The Brag Media
News May 6, 2024

Australia’s Music Community Commits to ‘Michael’s Rule’

Australia’s Music Community Commits to ‘Michael’s Rule’

A major booster program for the Australian music community that would require at least one local act open on major international tours of these parts been met with “virtually unprecedented” approval from across the industry.

The campaign, led by senior artist managers and named “Michael’s Rule,” a nod to the late, great artist manager Michael McMartin, is welcomed by industry bodies and leaders from across the industry spectrum, including Australian Live Music Business Council (ALMBC), The Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA), Select Music and the newly-formed Music Australia.

Leading concert promoters Michael Chugg, Danny Rogers, Ben Turnbull, and concert, touring and events specialist Untitled Group have also expressed their support.

As previously supported, ARIA and PPCA has backed the initiative, which is built on three pillars: Every international artist must include an Australian artist among their opening acts; the Australian artist must appear on the same stage at the international artist using reasonable sound and lighting; and the Australian artist must be announced at the same time as the tour so that they benefit from all the marketing and promotion.

Untitled Group “is committed to ‘Michael’s Rule’ and we call on our friends in the live music sector to do the same,” reads a statement from the Melbourne-based live music specialist. This initiative “has the power to play a vital role in the discovery and visibility of emerging Aussie acts.”

Legendary concert promoter Michael Chugg, chairman of Chugg Entertainment, notes there are instances where local talent can’t be involved, “but they are in a low percentage of tours.” Chugg adds, “It’s great to see the Australian music industry standing together here and I fully support ‘Michael’s Rule.’”

Notes Millie Millgate, founding executive director of Music Australia, “Repairing our industry and increasing the prominence of Australian artists is going to require teamwork and many steps. Michael’s Rule is one such step that will make a huge difference.”

Presented at the 2024 AAM Awards in Sydney last Wednesday, and formally announced Friday, May 3, “Michael’s rule” is a voluntary industry code which the Association of Artist Managers calls to be reinstated at this time of “crisis” for the homegrown music community.

The code, which existed in the 2000s, through tireless campaigning from the management fraternity, resurfaces as a worrying trend of music festivals and venues disappear from the landscape, and Aussie artists find themselves shut out of the national sales charts.

If promoters were unwilling to jump on board, the AAM insists it will lean on federal government to intervene and make it a condition of issuing visas that international artists touring Australia must comply.

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