying at home longer, assuming adult roles later in life, and this thrill-seeking behaviour as opposed to self-regulation among young drivers.

Urban Spread encourages people to enjoy the mosh, the music and hanging with their mates, but to also plan ahead how they're getting home. Planning ahead means they're less likely to make risky decisions when tired or a bit tipsy at the end of the night.

With a dedicated Prepare to Party info page Urban Spread show all the ways people can get to and from the gig via public transport, designated drivers or taxis.

So far Urban Spread have held gigs featuring The Rubens, In Hearts Wake, The Delta Riggs, Nortlane, DZ Deathrays, The Bennies and Allday. In the December and January gigs will be headlined by Dead Letter Circus, Frenzal Rhomb and Seth Sentry.

Activations at the event showed the uptake of the 'plan ahead and reduce risk' message with young people has been great and shows promise. Three Urban Spread gigs in November drew 2000 punters, 200 of whom signed up as designated drivers on the night and 150 used the TAC breath tests at the venues to check how safe they were to drive that night.

It's a positive step that while young people often take risks they also make the most of opportunities to be safer and make smarter, informed decisions.

Find out more about Urban Spread and upcoming gigs.