The Brag Media
Industrial Strength May 10, 2019

Industrial Strength: PledgeMusic, Spotify, Troye Sivan, Number Crunching and a few other things…

Industrial Strength: PledgeMusic, Spotify, Troye Sivan, Number Crunching and a few other things…


PledgeMusic co-founder Benji Rogers has confirmed that the company is heading into administration.

He issued a statement: “I went back into PledgeMusic just over three months ago as a volunteer to try and help the board and team turn around and sell the company, but I am sad to report that this effort has not met with success and that PledgeMusic will shortly be heading into administration.

“I cannot begin to appreciate how all of you affected artists are feeling about this and I am deeply sorry for what you have been through.”


With Mumsie’s Day coming up, Spotify released its list of the globally more streamed mothers: to honour those who could juggle parenthood with high flying careers:

1) Cardi B

2) Beyoncé

3) Adele

4) P!nk

5) Shakira

6) Kehlani

7) Britney Spears

8) Alicia Keys

9) Christina Aguilera

10) Mariah Carey


A Troye Sivan concert in Singapore ran into a problem when security guards confiscated gay pride flags held up by some of the audience.

Sivan was telling them about how coming-out experience when fans responded by holding up rainbow flags.

Venue security detail confiscated them and told the fans they could be collected after the concert.

The official reason was that the flags were obstructing the view of fans behind.

But crowd members told Gay Star News there were already signs at the venue that gay pride flags were banned, and claimed all items with a rainbow design were also grabbed.

Same sex relations are illegal in Singapore.


* Sydney EDM mecca Freda’s in Chippendale can now trade to 4 am on Fridays and Saturdays – a first for a venue in the inner west. Owner David Abrams calls it “an important turning point in Sydney reaching its immense potential as a late-night city.”

* The Brisbane Courier reported that Revelry Entertainment are putting the GPO Hotel in Fortitude Valley – home of the successful GPO Fridays nightclub –  for sale.

* Hotel Steyne in Sydney’s Manly has changed hands with John Singleton and business partners selling it to Iris Capital for $60 million-plus.

* Juniper Shaw, an ardent live music supporter in Hobart, is Greens candidate for the Tasmanian seat of Clark in the federal election. She runs music venue The Grand Poobah, set up The Alley Cat Bar (now the Winston) in North Hobart, and held plenty of live gigs at the Red Velvet Lounge.

* One of Victoria’s best known regional venues, the Karova Lounge in Ballarat is closing its doors after 15 years. It was named best regional venue at The Age Music Victoria Awards late last year, but owner Gary Wilson says it’s become a struggle for an independent venue to hold on financially.

* Brisbane’s Normanby Hotel is closing for a few months for renovations. Casual staff complain they were initially told it would remain open during the physical changes.


The Greens have made Australian quotas for audio and video streaming services as Spotify and Apple Music, as part of their federal election pitch.

Aside from a ‘Living Arts’ fund which will top up musician and artist incomes to the minimum wage (as reported here previously), creating a new scheme to put professional creative in schools to inspire students to follow their career paths, a $50 million per year Content Creator Fund and restore funding to the Australia Council to pre-2013 levels before the budget axe started swinging.


Just before Eurovision mania starts to spurt in this country,  ABC-TV has Kate Miller-Heidke on Australian Story (Monday, May 13 at 8pm) talking about the story behind her entrant song ‘Zero Gravity’.

She opens up about the full extent of the challenges of first-time motherhood and how she overcame her struggles.

“Ultimately if I’m honest with myself, I’m an artist because I’m trying to work out what the hell’s wrong with me,” Miller-Heidke tells Australian Story.

“That’s why I do end up sort of dragging out my little bits of shame and examining them in the light.”

Australia’s Eurovision creative director Paul Clarke says, “I just remember hearing that song and going, ‘Oh my God, this could win. Like this could actually win the competition.’”

The episode, titled Out of the Box, features interviews with

family, friends, and peers Tina Arena and Ben Folds.


US record producer Don Was is visiting Australia in June for the first time – wearing his cap as president of legendary jazz label Blue Note Records, which he became in 2011.

It’s the label’s 80th anniversary, and Was is here to talk about the label’s classic and current artists.

He’ll also be at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival guesting on two panels and the Sydney Con Jazz Festival where he’ll headline a student masterclass.


100,000 attended the 5th free Surfers Paradise LIVE.

$2.3 billion (estimated) worth of free advertising for Starbucks after a coffee cup was mistakenly left in a scene from Game of Thrones.

15 million subscribers for Google’s music streaming services.

16 new CCTVs set up in Qld entertainment precincts Southport, Chevron Island and Nobby Beach.

70% of independent musicians suffer from symptoms of mental illness, according to new US study.

$31.9 million in Northern Territory budget to develop a state square in Darwin, including a space for outdoor events.


Let It Rain is a tour set up in aim to raise proceeds for drought relief, with all proceeds to Aussie Helpers.

It is a foundation dedicated to relieving the stress and pressure of Australia’s drought.

Michael Burrows & Great Love, Peter Senior and Phil Edwards Band play:

May 10: Fyre Fly, St. Kilda, Melbourne

May 11: The Newsagency, Annandale, Sydney

May 17: Judge House of Ale, Whangarei, NZ

May 18: Flagship Education Centre, Auckland


French music streaming service Deezer has updated its look, logo and app

The app has more space, less text and dedicated visual treatments for playlists and channels.

The player’s background changes colour with each track to match its artwork.

Deezer says the changes are to make the user experience more streamlined for its 4 million customers in 180 countries and force users to discover more music.

Hans-Holger Albrecht, Deezer CEO said: “We want to bring users a modern and human service that stands out from anything else on the market.

“Our unique look and feel also reflect our mindset as an industry challenger.”


WA’s creative industries get a near $19 million boost via the state government’s new Regional Arts and Culture Investment Program.

It will work in three streams: “a state of creativity”, “strengthening Aboriginal arts” and “empowered and employed communities.”

Country Arts WA’s chair  Sue Middleton, responded: ‘We applaud the state government’s commitment to regional arts and culture.

“The investment into regional WA’s economy will grow creative and connected communities, and in turn create long-lasting social impacts in developing regional liveability.”


Entries for Music Victoria’s Live Music Professionals program closes on May 13.

It is open to venue owners and managers, band bookers and independent promoters, to match them with Victoria’s skilled pros for one-on-one coaching sessions, specialised workshops, masterclasses, conferences and networking opportunities between July and October.


Applications close midnight May 12 for the Gold Coast Music

Managers Roundtable.

Presented by the Association of Artist Managers and the City of Gold Coast Music Action Plan 2021 (MAP 2021) its aim is to develop emerging Gold Coast music managers.

The round table will bring together experienced managers Maggie Collins, Matty Woo and Graham Ashton to work peer to peer with six emerging artist managers in an intensive workshop session Wednesday, June 19.


YouTube has struck a deal with Lollapalooza to livestream the event.

It takes place in Chicago’s Grant Park from Aug. 1-4 and features headliners Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino, Twenty One Pilots, The Strokes, J Balvin, Lil Wayne and The Chainsmokers.

YouTube’s livestream of Coachella Weekend 1 scored 82 million live views, a 90% increase over 2018.


Radio network Macquarie Media downgrade its earnings citing tough trading conditions.

In February it forecast its 2019 financial year to generate between $29 million and $32 million.

This week it told the ASX, with trading “falling below expectations”, it now amended to $27 million to $29 million.


VidCon, the world’s largest celebration of online video, social media and YouTube creators, returns to Australia for a third year.

It will be at Melbourne’s Convention and Exhibition Centre, from September 19—22.

This year’s lineup already boasts over 40 million combined YouTube followers, including Georgia Productions, JaidenAnimations, Draw with Jazza, TheOdd1sOut, Maaz [The Amaazing], alongside US vlogger star Eva Gutowski [MyLifeAsEva].


DJ/producer Darude, Finland’s entry for Eurovision, has some Australian connections.

His new single ‘Hide’ through the Magik Muzik label is written and sung by Aussie artist VMIE aka Jamie Lee Wilson.

Darude has also remixed Austria’s Eurovision entrant Paenda’s single: ‘Limits’ – this is the first time a Eurovision contestant has remixed another contestant’s track, whilst the competition is running.


The Australian reported that 61 people aged between 17 and 41were treated in hospital after a day of excess at the Townsville stop of Groovin’The Moo.

At its show in Bendigo, Victoria, two were hospitalised.

Both shows drew about 20,000.

The report states that 49 in Townsville were charged with 67 drug-related ­offences, including 61 for possession, four for supply and two for possessing drug paraphernalia.

At the Bendigo event, seven charges were laid — two for drug possession with the rest related to drunkenness.

Niall Small, Townsville Hospital and Health Service’s acting executive director of medical ­services, told The Australian there were no overdoses.

“The patrons who attended the emergency department after misusing illicit drugs did not technically overdose. The drugs taken at Groovin’ are of unknown origin or composition,” Dr Small said.

“Pills or other substances sold illicitly may contain a wide range of dangerous and potentially fatal ingredients. Again, can I reiterate how dangerous it is to take these substances?”


Nu-metal Melbourne band Superheist’s guitarist and producer dw Norton has launched a new heavy rock label Black Mountain Music.

He previous ran Faultline Records from 1998-2007.

Norton is the label’s general manager, and Chad Ellis in charge of marketing and artist liaison.

Significantly enough, BMM’s first release is Superheist’s Sidewinder, released to coincide with their 25th anniversary.


Mentors of Bello Winter Music (NSW)’s youth mentorship program are The Maes (under 15 category), Claire Anne Taylor, (vocal) Hat Fitz and Cara (band) and Joe Newton (singer-songwriter).

Applications for the mentorship close on June 14.

This year’s program is sponsored by local company Bellingen Solar Depot and supported by the team at Bello Youth Hub.


Patrick Gibson was an integral part of Sydney’s underground electro scene, as co-founder of M Squared studio/label, and as member of The Systematics, Scattered Order, Ya Ya Choral, Moral Fibro, Famous, No Night Sweats and The Loop Orchestra.

In more recent toes he moved his focus to radio.

This week after his passing after a lengthy battle with cancer, his M2 colleagues Pel Mel remembered him as “a creative dynamo” and Voigt/465 said his medical battles “never dampened his intelligence or his love for music.”

Greg Weaves worked as a tour manager, production manager and front of house audio engineer for many bands including The Whitlams, Paul Kelly, Tim Minchin, Ball Park Music, Dean Lewis and Sundance Kids.

Neale Mace, managing director at EI Productions who knew him for 20 years remembers him as affable but not putting up with bullshit, a consistently professional sound engineer, a computer tech boffin who came up with solutions when disaster struck “and an all-round gentleman and great guy.”

He died suddenly of a heart attack. Support Act Ltd has set up a crowdfunding page for his family.


In between causing the sort of hysteria which caused an alleged grope at a fans’ greet and meet and organisers of her Brisbane show threatening to stop the show until the fan calmed down. 17-year-old US sensation Billie Eilish was seen cantering on a horse down Muriwai Beach on the morning before her Auckland show. She told our man in the bushes she worked as a counsellor at a horse camp for two years and “did line jumping and everything, all that”, but added that it was “a while ago.”

Two entrepreneurs behind a new Surfers Paradise laneway admitted their business relationship broke down before the opening.

Quite a few people seem to be interested in the next batch of Something For Kate material. A preview of the newies by Paul Dempsey at Melbourne’s Gasometer was an instant sell-out, and shows in Sydney and Newcastle were added. Dempsey explains, “I find that the best way to stop overthinking new songs is to put yourself in the situation where you can’t overthink them anymore. You have to deliver them. The stage is the only place to do this… It’s scary and fun and often shows you the way to improve on what you have.”

Northern Territory’s peak music association MusicNT holds its annual general meeting on May 28 at its Darwin HQ. There are a number of vacancies on the board. so to submit a nomination, contact Mark Smith at or call the office on 8981 1995. The association is also advertising for an Indigenous Music Development Officer.

Deep Purple’s accountant jailed for six years for stealing over £2 million from the band

A musical on Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill is confirmed for a Broadway run.

All my people right here: at the end of Magic Dirt’s set at Gumball festival before the 2,500-strong crowd, drummer Adam Robertson rewarded a fan who’d been right in front of the stage singing to every word of every song by walking up to him and gifting him with a pair of his sticks.

A 21-year old thug who attacked two security guys at Ultra Sydney in Parramatta has been jailed.

Five years after the June 14 passing of Masters Apprentices frontman Jim Keays, his widow Karin. Is holding an exhibition of his artwork in Melbourne. It is at the FAD Gallery, 14 Corrs Lane, Melbourne CBD, and runs for four weeks from Friday, May 10.

Liam Stewart, son of Rod Stewart and Rachael Hunter, has signed on to play hockey with the Queenstown Stampede ice hockey team in New Zealand for the 2019 season.

Back from her travels, Sydney singer-songwriter Miriam Lieberman is holding a six-week series of world music vocal workshops and previewing material at a Vivid show (May 24) joined by baritone voiced viola player Carl St Jacques from the Miami Symphony and sought after vocalist and violinist Susie Bishop.

In the US Pandora is offering premium plans to students (like Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal) and to military veterans (which the others don’t give).

Promoter of the year, Billy McFarland, in jail until 2024 for his role in the Fyre festival train crash, is working on a book with US journalist Josh Raab. Partly it’s to address the inaccuracies in two docos about the festival, it might have to do something with the $24 million he has to pay back to investors.

The Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA), the largest shareholder in Imparja, is thinking about selling its interest in the television station, revealed the Alice Springs News. Imparja financials disclose a loss of $900,000 because “simply put” it is “the volume of advertising that is now problematic” as multiple digital devices compete for an audience.

The Australian Performing Arts Market) (APAM) is setting up a new office and website as part of a new function “as an open, year-round service.”  Both launch in mid-2019.

Lake Macquarie, NSW, will deliver 20 diverse festival events each year as part of the council’s draft Event and Festival Strategy and Action Plan 2019-2024 currently up for public discussion. Three existing ones – Living Smart, Float Your Boat and the Offshore Superboats –  already attract more than 110,000 people to the city.

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