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Industrial Strength March 1, 2019

Industrial Strength: This week in the music biz

Industrial Strength: This week in the music biz


Five Aussie names were among the 120 artists added to the UK’s showcase and conference The Great Escape staged May 9—11 in Brighton.

These new additions bring the Australian tally to 23.

The latest five are, alphabetically:

A.Swayze & The Ghosts: Hobart garage punk band who’ve just released a single ‘Suddenly’ through Rough Trade Records.

Alex Lahey:  going into a storm of activity, with the release of The Best Of Luck Club set for a May 17 release through Nicky Boy Records and Dead Oceans, followed up with six shows in Australia in June through Handsome Tours.

Confidence Man: currently touring through the US and UK.

Retiree: three-piece from Melbourne and Sydney, who are already touring the UK around the time of The Great Escape.

The Dawn of May – esoteric piano player, who after two shows with Bastille in Australia, joins them for their UK tour.


The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) is holding a fund-raiser for its Unite for the Night: campaign.

As reported in TMN, the NTIA did the sums and worked out that current policies are losing the NSW night-time economy $16 billion a year.

Its chair Michael Rodrigues said, “The state of our night-time economy has rapidly become a top line issue in the NSW election.

“Sydney and NSWs’ nightlife is slowly being strangled by endless red tape. 176 venues gone already and 100s more under pressure.

“This is the night fun fights back.”

The $50 a head concert will be held on March 7 at the Metro Theatre, tix at the Metro page.

Josh Pyke, Kav Temperley, Gordi and I Know Leopard will perform alongside comedians Matt Okine, Tom Ballard, Mel Buttle and Cameron James.

The show is produced by the team from Julian Morrow’s Giant Dwarf.

The Unite for the Night campaign is backed by hospitality and entertainment venues; festivals; retail operators; arts and culture organisations from across NSW.

It is the first time these groups have banded together to put these issues on the political agenda.

The NTIA will write to the major parties to seek their policies on the night-time economy and publish a scorecard ahead of the NSW election as a guide to voters.


IFPI, the London-based organisation that represents the recorded music industry worldwide, named Drake as the world’s best-selling recording artist of 2018.

The Canadian rapper is the only artist to ever hold this title multiple times, with his first being in 2016.

Released in June 2018, Drake’s 25-track double album Scorpion broke multiple global records in its first week of release.

It was the first album to reach one billion streams across all platforms worldwide.

According to Apple Music, Scorpion reached number one in 92 countries.

Prior to its release, album track ‘God’s Plan’, released in April, broke first-day streaming records on Spotify and Apple with over 14 million streams.

The IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award reflects an act’s worldwide success across digital and physical music formats, from streams to vinyl.

Top 10 global recording artists of 2018



Ed Sheeran

Post Malone



Imagine Dragons

Ariana Grande

Lady Gaga

Bruno Mars

Previous Winners:

2017 – Ed Sheeran

2016 – Drake

2015 – Adele

2014 – Taylor Swift

2013 – One Direction


NSW deputy state coroner Harriet Grahame confirmed at a Lidcombe Coroners Court directions hearing yesterday that a coronial inquest into suspected drug overdose deaths at NSW music festivals will be held over two weeks starting from July 8.

The length of the inquiry will depend on the availability of the victims’ families.

At this point, it will look at the deaths of Alex Ross-King, 19 (after FOMO), Josh Tam, 22 (Lost Paradise), Callum Brosnan, 19 (Knockout Games of Destiny), and Joseph Pham, 23, and Diana Nguyen, 21 (Defqon.1).


Entries for WAM’s Song of the Year competition is currently open to WA songwriters, bands and producers until 5pm Monday, March 25.

Presented by Act-Belong-Commit there are $45,000 in prizes across 17 categories.

Category prizes include $500 and a free day of recording with engineers and producers.

Grand prize includes:$3,000 cash, a national media servicing campaign, vinyl pressing, a radio ad campaign, a poster run and the opportunity for a publishing & sync licensing deal, a dinner, a hotel stay, a Spotify subscription and a photo shoot.

More info:



Lady Gaga’s all-time tour earnings have passed the half billion mark, up to $512.3 million, Billboard reported.

She hit the mark via her current Las Vegas residency.

She is one of 30 artists to do so, one of 20 solo artists, and is only the fifth woman to hit the milestone, says Billboard.

She follows Madonna ($1.3 billion), Celine Dion ($1 billion), Taylor Swift ($935 million), and Beyoncé ($767 million).

P!nk’s career total stands at $499.1 million, and will join the list as her Beautiful Trauma World Tour continues through 2019.


This year’s Adelaide Festival, which begins today for a 17-day run, looks like it will set a new box office attendance.

More than 51,150 tickets have been sold for 70 music, theatre, opera, dance, film and visual arts events – with the box office already reaching $4.25 million – 715,580 more than opening day in 2018.

Among the sell-outs was Tim Minchin’s Back show.

About 24% of sales were to patrons outside South Australia.


Guitar maker Fender has launched a new initiative called Fender Next, whereby its will help 50 emerging artists push forward with their careers.

The Australians include Tash Sultana, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, Trophy Eyes, Last Dinosaurs and Castlecomer.

Fender Next will have activations at a number of festivals in Australia as well as in other countries.


Empire Touring has a new festival for Queensland, which evokes the spirit f the great ‘90s festivals like Big Day Out and Homebake.

Spring Loaded features Spiderbait, Something for Kate, Mark Seymour & The Undertow, Jebediah, Custard, Frenzal Rhomb, Tumbleweed and Screamfeeder.

It’s on Saturday, June 22 at Sandstone Point Hotel


Businesses run by millennials tend to advertise more because they understand the importance of advertising and constant engagement.

According to the business website The Manifest, up to 95% of their businesses advertise, compared to Generation X (92%) and Baby Boomers (70%).

However, where it advertises is different from where the older age group place their marketing bucks.

Aside from digital, they also try traditional mediums as TV – but that’s probably because they’re still experimenting with what works for them.


Melbourne-based Wild Thing Presents signed Ballarat alt-rock prog outfit Ebonivory for management and booking.

The band’s vocalist Charlie Powlett said that Wild Thing Presents has a good track record with acts from that genre.

“From a humble beginning as high-school mates playing music together in regional Victoria, we can’t wait to take Ebonivory international with Wild Thing.”

They join a roster that includes Caligula’s Horse, Circles, The Ocean, City Of Souls and AlithiA.


6 billion views on YouTube for Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s ‘Despacito’.

122,000 overnight metros watched the repeat of the Oscars on GEM channel in Australia.

29.6 million Americans watched the Oscars. 12% up from last year.

12 minutes of additional footage for a relaunched A Star Is Born.

79 Red Hot Chili Pepper fans thrown out of a NSW winery show.

13 episodes of China Got Talent being developed by Fremantle, Syco Entertainment and Hunan TV.

5.3 billion tweets associated with K-Pop were sent in 2018.


Wollongong’s Farmer and the Owl have emphasised that their show goes ahead as scheduled on Saturday, March 2 at McCabe Park.

The festival is not on the NSW government’s Higher Risk list. But directors explain how they’ve been stressed and rapidly aged in the last few weeks.

“Three weeks out from their event (that has taken months of meticulous planning) tell them their current license approval is no longer valid and they need to re-apply for a new license.

“Classify them under the new license as a High-Risk event but do not explain why or how this will impact their event

“One and a half weeks out from their event continue to not reveal what their High-Risk classifications means or how it is going to affect them or their operating budget

“One week out from their event send them an email at 10pm on a Friday night to tell them they are no longer classified as a High-Risk event and that their original license approval has been reinstated.”


Two documentaries, on the lives of David Crosby (Byrds, Crosby Still Nash) and folk-country singer-songwriter John Prine have picked up Australian distribution.

However exact dates are not known yet.

David Crosby: Remember My Name and John Prine: Hello In There were both acquired by Sony Pictures Classics.

The Crosby doco, produced by Cameron Crowe, comes to Australia as part of a distribution deal including North America, The Middle East, Scandinavia, India, South Africa, Benelux, Turkey, New Zealand, Asia and Latin America.

Prine’s is a worldwide deal.


iHeartMedia has bought Athens, Greece online audio technology company Radiojar Information Technology.

It will incorporate Radiojar’s cloud-based technology to produce new audio experiences and allow independent podcasters to broadcast from anywhere in the world.

“Because we lead in all audio categories and understand the entire landscape, from broadcast radio to streaming radio to podcasts, we are always looking for next-generation technologies and services that can complement the overall audio ecosystem,” said Rich Bressler president, COO and CFO for iHeartMedia.


In court documents, Nicky Minaj has denied she infringed the copyright of Tracy Chapman.

Chapman sued last year, saying Minaj’s unreleased track, ‘Sorry’ used the vocals and melody of‘Baby Can I Hold You’  to the point it is recognised as a Chapman song.

In Federal Court documents. Minaj says she is protected by the ‘Doctrine of Fair Use’..


This morning, New Zealand radio jocks Darren Masters, Wayne Browning and Steven Johnson will be attempting to break the Guinness World Record (category: Longest marathon for a radio music show DJ team) to raise money for the Child Cancer Foundation.

The current record is 106.50 hours by a DJ team in Dubai in 2018.

The Kiwis want to stay on for 144 hours or six days.


NOVA Entertainment has introduced an Amazon Alexa skill which will allow listeners to interact with a live radio broadcast via voice commands.

They can ask Nova the identity of the song and singer, the show they’re listening to, and advice the station they “like” a song.


The Phoenix in Canberra has shut its doors for the second time in two years.

But this time it’s going dark only temporarily.

It has been waiting for an insurance payment dating back to a fire that ripped through Sydney Building in February 2014 and badly damaged the venue and led to $250,000 worth of repairs.

Owners said, “We have been repeatedly advised that it would clear by this week, but as it has not we, unfortunately, have to shut until it does.”

Ballarat’s Miners Tavern, which showcases live music and includes the Element nightclub., has seemingly closed.

Last month it went into voluntary administration.


One of One is hosting the third One of One Breakfast in Melbourne and, for the first time, a simultaneous event in Sydney to celebrate International Women’s Day on Friday, March 8.

The breakfast events bring together Australian music industry professionals, and connects a group of women who are at the beginning of their careers and are eager to learn.

The organisation said, “This unique mentoring experience places our future leaders’ side by side with CEOs, general managers, musicians, booking agents, artists, managers, engineers from all sectors of the industry, and includes government support to bring in guests from regional areas.”

The events will feature keynote presentations, musical performances, announcements and networking and mentorship opportunities throughout the morning.

The Melbourne event is at The Esplanade Hotel in St Kilda with a Cantonese inspired menu provided by the Mya Tiger kitchen.

Taking place at the recently opened Bea Restaurant, in Barangaroo House, will be the inaugural Sydney event.

The International Women’s Day Breakfast events are supported by major sponsors the Mushroom Group, APRA AMCOS, Unified Music Group, Inertia Music Group, Universal Music, and contributing partners Sony Music, Bolster, Creative Victoria, ARIA, PPCA, Hotel Esplanade, Solotel, Lyrical Road, Chugg Entertainment, The Push, MusicNSW, VMDO, Bakehouse Studios, White Sky, EMC, Levi’s, Blundstone, Look Out Kid, Ditto Music, Sonos, Oztix, The Orchard, and Select Music.


Three people were charged with supplying drugs at Sydney’s Secret Garden festival, which drew 4,000 patrons.

They include a 22-year-old man from Darlington allegedly with 32 LSD tablets, an MDMA capsule and three tablets believed to contain dexamphetamine.

Two women, aged 27 and 32, were also charged for supplying drugs, including MDMA and cocaine.

All three have been granted bail and appear in court on March 26.

22 patrons were busted for possession.


Aussie promoter David Roy Williams remembers Monkees member Peter Tork with great fondness.

Williams toured Tork and Micky Dolenz in 2016, and is bringing Dolenz and Mike Nesmith in June this year.

He said,  “Peter toured Australia numerous times, most recently with The Monkees 50th anniversary show in 2016.

“His immense joy in performing was self-evident to all who were so fortunate to attend one of those concerts. We, and all Australian Monkees fans, will miss Peter greatly”

Tork’s last ever live Monkees performance was in Australia with Dolenz at Star Gold Coast.

The show was made more memorable with an appearance by Wrecking Crew member Louie Shelton performing the riff he made famous on ‘Last Train To Clarksville’ and the You Bring The Summer dancers from Japan.


Attendance at NSW cultural venues and events has increased by 22.9% since 2014-15, according to a report this morning from Create NSW.

This exceeded the state’s target.

One of 30 priorities by the NSW government was to increase by 15% by 2019.

“The Dept. of Planning and Environment, through Create NSW, was the lead agency for delivering on this priority and it is pleasing to note that we have exceeded the 15% target,” it stated.

In 2017/18, the last year of reporting for the priority, attendance at select NSW cultural venues and events was 16.3 million.


One of BMG Production Music (BMGPM)’s UK executives

Ciaran McNeaney will, as part of an internal global promotion, oversee its new music production in Australia, as well as in the UK, US, France, Germany and The Netherlands.

Following its merger of various divisions including ticketing, e-commerce and technology, TEG has appointed Greg Willis its new chief technology officer.

Nick Wokes is head of digital audio Sydney for NOVA Entertainment.

Charlie Phillips appointed to lead Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) in the role of chief operating officer. He was director of legal and business affairs.

Changes at Aussie publisher Concrete Playground s see Natalie Ratcliffe (ex-Time Out) as operations director, Whitney Higginson (ex-Pedestrian) and Belle Stewart as senior business managers, Jane Ryan, former editor at DrinkUp London, is project manager, Tahlia Phillips promoted to commercial director, and Jarrod Kris as partnerships director.

Just weeks after winding up as executive producer of The Kyle and Jackie O Show, Bruno Bouchet is named the managing director of the King Kyle business.


Singer-songwriter Tash Sultana, Michael Gudinski and late producer/engineer Tony Cohen have been acknowledged for their achievements by the Australian Music Vault by being included in the current Wild Ones display.


Maybe a strange combination at first glance, but united by social justice and political thought, it made perfect sense that Russia’s Pussy Riot invited Yothu Yindi to join them onstage at their Adelaide Fringe gig in the RCC Fringe venue at the University of Adelaide.

DZ Deathrays will donate all profits from their show in Townsville at the Dalrymple Hotel on Friday, March 8 to North Queensland flood relief.

And they’re off! Ukraine’s the first country to pull out of this year’s Eurovision. Reason: singer Maruv who won the right to represent the country also performs in Russia, and this brought her into a dispute with Ukraine’s national public broadcaster.

The first show of US band The Internet’s Australian tour, at Perth Festival tonight, had to be cancelled after the band’s flight from Osaka “had a malfunction”, according to their management, and there was no other flight to get them in. The tour now begins in Melbourne on Sunday night.

An Irish tourist, in Australia for two weeks, got picked up by a sniffer dog at Ultra Sydney and found with 10 MDMA capsules. But David Crean, 32, convinced the Parramatta Local Court that the 10 were for his own use and he needed ten because Australian drugs were “not strong enough”. He was let off without a conviction. However, a 21-year-old Sydneysider who told cops he found a bag of drugs on the ground at the festival wasn’t so lucky.

Sydney singer-songwriter Ed Wells has just issued ‘1983’ came home to play some shows to promote the record. But he’s had to zip back to the UK:  the 24-year old is studying law there.

Adelaide Mix 102.3 radio host Mark Soderstrom won’t know for a few months if he set a new Guinness World Record for the longest marathon on a fairground/theme park attraction. But his 52-hour stint at the Garden of Unearthly Delights raised over $225,000 for Flinders Foundation’s new Cancer Wellness Centre.

With his album Awake out on April 26, singer-songwriter Mick Hart heads back to Europe for dates in April before returning for shows in May.

Liquidators of Adelaide’s collapsed original Royal Croquet Club are taking action against a one-time director for the return of dozens of tools and the repayment of a $20,000 loan.

February 27 marked the 40th anniversary of the screening of the first episode of Australian prison TV series Prisoner.  The National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra hosted a cast reunion of sorts – and singer-songwriter Allan Caswell was on hand to perform the Prisoner theme song he wrote, ‘On The Inside’.

There’s a push to make breakdancing an official Olympics sport.

Olivia Newton-John is selling her Byron Bay getaway, in Ballina, $5.5 million after almost 40 years. She built the French chateau-inspired house for a quiet time after Grease made her a much sought after superstar.

One of the events of the Adelaide Fringe is Yabarra, held on the banks of the River Torrens and billed as “an interactive cultural landscape, sharing stories of Kaurna country along Tarndaparri”. However the Advertiser has discovered that it’s attracting many couples wanting to shag, and production staff are busy with pails of cold water to spring them apart. Well, not really, but you get the drift.


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