Deep in the bowels of Melbourne’s Athenaeum Theatre, Chris Howlett and Adele Schonhardt, co-directors of Melbourne Digital Concert Hall, are sitting next to each other.

Normally, this would go without saying. But the circumstances of Melbourne Digital Concert Hall’s creation and continued existence have been anything but normal.


Watch this exclusive video interview in which Limelight’sDeputy Editor, Hugh Robertson, speaks to Chris Howlett and Adele Schonhardt about their roller-coaster ride over the past 18 months, and what the future holds for the livestreaming platform.

In March 2020, as the world was crashing down around us, Howlett was one of the few people in the country who knew what was about to happen. He worked in China, and had seen first-hand the devastation wrought when they were forced to shut everything down; Howlett’s family lost 95 percent of their income overnight.

So when he and Schonhardt spoke on 17 March, they knew something had to be done.

“We called The Athenaeum, and Greg Hocking; we called Kawai, and Warwick; and we called 5stream,” says Howlett. “All three of them were dear friends of ours,...