The Brag Media
News May 3, 2024

Read Maggie Collins’ ‘Michael’s Rule’ Speech In Full From the 2024 AAM Awards

Senior Journalist, B2B
Read Maggie Collins’ ‘Michael’s Rule’ Speech In Full From the 2024 AAM Awards

Australia’s music industry isn’t dying, but it’s feeling the pain of 1,000 cuts.

Everything from the cost-of-living crisis to the array of ways we can spend our limited cash is putting pressure on artists and their support teams. 

Don’t believe it? The year-end ARIA Charts is handy source material. And the collapse of The Zoo and a swathe of music festivals, including the 2024 edition of Splendour In the Grass, are an urgent reminder. 

The Association of Artist Managers has one solution — an industry code that would see at least one local act on the bill for major international tours of these parts. 

Named “Michael’s Rule,” after the late, great artist manager Michael McMartin, the campaign was pitched Wednesday at the 2024 AAM Awards, and publicly unveiled Friday morning, May 3. 

Maggie Collins, executive director of the AAM, had the honours of sharing “Michael’s Rule” with a full house at Sydney’s Crowbar.

Read her speech in full below. 

Maggie Collins

We’ve got a lot of problems to fix right now, managers know because they have responsibilities in every single facet of the industry, but if there’s one overarching issue that managers have been flagging time and time again, it is this: we need more Australians loving more Australian music.

We have a major discoverability problem and if we don’t solve this issue, which is both economical and cultural, then we’re essentially fixing the kink in the hose without realising the tap isn’t turned on.

We do have one solution today, and it’s in the name of one of our founding fathers, the legendary Australian manager, Michael McMartin.

It’s call Michael’s Rule.

At last year’s AAM Awards, Michael was presented with the Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement. In his speech that date, Michael called for the reinstatement of a policy for which he and others had campaign for in earlier decades, which made it compulsory for at least one local artist to be the support act on every international tour that visits Australia.

In Michael’s memory, the organisation is calling on this code, which we’re now calling Michael’s Rule, to be reinstated either through Australian promoters’ voluntary governance or through federal government legislation on visa requirements.

Had Michael’s rule existed for major international tours such as Taylor Swift, for example, how many more fans could we have introduced to a local artist and started creating our own megastar of the future.

This change would be one tangible and easily achievable solution to the problem of discoverability. And the idea is coming from those who live and breathe innovation and strategic excellence – Australian managers.


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