The Brag Media
News October 27, 2015

TMN SPECIAL REPORT: 20 years in the Australian Music Business – 1995

TMN celebrates two decades in this ever-shifting music industry by taking a look back at the key moments – both triumphant and tumultuous – in the Australian music business.

With the Big Day Out launching in 1992 and expanding to a national touring festival by its third year, it was becoming more and more apparent that there was a healthy appetite for alternative-leaning music festivals. Enter Michael Gudinski, Michael Chugg and Michael Coppel, who launched the three- city Alternative Nation, which featured an enviable lineup: Faith No More, Lou Reed, Nine Inch Nails, Tool, Violent Femmes, Ice-T, Ween, The Flaming Lips and more. Unfortunately a run of bad luck marred the festival: original headliners Red Hot Chili Peppers and Stone Temple Pilots unceremoniously withdrew at short notice, ticket sales stalled, alcohol licensing issues arose, and all three cities suffered from extreme weather conditions. Speaking to Gudinski in 2011, he spoke of the ill-fated jaunt with the freshness of a recently-jilted lover.

“I think it’s one of the worst experiences we’ve ever had, it was really a frustration for us – we [Chugg and Gudinski] did it together with Michael Coppel, we had a massive line-up, it was our entry [into the market], and it not only rained, it poured! We had three massive shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane and it poured every night. One of our greatest errors was not to have a go the next year and keep Alternative Nation going, because that really was our Big Day Out, and still, one of the frustrations from Frontier’s point of view is that we haven’t really come up with a continuing festival. I think [ending] Alternative Nation was a great mistake. We should have kept going with it.”

Happily for Gudinski, as of 2014, Frontier controls the popular dance festival Future Music – firmly cementing it on the Australian festival circuit.

Our year on year reports are published courtesy of the Australian Music Industry Quarterly magazine. For your free copy click here

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