Australian News 10/11

Asian Promoters Address Indie Acts

The message from a number of Asian promoters to Australian managers and acts at the Big Sound conference in Brisbane was clear – Queensland is the gateway to the Asian territories, and the opportunities are there.

Speaking at the October 3-5 event on the live scene were Frank Takeshita, GM of Japanese promoter Creativeman Productions, whose five festivals include Summer Sonic, which attracts 200,000 fans; Jason Magnus, president of Chinese management and booking company Rock For China, which runs the Beijing Pop Festival; and Oum Pradutt, managing director of Indian event management company Phase 1 Events.

Michael Chugg, managing director of Sydney-based Chugg Entertainment, spoke of the ups and downs of his career.

He also outlined the international concert circuit and urged young promoters, "Keep chasing your dreams and never lose your passion."

More than 400 delegates attended the sold-out conference, which also looked at ways for indie labels to expand their income streams and enter the digital world.


Hutchence Memorial

Some young Sydney and Melbourne musicians will come together to mark the 10th anniversary of the death of INXS singer Michael Hutchence with a memorial show.

Called "The Loved One," it is held at the Manning Bar st Sydney University

November 24.

It is put together by two fans, Ange Perou, who is fan club president of the Hutchence memorial Web site (set up on October 1999 and endorsed by Hutchence’s father Kel), and Karen Rose.

Performers will include Noiseworks’ Steve Balbi, Choirboys’ Mark Gable, Mandy Kane MojoRising and Genevieve Little.

All monies raised in memory of Hutchence goes to Father Riley’s Youth Off The Streets charity organisation and scholarship program, which helps young people pursue their dreams in education and training, visual or performing arts, sport, trade skills and music.


‘Priscilla’ To U.K.

Back Row Productions’ Australian musical staging of "Priscilla Queen Of The Desert" will go to the U.K. next year in a 50/50 partnership with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group.

The $6.5 million show has been a smash in Australia. Its 11-month run in Sydney grossed $40 million.

It has now started its Melbourne season at the Regent.


Three For Rock Walk

Keith Urban and Savage Garden join the Go-Betweens as the first three to be honoured in Brisbane’s rock ‘n’ roll Walk of Fame in the Brunswick Street Mall next month.

Their names were chosen from an online poll in which 1,000 people cast their votes. Powderfinger, The Saints and Bee Gees will also be honoured.


Gibb To Tour?

Sydney-based promoter Kevin Jacobsen is negotiating with Barry Gibb to do a nostalgia-themed tour that would be filmed for a documentary to be screened on television in Australia.

It’ll be called "Full Circle," showing Gibb returning to the sites of his beginnings in Queensland and Sydney with brothers Robin and Maurice.

The Gibbs left Australia in the mid-1960s for London, and then moved to Miami.

Gibb has always said Australia has a place in his heart because its tough audiences gave the brothers their backbone.


Folk Festival Bans Youngsters

Organisers of Mackay (Qld.) folk festival Springfest banned anyone younger than 25 from attending the event – along with the Wintermoon festival, which they also run.

Drunken yahoos turned up to Springfest and ruined it for the 500 fans by playing doof-doof dance music at full volume from the back of a couple of trucks for three days until the cops were called.

Co-organiser Chris Cann said underage drinking has been a problem, but they tried to sort it out by asking teenagers to camp with their parents and by imploring parents not to "dump" their kids at the festival gates.

Now all under-25s need permission from organisers first.


Short Notes

Hot off the heels of a sold-out U.K. tour, The Living End have switched to London booking agency Primary Talent International, working with Dave Chumbley and Marnie Dunstan for all future tours through Europe and Asia.

Nashville-based guitar maestro Tommy Emmanuel returns home for Christmas and is doing a run of his Solo Acoustic Rock Show dates December 28 to January 20 for Rob Potts’ Entertainment Edge. The first date, at Wrest Point in Hobart, sees him team up with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

The 2,400 fans at Marilyn Manson’s show at the Auckland Town Hall in New Zealand were evacuated for 10 minutes after a fire alarm went off four songs into the set. Smoke machines onstage were said to be the culprits.The Cat Empire set a new record at Sydney’s Metro Theatre by performing eight shows over seven days there October 14-20. The Empire Horns trumpeter Ross Irwin will set his own record that week – playing in both the support band (The Bamboos) and The Cat Empire, clocking up 16 shows over 7 days.

Rumours are that V Fest will go to four cities next year, as opposed to its inaugural two.Rickie-Lee Coulter and manager Karen-Lee Goody parted company after less than healthy sales for her new album from the one-time "Australian Idol" finalist.

Last year’s Harbourlife dance party in Sydney sold out in four hours, according to promoter Fuzzy. This year the November 24 event sold out in seconds, with 40,000 people pressing the "buy" button at the stroke of midnight for the 5,000-capacity event. The Mean Fiddler in Sydney’s Rouse Hill won two awards at the 2007 Australian Hotels Association National Awards for Excellence held in Adelaide. One was for Best Hotel, the second for Best Entertainment Venue.