Australian News Briefs 2/15

Dance Promoter Riddell Found Guilty

Sydney dance promoter Andrew Philip Riddell, who runs dance promotions company Loop Domain, was found guilty in the NSW District Court over his role in organising a $92 million ecstasy shipment.

The 48-year-old will be sentenced later in the year.

The charges go back to police raids in April 2003 on his offices, an import warehouse, a store and five homes around Sydney.

Five of Riddell’s associates are already in jail over the charges, ranging from five- to 16-year sentences. If police can prove Riddell was the ringleader, he could get up to 20 years.


A Day On The Green Turns 100

Roundhouse Entertainment’s A Day On The Green winery show was set to celebrate its 100th show February 17.

The gig, at Spray Farm in Victoria, drew 8,000 people to see singer/songwriters Tim Finn, Pete Murray, Sarah Blasko and a team-up by You Am I’s Tim Rogers and Beasts of Bourbon’s Tex Perkins.

Roundhouse’s Michael and Anthea Newton started A Day On The Green in January 2001. The next summer they did five shows. This year’s ‘06-’07 summer season has 24. The event yielded a live CD through Liberation Music, and TV specials featuring Chris Isaak and Jamie Cullum.


Aussie Invasion Continues

While Wolfmother celebrates its Grammy win over System of A Down, Tool, Buckcherry, and Nine Inch Nails in the best hard rock performance category, other Aussie acts continue to make their mark.

Electro-popsters Rogue Traders open for U.K. teen phenomenon Girls Aloud’s U.K. arena tour in May.

Sunshine Coast hard rock band Jael is relocating to the U.S. after being signed to Florida-based production company Image 3.

The Cat Empire, which released its made-in-Cuba album Two Shoes in the U.S. February 6, is currently on its fifth Stateside tour.


Short Notes

Sydney-based veteran promoter Michael Chugg was awarded "International Talent Buyer/Promoter of the Year" by the Country Music Association. The CMA honours those outside the United States who made significant contributions to country music globally.

Sony BMG signing Anthony Callea and his former manager Wendy Richards of Melbourne-based Karma Music Management settled their breach of contract stoush out of court. Justice Patricia Bergin ordered that the terms remain confidential.

Richards had wanted $750,000 when she took the former "American Idol" runner to court, alleging he cut short their management deal to sign with Peppermint Blue.

Beyoncé’s debut solo tour this April for Michael Coppel Presents has been capped at four dates.

Chugg Entertainment has Nine Inch Nails for three intimate shows May 7-13; Reel Big Fish and Guttermouth for five club dates March 29 to April 2; Suicidal Tendencies for two dates in late February; Florida’s New Found Glory for five all-ages club dates April 5-11; and Keith Urban on his first tour here in two years for five arena shows May 11-22.

Lila Downs makes her first trip with club and festival dates mid-March.

Feel Presents announced seven club and festival Lemonheads shows for March 30 to April 8.

Crosby, Stills & Nash’s February tour through Australia and New Zealand for Andrew McManus Presents was postponed to December due to David Crosby’s ill health.

In between auditioning a drummer for Crowded House’s reunion world tour, Neil Finn played at U.S. drummer Wally Ingram’s benefit concert at Los Angeles’ Alex Theatre, and then teamed with Jimmy Barnes at a U.K. school before 250 to raise money for cerebral palsy charity SCOPE.

Former U.K. record label exec Fenella Davidson has joined Frontier Touring’s Sydney operations.

Pete Townshend apparently wants Wolfmother to open for some of the Who’s European dates.

Scissor Sisters got on so well with Sneaky Sound System on their Aussie dates that they’ve asked SSS to join them for their U.S. tour.

Three security guys and a lighting technician at Perth nightclub The Church were wounded in a scuffle after a group of patrons resented being told to stop smoking inside the venue.