Australian News 11/8

Buddy, Urban, Crowes For Bluesfest

The first round of artists announced for the 19th Annual International East Coast Blues & Roots Music Festival include Buddy Guy, Sinead O’Connor, Keith Urban, and The Black Crowes.

Also announced were John Butler Trio, Wilco, Eskimo Joe, Mavis Staples, Maceo Parker, Stanley Clarke / George Duke Project, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Don McLean, Loudon Wainwright III, Vusi Mahlasela, Ruthie Foster, Ron Sexsmith, Gotye, Clare Bowditch, Angus and Julia Stone, Music Maker Foundation featuring Beverly "Guitar" Watkins, Albert White, Pura Fe, Eddie Tigner, Tommy Brown, Little Joe Burton, and Dr. G.B. Burt.

The flagship festival takes place in Byron Bay at its new site in Belongil Fields March 20-24 over the Easter-long weekend.

Satellite events featuring many of the acts will also take place at The West Coast Blues & Roots Music Festival (March 15-16) and The Point Nepean Music Festival (March 22-23), The Tasmanian Blues & Roots Festival, Botanical (March 23) and The New Zealand Blues & Roots Festival on the Coromandel Peninsula (March 22).


Social Distortion Quits Soundwave

Social Distortion pulled out of the Soundwave festival, scheduled to play five open air shows February 23 to March 3.

The band posted a note on its site, "Due to circumstances beyond our control, Social Distortion is regrettably unable to perform at Soundwave Festival 2008 in Australia and must officially withdraw from the bill. We apologize for any inconvenience to our Australian fans and hope to make it there as soon as possible."

The tour continues with The Offspring, Killswitch Engage, Incubus, Coheed And Cambia and others.


No More Smoke Clouds

Nightclubs and pubs in South Australia are now banned from having punters light up inside.

Effective October 31, smoking patrons face a $95 fine. Employers and business operators can be fined $1,250.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Minister Gail Gago said four of every five SA adults are non-smokers, and that a recent survey in the state found that 86 percent support smoke-free bars and 88 percent support smoke-free gaming rooms.

South Australia became the seventh state or territory to ban indoor light-ups. But not so in the rugged Northern Territory.

The territory government turned down calls from health officials for similar bans. The health officials cited statistics that one in five Territorians die of smoking-related ailments.


Short Notes

Paul Dainty’s Dainty Consolidated Entertainment confirmed Bon Jovi for three outdoor shows January 19-25 on the rock band’s first visit downunder since 1995. Also booked is a return visit by k.d. lang after her sellout tour in 2005.

Lang’s seven dates April 12-28 will be a mix of theatre, winery and outdoor shows.

Kanye West, Calvin Harris, Cypress Hill, the Rapture and Thievery Corporation are among those confirmed for the Good Vibrations festival. It makes four stops February 9-17.

The U.K.’s All Tomorrow’s Parties and Sydney-based Feel Presents are joining forces to present the "Don’t Look Back" series. A success in the U.K. and U.S., the shows feature acts doing entire live renditions of one of their classic albums. The Australian series will involve Died Pretty, Sonic Youth and Ed Kuepper.

Wilco is set to do seven theatre/festival dates March 18-27, singer-songwriter Steve Poltz is set to return in late December for nine shows, and Billions Australia confirmed U.S. songwriter Sufjan Stevens’ first visit to these shores with five theatre shows in January.