Australian News 12/6

Changing NSW’s Live Scene

New liquor laws being debated in the New South Wales parliament would impact heavily on the live sector.

Under the new laws, it would be simpler and easier to start music venues. Noise complaints would consider who was there first, the venue or the complainant.

Special licenses would be given to venues providing entertainment is the primary business and the entertainer is physically in the business.

The NSW Government has also announced new criteria for distribution of funds to live music from gambling credits from NSW registered clubs.


Discussing Ticket Headaches

The fourth Ticketing Professionals Conference, February 13-15 in Melbourne’s Arts Centre, will look at whether Ticketing & CRM is a box office headache or a marriage made in heaven.

Industry experts include: Craig McMaster, CEO, The Showbiz Group; Vicki Allpress, Manager Marketing & CRM, THE EDGE Auckland; Helen Bartle, National Adviser Audience and Marketing, Creative New Zealand; and CRM expert Adrian Payne, Professor of Marketing, UNSW.


V Festival Returns

V Fest returns in the spring to visit more Australian cities.

This time, the bill includes Smashing Pumpkins, Duran Duran, Queens of the Stone Age, Mika, The Jesus & Mary Chain, The Presets, Air, CSS, The Tough Alliance and Plug In City.

The tour stops at Centennial Park in Sydney March 29, Avica Resort in Gold Coast March 30; Melbourne Showgrounds in Melbourne April 5; and Esplanade in Perth April 6.


Ticketmaster Goes Mobile

Ticketmaster is launching a new ticket delivery service, MobileTicket, at V Festival’s four shows in March-April.

Virgin Mobile customers can receive their tickets on their mobile phone within 24 hours of purchase.

"The unique barcode and access control system means it is secure and deters counterfeiting or fraudulent use," said Matt Huxley, COO Ticketmaster Australia and New Zealand.

MobileTicket follows the roll-out of Ticketmaster’s TicketFast online ticket delivery service, where tickets can be printed at home.

In venues offering TicketFast, 70 percent of customers prefer the convenient e-mail distribution as their ticket delivery method.


Backstreets, Maroon 5, Matchbox Confirmed

Andrew McManus Presents confirmed three arena shows February 20-23 for Backstreet Boys.

Frontier Touring Company is bringing back Maroon 5 for their largest shows here, with an initial six dates March 28 to April 6. Support comes from U.S. artists OneRepublic, Brandi Carlile and Ry Cuming.

Michael Coppel Presents is bringing Matchbox Twenty for six dates April 10-21. This is the act’s fifth visit; in the past eight years, Matchbox and singer Rob Thomas have sold 250,000 tix downunder.

Dutch violinist André Rieu announced Sydney and Melbourne dates for November 2008 but is looking at other cities. The show includes a replica of the Castle of Schronbrunn, ice rinks, two working fountains, a golden ballroom and hundreds of dancers.


Perth Stadium May Top $1B

Master Builders’ Association director of economics Gavin Forster warned that spiraling costs could bring the price of Perth’s new stadium to $1 billion.

It was estimated to cost $850 million if work began December 2008 and ends in four years.

But the site is still being debated upon. This indecision meant that $300 million needed from the Commonwealth government was not promised during the run-up to recent elections.

Now the state government must woo private investors.


Australia Loves Bublé

Michael Bublé broke in Australia before his native Canada, and got his first chart-topping album downunder.

He even met his current beau, Emily Blunt, when attending local TV awards the Logies in 2005.

The love affair continues as the crooner announced his return in June through Dainty Consolidated Entertainment.

He sold out four stadiums in one hour; two Sydney dates at the Entertainment Centre took a few minutes.


Century Group Party

Sydney venue operators The Century Group threw a first birthday bash for 150 members of the music, theatre and film community.

Century runs the Enmore Theatre, the music/comedy venue The Metro and the experimental hotbed The Factory. It is regarded for taking financial risks on experimental works.


Womadelaide Unveils 2008 Lineup

A 40-piece percussion ensemble and Mexican harp player Victor Valdes performed at the Promethean Theatre as the 2008 Womadelaide lineup was announced.

Event director Ian Scobie emphasised the festival’s diversity, with 400 artists from 20 countries playing March 7-9 at Adelaide’s Botanic Park.

They include Mavis Staples, Brazilian samba band Clube do Balanco, John Butler Trio, Japan’s Joji Hirota Trio, Farafina from Burkina Faso, pop gypsy fusion group Beirut and Israeli singer David D’Or.


Short Notes

Added to the 19th East Coast Blues & Roots Music Festival in Byron Bay were John Fogerty, KT Tunstall, London Community Gospel Choir, Xavier Rudd, G Love & Special Sauce, Jools Holland & His Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, Keb’ Mo’, Seasick Steve, Ian Brown, Lee Ritenour, Lior, Charlie Musselwhite Band, Brandi Carlile, The Audreys, John Hammond, JJ Grey & Mofro, The Bellrays, Galactic and Jeff Martin.

Former Midnight Oil singer Peter Garrett has become the arts minister after the recent elections.

After five and a half years as booker at Sydney’s Trading Post Agency and then New World Artists, Tom Taaffe is relocating to the U.K. in mid-December.Brett Sheehy, who re-established the Adelaide Festival last year, was appointed artistic director of the Melbourne International Arts Festival for 2009 and 2010.

Manager and promoter Glenn Wheatley abandoned his appeal against the length of his 15-month sentence for tax fraud after realising there was a possibility the term could be extended.The Mint Chicks will farewell their native New Zealand with five shows December 16-21 before moving to Portland, Ore.

Takings at clubs and pubs in South Australia dropped 17 percent since indoor smoking bans came into effect November 1, according to Clubs SA. It had expected a 12 percent drop.