The Brag Media
Industrial Strength February 15, 2019

Industrial Strength: The biggest stories in the music biz this week

Industrial Strength: The biggest stories in the music biz this week


A delegation of Australian indie figures are heading to New York to attend Indie Week 2019.

The indie label focused conference hosted by A2IM (American Association of Independent Music) runs from June 17-20 at New York Law School).

AIR, SOUNDS AUSTRALIA and PPCA are seeking expressions of interest from labels to join the contingent.

AIR and SOUNDS AUSTRALIA have led Australian delegations to Indie Week since 2013.

Deadline for expressions is Friday, March 1.


QMusic announced the finalists of the album of the year category of the Queensland Music Awards.

They are:

Amy Shark – Love Monster

Ball Park MusicGood Mood

Emily WurramaraMilyakburra

The Goon SaxWe’re Not Talking

Tia GostelowThick Skin

Voting has opened for people’s choice for the state’s favourite festivals and venues.


In a wrap-up of its 2019 run through Australia and New Zealand, Laneway Festival revealed that it sold over 60,000 tickets.

They exclaimed, “From the legend-making performances of the artists (Rex! Gangs! Jorja! Camp Cope! Jon Hopkins! Actually everyone), to the beaut, improved venues, the amazing vibes and more-or-less perfect weather – we’re not lying when we say it’s been one of our favourite years yet.”


In a move it says is to strengthen its commitment to indie labels, Universal Music Group has completely bought out distributor Ingrooves.

It already had a 25% stake in the company from 2006, and has been a long time client, using it to get its product from its indie imprints like Strange Music, CM7 and Rostrum to digital.

After the deal is finalised in the first quarter, Ingrooves CEO Bob Roback will continue to lead the company as a standalone unit within UMG.

UMG CFO and president of operations Boyd Muir said in a statement, “The continued success of the indie community is vital to the health of our industry, and through our investment in Ingrooves, we will strengthen the services we can offer to independent artists and entrepreneurs.”

A year ago when majority owner Shamrock Capital put Ingrooves up for sale, it had a $100 million price tag but reports suggest UMG shelled out $65 million.


Died Pretty singer Ron Peno cancelled all his live gigs – including those on A Day On The Green with Bryan Ferry – after being diagnosed with oesophageal cancer.

His management said he would begin treatment immediately.


The latest round of Music Works – Quick Response Grants will see 18 Victorian music artists, bands, label reps and music managers take up opportunities abroad.

Australian Art Orchestra, $1,500 for artistic director Peter Knight to attend an international market and professional development initiative, Sound Out, held during the Jazzahead Festival in Bremen, Germany.

Jess Cornelius, $2,138 to fund a US publicity campaign behind a single and video alongside a US tour.

Ryan Downey, $1,810 for a national tour with NZ’s Tiny Ruins.

Zoltan Fesco, $2,383 to attend CAMP, a five-day intensive music workshop, held in Aulus-Les-Bains, France, followed by a two-week residency at Le Clos de Saman, in France.

Oscar Jimenez, $3,000 towards Amaru Tribe’s showcase at South by Southwest in Austin.

Pirritu Brett Lee, $1,500 to showcase at the Folk Alliance International in Montreal, Canada.

Jessie Lloyd Music, $3,000 for the Mission Songs Project to showcase at the Folk Alliance International.

Siobhan McGinnity, $2406 for Magnets to perform at the 2019 Airey’s Inlet Music Festival.

Angie McMahon, $8,198 for her debut US tour and SXSW gigs.

Opening Gambit Music, $1,500 to attend Jazzahead in Bremen, Germany to establish international networks.

Dan Parsons, $3000 to showcase at the Folk Alliance International, accompanied by booker Bree Hartley who will work to establish international connections.

Jessica Ribeiro and band, $2,182 to play the East Coast promoting their upcoming album LOVE HATE.

James Rushford, $3,525 to tour Europe, including six performances of a new solo work and four performances of a new electro-acoustic work with Will Guthrie. 

STAV $1,500, to showcase at Folk Alliance International.

Sophie Treloar, $1,500 for Lorrae McKenna of Our Golden Friend to attend SXSW to network and seek international artists before travelling to Los Angeles for meetings with existing and prospective contacts.

Two People, $5,000 for a SXSW showcase, debut shows in

Los Angeles and New York and undertake professional development activities.

Simone Ubaldi, $1,500 to get to SXSW and develop music export opportunities for management clients Amyl and The Sniffers and Nice Biscuit.

Callum Watson, $2,250 to attend week-long 25th International Young Composers Meeting in Apeldoorn, Netherlands and work with a mentor on a new composition.


Their old site Helensvale is being dismantled after their last gig there two weeks ago.

But it looks as though Gold Coast live music venue Night Quarter might be back at another site, with the blessing of the Queensland government.

A Save The Night Quarter petition drew 19, 102 signatures – enough for MP Sam O’Connor to table it in Parliament on February 12.

Meaghan Scanlon, member for Gaven, is also acknowledged for getting the venue back and running.

The venue’s owners said: “The petition has made an incredible impact. It strengthens our pledge to find a new site and be back open as soon as we can!”


Mandurah I WA could be getting its own purpose-built live music venue in the heart of town.

The idea is that of mayor Rhys Williams who sees it as a way to stimulate the local live scene and boost visitor numbers.

The Mandurah Mail says the mayor also is hoping that greater local gigs would help one of his ambitions – to draw a large music festival to the area.


18,000 signed a petition urging SBS to bring RocKwiz back.

1. 1 billion music fans are at risk of losing their hearing because of loudly listening to music say two United Nations agencies. They want device manufacturers to keep the volume down,

952,000 now subscribe to Vimeo, with revenue growing 54% to $160 million last year.


Victoria’s Good Music Neighbours program – part of the state government’s Music Works which matches funding of up to $25,000 to sound proof venues – is back.

Projects including acoustic insulation, heavy drapes, double-glazing windows or hiring an acoustic consultant to undertake a review are just a few examples of eligible proposals.

So far, the Good Music Neighbours program has supported more than 80 venues including The Corner, The Espy and The Tote Hotel, regional music hotspots as well as readying venues to host live music for the first time.



Daffodils, the movie musical based around legendary New Zealand hits, had its world premiere in Wellington last night.

It then has an NZ-wide release on March 21.

Starring iZombie’s Rose McIver, Home & Away’s George Mason and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Kimbra, the David Stubbs-directed love story based its music on APRA’s 2001 all-time best 100 NZ songs.

The soundtrack includes The Swingers’ ‘Counting the Beat’, Bic Runga’s ‘Drive’, The Dudes’ ‘Bliss’, Dave Dobbyn’s ‘Language’ and Crowded House’s ‘Fall At Your Feet’ .


Nova Entertainment announces two new specially created digital audio roles, Ben McMillan to head of digital audio, and Elizabeth Maplestone as digital audio specialist.

Stephen Ferguson, CEO of the Australian Hotels Association since 2014, has extended his contract for another five years until at least 2024.

Theatrical group Michael Cassel Group appointed Allie McCann to the newly created role of head of development to “lead the development of all new projects with artistic or commercial potential including shows to produce in Australia and internationally, and shows that the company wishes to develop as originating producer.”

Daniel Clarke will take over the role of executive producer of programming at QPAC in Brisbane for a year, while the incumbent is on maternity leave.

He is taking eave of absence from Arts Centre Melbourne where he has been creative producer for theatre and contemporary performance for the past three years.

Arts publications ArtsHub and Screenhub appoined George Dunford as new content director, moving to Melbourne from Canberra later in the year.

Australian Film Television and Radio School CEO Neil Peplow is departing his post mid-2019 to return to the UK.

Its chair Russel Howcroft said,  “Under Neil’s stewardship, AFTRS has become internationally renowned as a centre of creative excellence and one which, at a time of unprecedented change and opportunity in our industry, is incredibly forward thinking in its approach to screen education.”

Janet Hamilton, general manager of the Darwin Convention Centre, is leaving her role to take up a yet-to-be-announced management role with the venue’s operators, the AEG Ogden Group.

Buzzfeed Australia managing director Simon Crerar has become a casualty of the brad’s global cuts.


Ariana Grande kicked up dust as she bypassed a scowling Taylor Swift and Katy Perry on the freeway to become the most-subscribed female artist on YouTube.

She has over 32.5 million subscribers, compared to Swift’s 32.28 million and Perry’s 32.24 million.

Her ‘7 Rings’ was the biggest debut of 2019, with 23.6 million views in its first 24 hours.


Geoff Skewes started out in Adelaide as keyboard player of The Vibrants, high school friends who became one of the biggest pop bands of the ‘60s with a series of hits including ‘Something About You, Baby’.

He later formed progressive soul funk Skylight and was Adelaide correspondent for the Melbourne-based national weekly Juke before going on to manage acts as country rock Stars and Wendy Stapleton’s Wendy and the Rockets.

Skewes also played clarinet on Little River Band’s ‘Curiosity Killed The Cat’ and on Jim Keays’ Boy From The Stars album track ‘The Right Way To Go’.


If Bluesfest does leave Byron Bay, would it be heading for the Sunshine Coast?

5 Seconds of Summer open for Chainsmokers during their mammoth 41-date North American run between September 25 and December 6.

Two weeks to go before their headline performance at the Fringe, and Russia’s Pussy Riot still haven’t got their visas.

Coffs Harbour is about to get a new nightclub.

According to a court hearing in Melbourne, three members allegedly killed a man after seeing their stolen DJ equipment advertised on Gumtree.

Sometimes TMN gets ahead of itself: country music scribbler and broadcaster David Dawson wasn’t aware he’d been nominated for the International Country Music Association awards until he read it here. “I really need to get a mobile phone so people can contact me,” Mr Hee Haw sighed through his bushy beard.

Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker and Sophie Lawrence got married quietly in a vineyard in WA – marking the stroke of midnight with an order of 150 McDonalds burgers for the guests. Parker collaborators Lady Gaga and Mark Ronson were extended invitations but begged off due to something called the Grammys.

Speaking of which, Wollongong NSW was celebrating film director Alan Hicks’ Grammy win (with co-director Rashida Jones and producer Paula DuPre Pesmen) for best music film for Quincy, about Quincy Jones. Hicks attended Wollongong High School before winning a scholarship to study music and jazz at the William Paterson University in New Jersey (or Noo Joisy as the locals have it).

Yungblud’s song ‘I Love You, Will You Marry Me?; came alive when a fan proposed onstage during their set at Party in the Paddock in Tasmania.

Deadmaus attacked Twitch for “double standards” after being dropped for “homophobic” language

Dolly Parton wants to collaborate with South Korean pop cuties BTS.

Elton John added nine new shows in Australia after the tour sold out in an hour. In New Zealand, fans were furious when the 25,000-capacity Mission Estate winery website seemingly had a website. They alleged they were getting their tickets processed when suddenly they were pushed to the back of the queue. The show sold out in an hour – with 500 tix on Viagogo advertised for $350 a pop.

Up for sale in Logan, Brisbane, is Daniel Jones’ first home and studio where the first Savage Garden album was written and created with Darren Hayes. Jones sold the house in 2002 before moving to the US but left behind a plaque for its later owners confirming, “yes”, this is where the first record was made.

GANGgajang, The Radiators, Spy V Spy and Urban Guerrillas play a memorial for the late Spy member Mike Weilly on Friday, Feb 22 at the Hawkesbury Hotel in Windsor.  The Spy and the Guerillas will play a couple more NSW shows together through March. The two played regularly together and two years ago, Ken Stewart of the Guerillas filled in on vocals for the Spys. The Spys will continue on with original drummer Cliff Grigg and replacement guitarist Andrew Davis from Voodoo Express.

Cardi B went on social media profusely thanking Tom Petty for sending her flowers after her Grammy win. Her fans had to go explain that, lady, Petty’s been dead for ages, and the person who sent the flowers merely used Petty lyrics on the greeting card.

One of Perth’s Fringe World events had to close a few days early. Neighbours complained about the racket made by Surrealist Salon because of live music played the Metro City rooftop nightly between 10pm and 5am.

I’m Talking, who’re back on the road currently, have a new live album Dyin’ To Be Dancin’ from tracks made 1984-86.

The Wolfe Bros’ huge success at the Golden Guitar country music awards in Tamworth last month has seen demand swell for their current Country Heart (which starts tomorrow), with dates selling out and new ones being added.

Live music showcasing Hotel Steyne in Manly, Sydney, is up for sale. It was bought in 2010 by a group of investors including Arthur Laundy and John Singleton who want to offload the property as buyers interest is at a high.

Following Gucci’s blackface controversy, 50 Cent uploaded a video of himself burning one of his Gucci T-shirts saying “I gotta get rid of all the Gucci I have at home,” he wrote in the caption. “I’m not supporting their brand anymore.”

The international version of Odette’s debut album To A Stranger, with three new tracks, is available digitally as she kicked off her UK and European tour in Dublin on Wednesday.


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