Industrial Strength: QMusic annual report, Game Of Thrones’ Shazam record & more
REPORT: ANOTHER GREAT YEAR FOR QMUSIC
2018 was another growth year for Queensland peak music association QMusic, according to its annual report.
After hitting a new peak in 2017, revenue grew a further 12% to $2.59 million and surplus of $190,636 in 2018 against a forecasted $45,753.
Its flagship BIGSOUND was the largest in its history with the conference drawing 1,585 delegates (a 10.1% rise in conf revenue), 13, 561 attending the showcases, and the event’s economic impact rising to $2.851 million.
At its AGM at X CARGO in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, president Michael Crutcher stated:
“QMusic will look back on its 24th year as another success, building on the excellent work that has been done across the last decade”.
Crutcher acknowledged that there were still challenges, with the association continuing to work behind the scenes on the ID scanning legislation that have impacted the health of the state’s live music venues.
He thanked venue owners for their assistance in raising the importance of this issue for the industry.
Highlights included the Women in Music program, the move of the Queensland Music Awards to the larger Royal International Convention Centre, the first year of their songwriting retreat, and the further development of the Industry Connect program to reach audiences across Queensland.
Read the full report here.
GAME OF THRONES TRACK SETS SHAZAM RECORD
It’s not just Australians who go gaga for Game Of Thrones final season.
Florence + The Machine’s performance of Jenny of Oldstones appeared over the end credits of the episode which aired on April 21 went absolutely churnsville in Shazamland.
Within 24 hours the Florence Welch track was Shazamed 300,000 around the world, toppling the old 24-hour record set by Adele’ ‘Hello’ when it was first unleashed on the world.
The track also has generated 6 million plays on YouTube.
RABBITS EAT LETTUCE PATRON GOES MISSING, 80 DRUG CHARGES
Hardly had the folks behind the Rabbits Eat Lettuce festival in Queensland got over the deaths of Ebony Greening, 22, and Dassarn Tarbutt, 24, before they had another crisis on their hands with another patron.
37-year old Bradley Smith, went missing on his way home —reportedly hitchhiking – to Nanango.
Police set up a command centre and brought in a helicopter to aid the search, while worried friends sent messages to the man via social media.
Queensland Police revealed that 80 drug charges were laid over a five day operation.
These included 28 for possession, four for supply and one for drug production, while a further 29 people were hit with driving under the influence in later roadside drug tests.
NSW INQUIRY TO LOOK AT PILL TESTING
The NSW government’s official stance on pill-testing at festivals is “no deal, buster, until you show us evidence it saves lives.”
However the government had the carpet swept under its feet when the inquiry into drug deaths at festivals said it would be examining the effectiveness of pill-testing.
The Australian reported yesterday that the inquiry’s chief operating officer David McGrath confirmed an expansion of the terms.
30 SECONDS OVER TOKYO
It was chumpsville on social media when it was discovered that the AFL had hired pre-game entertainment at yesterday’s Anzac Day game in Melbourne.
Some murmured that it was totally inappropriate to have a loud nasty band shattering the solemnity of the day.
Then someone spotted the name of the band – Birds of Tokyo – and the sukiyaki hit the fan.
Imagine booking a band with that name on the day!
The hysteria rolled on for awhile until cooler heads realised that the band name was irrelevant given that (a) the AFL match was sponsored by Toyota who are of course a J**an*ese company; and (2) one of the teams playing were, gaspo!, The Bombers.
DESTROYER 666 TOUR HITS ‘EL DESTRUCTO’ BUTTON
European based Melbourne extreme metall band Destroyer 666’s Australian and New Zealand tour next month was yanked by promoter Soundworks (for Australia) and Valhalla Tours (for NZ).
Venues were made aware of comments captured on videos posted on social media that were made onstage at European festivals in the last five years by singer KK Warslut about Muslim “invasion” and how a “stiff dick” would deal with the problem of the MeToo movement.
The tour will continue with BÖLZER moved up from opening slot to headliner.
SNAPCHAT HITS 190M DAILY USERS
Snapchat’s parent company, Snap announced the eight year old messaging app had 190 million daily active users during the first quarter of 2019.
The figure was 186 million at the end of last year.
It exceeded the analysts’ forecast by three million but still down on the 191 million DAUs from Q1 2018.
Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said while Snapchat was far behind Facebook which has 1.5 billion DAUs but larger than Twitter which has 134 million DAUs.
Among Spiegel’s explanation for user growth was the Android app was more widely available (which resulted in 6% more uses) and more original content.
DENTON’S ‘INTERVIEW’ DRAWS 538K
The return of the second season of Andrew Denton’s Interview drew 538,000 overnight metro viewers.
They were rewarded with a riveting interview with Angry Anderson and Roxy Anderson, his first major media outing since the death of Liam Anderson.
Denton posted after: “Thank you to Angry and Roxy Anderson for sharing so much of themselves, their family story and their love with us tonight.
“Australia wishes you well on the path ahead.”
On the same night, ABC-TV showed its programming suss on the same night, with the second episode of The Recording Studio drawing 416,000 overnight metro viewers.
Speaking of programming suss, when do we see The Set return?
AMERICANA COMMUNITY RALLIES FOR JASON WALKER
The Americana Music Association of Australia is hosting a benefit concert called Walkerthon for singer songwriter, pedal steel ace, multi-instrumentalist and producer Jason Walker.
Walker has in the last 25 years trod the stages as a solo figure or as a member of The Last Drinks and The Tender Mercies.
The association explains, “Through a brush with ill health, Jason needs a bit of healing and therapy to get ‘back in the groove’.
“And as we know, this type of therapy does not come free, but to an artist, it can help get their craft, career and livelihood back on track.”
Walkerthon is on Friday June 28 at Sydney’s Petersham Bowling Club with Shane Nicholson, Kevin Bennett, Jenny Queen, Jeremy Edwards, Ben Leece, Peta Caswell, Mark Lucas, Mindi Sotiri, Sam Shinazzi, Peter V Fenton and Abby Dobson, all of whom will be backed by The Tender Mercies.
More names are expected to be added.
Proceeds go to the Jason Walker “Twang Trust”, wherein the funds will be able to help with stroke recovery and mounting medical bills.
For those unable to attend, but would like to help, there will be other ways to donate announced in coming weeks.
STONNINGTON JAZZ SUMMIT RETURNS
The annual Stonnington Jazz Industry Summit is held on Saturday May 11 at Chapel Off Chapel in Melbourne at $25 a ticket.
Keynote speaker is Lilly Schwartz, artistic director of San Francisco Jazz.
Sessions include The Artistry of Creative Management (Cath Haridy, director of Catherine Haridy Management); The Hustle Is Real: Marketing Workshop (Sarah Guppy, This Much Talent – director), a round table session, and ‘speed mentoring’ sessions Meet the bookers, Meet the publishers, and Meet the broadcasters.
The summit is part of the 14th Stonnington Jazz Festival (Thursday May 9 – Sunday May 19) with Chelsea Wilson returning as artistic director for a three-year appointment.
FEMALE MUSICIANS GET HARASSED IN WORKPLACE
Five steps forward, three steps back. Within a 24 hour period, three female musicians called out in public that they had been sexually harassed at their own gigs aka their workplace.
After WAAX’s show at The Cambridge in Newcasle, singer Marie DeVite posted an Instagram message to the “person up the front who decided to assault” her.
“I couldn’t figure out who were because you moved so quickly… but I hope you’re glad to know that I f*cking felt it and it was extremely degrading.
“You wouldn’t grope someone in the grocery store, on the bus or in your workplace. So what makes this situation any different?”
The Cambridge issued a lengthy statement condemning the incident and that it was working with the band to find the perpetrator.
In response to DeVite’s post, Alex the Astronaut shared an incident in Adelaide after a show which left her uncomfortable and anxious.
She met four boys, one of whom put his hand around her and revealed he had a crush on her.
“(He) asked if that was okay to say. When I said I’m gay so yes as long as he got that he said it again
“I am small, he was very tall he kept his arm around me the whole time and I felt uncomfortable.”
The experience left her feeling “yuck and worried they would come back”.
Kira Puru then took to Instagram to report how while trying to fight off a panic attack mid-set, an audience member called her a “fat p*ssy”.
Puru related: “I was already having weird heart palps [palpitations], my voice was shaky and my breathing short.
“Honestly, I don’t really give any fucks about idiotic men usually but when I’m at work and having a rough fkn day already, it’s frustrating to not even be able to get through a 30 minute set without some gronk harassing me and commenting on my body.”
She lashed back and called the person “an idiot” but the experience triggered a post-show meltdown.
She also had a message for audience members: “If you are with or near a stupid f*cking gronk, call their behaviour out and make them accountable.
“If you can’t see why this behaviour is an issue YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM.”
In the meantime, a 41-year old male handed himself to police and is expected to be charged with sexual assault after an incident at the Espy in St. Kilda, Melbourne at 1 am on February 23.
A 28 year old woman Antonia (she asked for her surname not to be used) had attended the venue with her boyfriend and friends.
When she was momentarily alone, the man allegedly put his hand up her skirt from behind.
The man was thrown out of the Espy by security, and Antonia contacted police.
Images from CCTV footage were given to media this week, the alleged victim also went on current affairs TV and the man handed himself in.
“It brings up a lot of trauma for me, but I feel like this time I want to do everything I can to bring this person to justice and hopefully send a message to other women that if I can do it, so can someone else,” Antonia said.
SA’s UMBRELLA REGISRATIONS CLOSING
Registrations for Adelaide’s Umbrella: Winter City Sounds (Friday July 12 – Sunday July 28) close on Wednesday May 1 here.
Among the many events by Music SA are a workshop on creating music videos and digital content, while expressions of interest are open for the Friday July 26 Scouted showcases in Adelaide’s East End.
The 19th annual Helpmann Awards 14 & 15 July Arts Centre Melbourne.
* While investigations continue in the drive-by shooting at Melbourne’s Love Machine nightclub which took the lives of two, the venue’s security company has quit citing the safety of its staff.
* Newcastle Finnegan’s Hotel has applied for its lockout time to be pushed back by 30 minutes
* Darwin’s nightspot Globies on the Mitchell Street entertainment precinct has shuttered after 30 years.
* Blute’s Bar in Fortitude Valley in Brisbane is celebrating its first birthday with a run of shows between Wednesday April 24 and Sunday 28 and specials as $400 cash wins and comedy extravaganza.
* The Mercury noted that developers of the Odeon Theatre and Tattersalls Hotel site in central Hobart need to start work on their project as their planning permit lapses in six months.
* The defunct Rokes in Darwin was fined $2,000 in the Local Court for not being able to provide copies of its staff members’ responsible service of alcohol certificates after three months.
* Iron Bar in Port Douglas in North Queensland has re-opened with strict new safety policies after a series of assaults caused it to close down temporarily. Owner Shane Loughnan introduced a post-10 pm ID scanner, a $10 cover charge and a 1 am lockout. Its wide entertainment format includes live music on Saturdays and the occasional DJ set on Fridays.
* The Australian Hotels Association ACT has opened nominations for its July 22 awards. Categories include best late night entertainment venue.
HELPMANNS LAUD LIZ JONES
Helpmann awards organiser Live Performance Australia has chosen Melbourne’s La Mama Theatre artistic director Liz Jones AO as recipient of its Sue Nattrass Award “for exceptional service to the Australian live performance industry.”
It said that Jones “has been a cornerstone of Melbourne’s independent theatre scene since 1976.
“Her steadfast commitment to the ‘low financial risk, high artistic risk’ ethos has ensured La Mama remains a place where experimental and emerging theatre-makers can try out new ideas and hone their craft.”
GREEN MUSIC AUSTRALIA BYOBOTTLE GOES GLOBAL
Green Music Australia (GMA) is joining forces with Jack Johnson and the Sustainable Concerts Working Group (SCWG) to expand its BYOBottle campaign.
Three years in, BYOBottle has over 100 artist ambassadors travelling plastic bottle free, including Paul Kelly, Missy Higgins, and Midnight Oil, as well as younger acts Birds of Tokyo, Montaigne, Didirri, and All Our Exes Live In Texas.
40+ festival are also committed to the program including WOMADelaide, BIGSOUND, Falls Festival, Woodford, and Splendour in the Grass.
“It’s so exciting to see this campaign take off internationally,” said Berish Bilander, co-CEO of Green Music Australia.
“Just last year, we managed to help Australia’s music scene avoid over 1 million plastic bottles and cups.
“We can expect to see these number multiply as big name acts like Jack Johnson, Bonnie Rait, Ben Harper, Maroon 5, Wilco, and many more join the campaign.
“There’s a growing public awareness of the health and environmental impacts of single use plastic, despite the huge marketing budgets corporations continue to spend on promoting throw away culture. By ditching disposables, the music scene is using its social power to push back, and accelerate the shift to reusable solutions.
“Last year, nearly 2000 people signed our petition to end single-use plastic water bottles in the music scene, and 98% of punters we talked with believe plastic free initiatives are the way to go.
Hussy Hicks, performing at last weekend’s Bluesfest 2019 said, “We don’t go anywhere without our reusable bottles and haven’t for years.
“We also travel everywhere with Keep Cups and do whatever we can to reduce our personal waste.”
ENTRIES OPEN FOR COMMUNITY RADIO AWARDS
Entries have opened for the CBAA Community Radio Awards, covering 30+ categories.
They close on Wednesday, May 29 and winners are revealed at the awards gala dinner on October 26 as part of the CBAA conference in Melbourne.
CEO Jon Bisset says the awards offer an inspiring snapshot of the achievements of stations with programs, initiatives or practices that have increased their capability and improved the services offered to their communities.
“It’s been an exciting year for our sector, with the highest levels of national community radio listenership on record.
“This is a credit to the dedication and hard work of the hundreds of stations around the country and the 25,000+ volunteers who power them.”
* Sylvia Rhone, one of America’s most powerful female label executives, has been promoted from president to chairwoman and CEO of Sony imprint Epic Records.
Under her previous role, she was in charge of the success of Camila Cabello, Travis Scott, Future, 21 Savage, Meghan Trainor and French Montana.
* Ugly Phil, host of Triple M’s Afternoons and My Generation is leaving the station again, this time to head to the UK for a “special project”.
* Regional Arts NSW made a number of new appointments to its board. Lawyer Julie Briggs and one time chair of Eastern Riverina Arts, is its new chair following the end of tenure by Stephen Champion.
Paul Scott-Williams, CEO and artistic director of Goulburn Regional Conservatorium, is deputy chair.
Joining the board are general manager of Northern Rivers Performing Arts (NORPA), Patrick Healy; and course director in Communication and Creative Industries at Charles Sturt University Dr Travis Holland.
Brisbane punk pioneer Brentyn Rollason aka ‘Rollo’ of the ska-punk Blowhard had the reputation for being the glue of the scene, inspiring many bands to get together and play. He died after a heart attack just before taking to the stage at the Brightside. He was 54.
A funding campaign has begun here.
AND A FEW OTHER THINGS …
Personal trainer Javen O’Neill, 25, copped an eight year + jail sentence after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of DJ and artist manager Dad Bod (aka Chris Bradley), 28, at a Byron Bay house party on Christmas Day 2017. The court had heard O’Neill was dosed up on coke and booze and lay into an unprovoked attack, punching him on the head a number of times. Bradley fell to the floor and died.
Sharon Nelson, Prince’s half-sister and one of the six heirs, has accused the Comerica Bank of mismanaging his estate, saying that after three years, “almost nothing” about his estate has been settled.
Beyonce’s daddy Matthew Knowles is producing a musical based on Destiny’s Child, which he will take on tour before heading to Broadway and London’s West End.
One time stripper-turned-Sydney rapper Jacke appeared in court accused of attacking a woman in a pub with a plastic cup.
A 74-year old former prison guard picked up selling pirated DVDs at a community market in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula defended his actions to police saying he was giving poor people access to movies and it was “no big deal”.
Sepultura are banned from playing Lebanon for “devil worship”.
BTS reckon they learned English by watching Friends.
In the meantime a report on SBS said more Australians are learning Korean because of their love of K-Pop, According to Asian studies academic Dr Thomas Baudinette at MacQuarie University, apart from private studies, “We are also seeing students reaching out to self-teach, they are doing lessons on their own, they use the internet to learn, they go to meet other Koreans so they can speak Korean with Korean people, and then maybe they share their English with Korean people.” It’s not just teenagers either, but across all demographics.
A number of historical New Zealand music items go to auction by Auckland auction house Cordy’s in May. They include a Split Enz synthesiser and signed concert passes, a Crowded House stage costume, a La De Das drum kit and Midge Marsden guitars.
Eminem continues to make an impact on pop culture. The latest edition of the Merriam-Webster dictionary added the word “Stan” (after his character) as a superfan of a celebrity or musician.
The all-volunteer CBR NightCrew, which since 2016 have been helping revellers in Canberra’s entertainment precincts with medical and transport aid, have been given a $1.2 million funding boost from the ACT government to secure its good work for a further two years.
Radio Today reported that former triple j host Alex Dyson, in addition to launching a bar and a podcast,is standing for the May 18 federal election in Warrnambool, in country Victoria. “People are a bit disillusioned,” he said. “It’s good to be a voice for all people.”
Heavy metal and comic books team up in Brisbane. Local metal lover, and live music photographer, Aaron Sammut and US comics designer Jesse Hamm have come up with Maurice And The Metal. The series follows a young metal fan in the ‘80s who discovers he has super-powers when he listens to metal music, and a Walkman which has been possessed by the spirit of a Black Sabbath roadie, Maurice. Issue #1 is digitally available at comixology and the physical a limited edition glossy version is available at maurice-and-the-metal.com.
It is launched at Crowbar on Saturday June 1 from 2pm for a Heavy Metal Market day – sponsored by Maurice and The Metal, Young Henrys and Brisbane’s Metal Radio station The Faction – where punters will be able to crate-dig through mountains of heavy metal and punk vinyl provided by Sonic Sherpa, play pinball and arcade machines in Crowbar Church, meet up for a comic book swap meet, headbang to old-school thrash bangers playing all arvo and sip on Maurice and the Met-Ales.
A few eyebrows were raised and lips pursed over one of the events of the Gold Coast’s Bleach Festival. An endurance race in a pool sees swimmers collectively take in 1,000km – the distance between Manus Island and Australia. To make the point, they wore island-shaped hats to depict being refugees Australian crawling from Manus Island to Australia.
With the Latin American market sizzling sales (up 39.5% revenue last year), Warner Music has set up a new office in Lima, Peru, the region’s fastest growing music market. Warner has been putting a footprint in emerging markets China and the Middle East, and launching a JV in Nigeria.