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Industrial Strength November 9, 2017

Industrial Strength: March 21

Senior Journalist, B2B

Cover image: Logies guest performer (and Ed Sheeran BFF) James Blunt


Eight years after DAB+ digital radio broadcasts began in Australia, Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) announced that starting with this week, it will release eight DAB+ digital surveys a year, with the first dropping this morning. There are 45 such stations in the five metro cities with a wide range of formats.

CRA also released projections by PWC that by 2012, 60% of new vehicles sold in Australia will be fitted with digital radio. That would be 4 million cars. The current figure, as of December 2016, is 862,426.

Read the results of the first DAB+ survey here.


James Blunt will perform at the 59th TV Week Logie Awards in Melbourne on April 23, to be telecast by Channel 9. His fifth album The Afterlove has just been released in this country, and he joins his buddy Ed Sheeran on a North American tour from mid-June.

Last year’s event drew 1.119 million overnight metro viewers, the third-ranking show of the night, and highest non-news show. The red carpet telecast was fourth with 1.060 million.


As the Adelaide Festival drew to a close on the weekend, organisers said it was the most successful in its 57-year history. It took in $4.08 million at the box office, 44% rise (or over $1.2 million) from last year.

It was also a 25% expansion from the festival’s previous record which was set in 1992 with $3.1 million.

More than 284,000 people (up 7% from last year) attended the 20-day festival, which featured three world and 17 Australian premieres, and 180 sold-out performances.


This year’s Adelaide Fringe generated record ticket sales of 655,541 – up 8.5% on last year – worth a total of $16.2 million. The biggest selling event was Cirque Africa. It started slow but word of mouth soon saw it play three shows a day, all sold out, and its tent in Hindmarsh Square increase capacity from 400 to 500.

The three major hubs – the Garden of Unearthly ­Delights, Gluttony and Royal Croquet Club – accounted for 57% of ticket sales. Smaller venues also performed well with 43%.


In the Billboard & Clio’s Top TV Commercials chart, powered by Shazam, for February, Sia was at #5 with Move Your Body, used in ads for Lexus and Man and Machine.

Empire of the Sun’s Walking On A Dream was at #7 for its use in Honda’s The Dreamer’s Fantasy.


Presenters for the 7th CMC Music Awards this week include Little Big Town (who’ll also be banging out their new single Better Man), Adam Brand, Troy Cassar-Daley (pictured), Travis Collins, The McClymonts, Nashville’s Charles Esten making his first visit to Australia, Tyler Farr, Adam Harvey, James Blundell, Caitlyn Shadbolt, Christie Lamb and Real Housewives of Sydney’s Melissa Tkautz.

The awards are broadcast live from the Star Gold Coast on Foxtel’s CMC channel on Thursday March 23 at 8.30 pm AEDT. They are also available to stream instantly on Foxtel Play.


The Australian Radio Network’s parent company APN News & Media intends to change its name, it confirmed in its annual report. The plan, to reflect the “unique radio, outdoor and digital nature of the Group,” will be announced at its AGM in May.


A rift has emerged within the ranks of the Gympie Music Muster, which draws between 18,000 to 23,000 to the Amamoor Creek State Forest in Queensland.

Seven Queensland reported that Executive Director of two years, David Gibson, had resigned saying that his working relationship with the festival board was untenable. It was accepted by Chairman Tony Nolan who said it was “business as usual”.

A board meeting today (March 21) will decide where the festival goes from here. Seven noted that no acts have been booked for this winter’s event. Gympie Muster injects $8 million in direct and non-direct spending into the Gympie economy, and a further $7 million of media publicity.


Twenty-seven community brass and concert bands across the state will share in $27,000 in NSW Government funding to reach new audiences and further develop their performance skills and musicianship.

Arts NSW Executive Director Michael Brealey said the funding will support activities including workshops, concerts, sister band relationships and development of promotional, production and IT skills.

20 of them are from regional areas. Brealey emphasised that aside from pulling communities together, these bands also helped young musicians cut their teeth.


JOY94.9 FM, Australia’s only LGBTI radio station, will be moving this year. It will be located in the new Pride Centre, the first in Australia, which is being set up in the Melbourne bayside suburb of St. Kilda. The City of Port Phillip is offering the site on a freehold basis in a deal valued at $13 million.

JOY94.9 was the first LGBTI community organisation to express interest in the Pride Centre when it was announced in 2016. It subsequently worked with the Dept. of Equality, the Pride Centre Board and other LGBTI organisations to review site and community requirements to help guide the selection process.

Station President Melinda Rich acknowledged, “We have been lucky to have support from the City of Melbourne for over seven years with the JOY studios and office space occupying an entire floor in City Village on Bourke St. The proposed Pride Centre will help JOY as we continue to grow and expand our reach.”


The promoter of an illegal beach doof south of Byron Bay was fined $8000 and had a conviction placed against his name after pleading guilty at the Byron Bay Local Court.

Another man was convicted and fined $750 after having pleaded guilty to having attended the event.

The unapproved event which drew 200 was held at Tallow Beach last November within the National Park, which Byron Shire described as an environmentally sensitive area with coastal wetlands, littoral rainforests, saltmarsh and contains threated fauna and flora.

Police shut down the rave and confiscated DJ equipment after complaints from residents.


Queensland’s first philanthropic group for contemporary music, The Saints, will help peak music association QMusic grow the state’s music sector. The opening night itself raised $10,000.

The opening, held at Woolloongabba, saw live sets from AYLA, who won the Billy Thorpe Scholarship in 2015, and The Creases’ Joe Agius who took out the BOQ People’s Choice Award for Most Promising Male Songwriter at last year’s Qld Music Awards.

At midnight high profile didgeridoo player William Barton gave the crowd an impromptu performance.


LA-based Australian artist and producer Kronic (Luke Calleja) wrote and co-produced two tracks on US rapper Pitbull’s new 10th album Climate Change.

Jennifer Lopez guests on Sexy Body; meanwhile, Dedicated, which features R. Kelly & Austin Mahone, starts with the producer blowing over the top of a Coke bottle and recording it into his iPhone to create a new sound.

“Working with Pitbull was a truly unique and inspiring experience,” says Kronic. “I was able to spend time with him and get to really know him before I stepped into the studio.

“Developing that relationship enabled me to write something that was truly suited to him.”

Meantime, Push, Kronic’s 2015 collaboration with Far East Movement & Savage was used in the trailer for the eighth instalment of Fast And Furious, and was premiered to over 100 million people during this year’s Super Bowl.

Aside from working on projects for Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, Jason Derulo and more, Kronic has been hard at work on his debut album.


Six new songs are being written between March and June by a number of Adelaide creatives who were recipients of the Jon Lemon Artist in Residence grants.

Work is progressing at the new purpose-built “SongSpace” songwriting rooms at St Paul’s Creative Centre.

  • Mario Spate of BadCop is collaborating on 12 new tracks with local and national names as Montaigne (pictured), L.K. McKay, MANE and Heaps Good Friends.
  • Kaurna Cronin is working on an album with Timberwolf and upcoming producer Kiah Gossner.
  • Nakatomi are writing their debut album with producers JP Fung, Luke Million and Nick O’Connor.
  • Michael Ellingford is collaborating with multi-instrumentalist Toby Brandenburg for a hip hop album with social justice themes.
  • Songwriter Tom West is penning pop songs with Gossner and Lucinda Johnson to pitch to publishers.

Tim Whitt is working with 11 Adelaide vocalists, musicians and producers “to create a varied body of work that combines ‘alternative’ electronic music production and live instrumentation with sound design and field recordings that highlight the sonic elements of Adelaide city itself.”

The program was named after SA-born Jon Lemon who has gone on to become a top live sound engineer in the world, working with Sia, Christina Aguilera, Lana Del Rey and Nine Inch Nails. It is funded by Arts South Australia through the Music Development Office.


Molly Meldrum will host 1000 Greatest Songs of All Time over the Easter Long Weekend, for MAX and stream on Foxtel Play.

The countdown begins from 12pm Friday April 14 to the evening of Monday April 17. It is compiled using viewer votes, feedback from industry experts, chart ratings and song popularity.


Auckland is applying to become a UNESCO City of Music. The application has to be made by the Mayor by June, and will know if it’s successful in October.

Auckland has a strong pop, rock, R&B, hip hop, classical and Pacifica element. It’s been taking tips from Adelaide, which became a music city in recent years.

Dunedin could also be a music city contender, what with the world-renowned Flying Nun/ Dunedin sound. But it’s already a UNESCO City of Literature.


  • Libby Widdup (nee Sanders) was the first full-time female presenter on Radio 2NC, now known as 1233 ABC Newcastle, in the 1980s. Her morning show developed a reputation for being intelligent and wide ranging about local issues. She was also President of the Newcastle Contemporary Jazz Club for almost 10 years. She was diagnosed with cancer twenty years ago,
  • Philadelphia-born Lincoln Abbott brought to Australia his strong love for vocal harmonising and barbershop quartets. He formed The Dreamworld Quartet in 1981 and Banana Blenders. He died at 88 after some years of ill-health.
  • Phil Garland was an integral figure in New Zealand’s folk scene, who also spent a lot of time in Australia. He ran the Christchurch Folk Centre and Christchurch Folk Music Club. he was a folklorist and recorded 18 albums. Three won the folk “tui” of the year. He was also awarded a Queen’s Service Medal in 2014 for his services to folk music. Garland was 75.


Of the 21 international residencies offered by the Australia Council to build networks and skills, is Victorian singer-songwriter Larissa Tandy. She gets to spend three months in Nashville to be mentored by Aussie expat producer Mark Moffatt to develop her songwriting, find new contacts and collaborate with other writers and performers in that city.


Bliss n Esochanged the content of the Friend Like You video they were shooting when stuntman Johann Ofner(pictured) was killed, from a gangsta mood to a tribute of the popular Gold Coast martial arts expert.

Since his death in January, the band pushed back the release of new music to next month in respect, dedicated a song to him at each show of their tour at the time, and recently played a tribute show on the Gold Coast which raised $40,000 for Ofner’s six-year-old daughter Kyarna.

Some of the footage in the new video incorporates the tribute show. The band posted, “It was incredibly special to share the night with Johann’s friends and family, it will have an important place in our hearts and minds forever.”


  • Will a push by fans for a second Elton John concert in Mackay be successful? In the meantime, extra tickets for the Cairns show went to the market when space for extra seats was made after the staging at Cazaly’s Stadium was adjusted. With 19,000 tickets sold, Elton fans with more limited budgets are also being offered $70 tickets for seats with restricted views, which were originally pulled out of the system for that reason.
  • Has Danny Gilbert, Managing Partner of Sydney law firm Gilbert + Tobin, emerged as one of the ­preferred candidates to replace Jim Spigelman as $167,900-a-year ABC Chairman, as The Australian reported?
  • New Zealand rapper Scribe, a frequent visitor to Australia, announced he will be in rehab in Auckland for three months.
  • Victorian electro-house duo Teddy Cream have already made a mark on social media, with their Smash Mouth bootleg achieved over a million plays. In the latest a new Facebook clip shot at the Goodlife festival clocked up 7 million views and over 200 000 Likes and 100 000 shares in 24 hours. A new single out on Friday on Ministry of Sound’s Hussle Recordings, is a dance take on Sonia Dada’s Lover (You Don’t Treat Me No Good). The duo recently completed their fourth UK & Ireland tour which saw them play to sold out venues across 18 dates.
  • A Perth couple had no hard decisions to make when they discovered that their wedding date coincided with a John Farnham concert. They abandoned the reception to turn up at the show, the bride still in her dress, and get a selfie with Farnesie bellowing in the background. But, good bloke that he is, he brought them up onstage and serenaded them with his ‘80s hit Touch Of Paradise.The bride added a PS to this. Her dad has passed and the groom’s father couldn’t attend because he’s going through chemo. She said, “He sang to us and then he took us both into his arms and did what we needed our fathers to do. He embraced us with love and compassion.”
  • Singer/actress Christine Anu is a cast member in a new ABC iView six-part absurdist comedy series Kiki & Kitty. Kiki is the lead role, played by show creator Nakkiah Lui, and Kitty is her vagina. Anu plays Kiki’s mother.


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