Australian News Briefs 3/9

Check out the latest batch of news from downunder.


New Festival For Sunshine Coast

Caloundra council, on the Sunshine Coast, has voted to allocate $150,000 from its annual budget to look into the idea of putting together a music festival with international and Aussie acts.

The council estimates that such an event could inject $4 million in tourism into the area in the first year if tickets were priced at $70 a head, if it drew at least 7,000 fans and if they obtained corporate backing.


Bon Scott Fundraiser Raises $250,000

A star-studded concert in West Australia to raise $100,000 for a bronze statue of AC/DC’s late singer Bon Scott was a resounding success.

It drew 10,000 fans to Claremont Showground to see The Angels, Rose Tattoo, Screaming Jets and six other acts.

AC/DC’s original singer Dave Evans flew in from Los Angeles and returned to Perth for his first gig since 1974.

He joined the Party Boys for a rendition of the first AC/DC single "Can I Sit Next To You Girl?"

The event raised $250,000. The extra money will be donated to Support Act Ltd., which helps musicians in need.


Grant McLennan Fellowship

The Queensland government announced the $20,000 Grant McLennan Fellowship, open to songwriters from across the state.

McLennan, a member of the Go-Betweens, died May 2006 in his sleep.

The fellowship will allow the recipient to live in London, New York or Berlin to soak in new cultures and expand their writing skills.


Country Fest Brings $113M To Tamworth

The annual country music festival held in January brings more than $113 million to the NSW country music capital of Tamworth, according to figures from the local tourist board.

The festival drew 75,000 over the 10 days, with each fan spending about $1,500 during the stay.

More than 33 percent of the audience came from other states, 22 percent had visited the festival more than seven times.


Jet, Keys Return

Jet, which was part of the Big Day Out caravan in January, will do its own shows through the southern autumn. The guitar rockers are set for a combination of theatres, festivals and colleges with seven dates May 25 to June 9.

Billions Australia and Love Police bring back The Black Keys for the band’s fifth visit, taking in 11 club shows May 5-19.

Soundworks Touring has God Forbid set for five Oz dates ending March 24.

Michael Chugg Entertainment teamed Ireland’s Flogging Molly and New York’s Gogol Bordello for three club stops April 5-10.

Alaskan melodic metal band 36 Crazyfists, which toured last year as guests of Atreyu, will return to headline. The band is set for five dates May 5-9.

Brooklyn-based The Press has teamed up with Aussie act Sickboy for a week’s run set for mid-March. It proved to be a reunion of sorts, as Sickboy singer Mark Spence played kit for The Press several years ago when they were based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Polish death thrashers Vader will go for clubs on the East Coast in late April, and German thrashers Sodom return in June for five club shows.

U.K.’s James Morrison, who did club dates in Sydney and Melbourne, is set to return with his full band for Frontier Touring. He will do four theatre dates in mid-May.


 Short Notes

Beck and the New York Dolls were added to the inaugural Australian V Festival shows in Sydney (March 31) and the Gold Coast (April 1). It will be the Dolls’ first visit downunder.

and the were added to the inaugural Australian V Festival shows in Sydney (March 31) and the Gold Coast (April 1). It will be the Dolls’ first visit downunder.

Other V additions were French music collective Nouvelle Vague, the U.K.’s New Young Pony Club, and Sydney outfits The Valentinos and The Ghosts.

Rogue Traders, who will tour the U.K. in May with Girls Aloud, has signed a U.S. record deal with Universal Music.

U.S. actress Juliette Lewis, here with the band The Licks opening for +44, has been talking to Oz distributors to release her album here, and plans to bring the band back to tour later this year.

Black Eyed Peas’ Fergie will host the MTV Australian Video Music Awards at Sydney’s Acer Arena April 29. Other guests and presenters announced include Jared Leto of 30 Seconds To Mars and Kirstin Cavalleri of the "Laguna Beach" TV show.

Hundreds of clubbers were evacuated from the Tank nightclub in Sydney when a burst in a water main flooded the lower seven floors of the Macquarie Bank building.

Girl Band arrived in Mumbai, India, to record the title track of famed Indian director Sajid Khan’s movie "Heyy Babyy" and shoot a video for it.

The video was filmed at Film City in six exotic sets erected at a cost of $150,000. The $10 million movie includes scenes shot in the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sydney, and due out mid-2007.

Melbourne band Borne continues to have more doors open for them internationally since their iTunes championed album "Loss of Signal" entered the U.S. digital champs. Not only are they being approached by U.S. labels, but two major U.S. booking agencies made overtures.

Children Collide was added to U.K.’s Great Escape Festival May 17 to 19.