Australian News 1/26

Hevern Joins AEG Ogden

Steve Hevern was appointed manager of technical operations, Asia, with venue operator AEG Ogden, effective February 4.

He will be based at its Sydney office at Acer Arena.

Hevern spent 10 years at the Sydney Entertainment Centre in technical operations management roles, followed by four years at Sydney SuperDome (now Acer Arena, an AEG Ogden-operated venue).

He was then Deputy CEO of Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand, where he oversaw the venue’s completion and operational phases, and more recently was the group director of operations and special projects for arena management for the past two years.


Pedersen At Arena Travel

Frank Pedersen was appointed GM of sales and promotions for Sydney-based Arena Travel & Entertainment (ATE).

Pedersen’s experience includes 18 years in the hospitality and travel industries and six years as business development manager at Star City in Sydney. He also spent time with global aeronautical telecommunications company SITA as a business development manager and with Travel Industries Automated Systems (TIAS) as marketing development manager.

Arena Travel chairman Michael Jacobsen said, "Frank is an extremely accomplished and experienced professional who will bring much industry expertise and new business development talents to ATE. It is an exciting period for us and his appointment will undoubtedly assist the business through further growth and development in the coming years."


Qld Acts Head For Musexpo

Queensland bands The Red Paintings, The Gin Club and Small Mercies head to Los Angeles for MUSEXPO 2008 (April 27-30).

The Qld. government sees the 4-year-old MUSEXPO as a pre-eminent platform to launch its acts overseas and contributes considerable funding as a result into the attendees.

As a result of showcasing there last year, singer/songwriter Pete Murray found two of his tracks used on an American sitcom. The band Transport signed deals with U.S. booking agency TKO, Kindling Music/Sony BMG in Canada, and licensing/sync representation for film, TV and advertising with Sugaroo.


Tony George Heads To Sydney

Tony George, the U.S. recording label executive who ran the Australian Music Office (AMO) in Los Angeles since it was set up two and a half years ago, is moving to Sydney to work at the government export division Austrade starting February 4.

George helped the likes of Wolfmother, Airbourne, Operator Please and John Butler Trio enter the U.S. market through advice and contacts.

But he told Pollstar he will be more effective based in Sydney to advise Aussie acts before they begin tapping the global market. His replacement at the AMO is Pete Cohen, a former Epic A&R who manages Mozella.


Adelaide Guitarfest Posts $1 Million Loss

The inaugural Adelaide International Guitar Festival posted a $1 million loss, Adelaide Festival Centre chief executive Douglas Gautier confirmed.

Projections that five outdoor Elder Park concerts would draw 4,000 each failed (only one reached that number) while sponsorship also failed to hit the target.

The masterclasses, workshops and club shows were well attended, Gautier said, but altogether only 20,000 attended the November 23 to December 2 event. Organisers had hoped for 35,000.

However, the festival will return this November, and also in 2009. The state government puts in $500,000 for the Guitar Festival as a tourist-attracting initiative.


Short Notes

The new owners of the Metro Nightclub in Melbourne changed its name to Palace Theatre, the same name as the St Kilda club they previously ran for 20 years.

They were forced to leave last June after a lengthy legal dispute over the lease with the building’s landlord, the state government.

Talent managers Heath Bradby (Bob Evans, Downsyde, The Silents, Snowman, Jebediah, Karnivool), Juliet John (Schvendes) and Steph Edwardes (Sugar Army) are among those nominated for the Golden WAMi category of Western Australia’s WAMi awards. The category covers executives who have made the most contribution to the local music industry. The results are announced February 21.

Adelaide singer/songwriter Bohyan Ezra Haerewa was jailed for two years for attacking his producer Ryan Wiseman with an iron bar and a hammer. According to testimony, Wiseman texted Haerewa that he was going to put up the material they produced together on the net. Haerewa got the impression that he was losing his copyright, and turned up at Wiseman’s house in Mt. Barker to destroy the recording equipment but attacked him instead.

Melodic Music, a Melbourne music production and artist management company (Kisschasy, Angelas Dish), set up a manufacturing division based in Sydney. It’s aimed at young bands and companies with limited budgets and experience.Ross McPherson, previously at Perth-based promoter Supersonic/Billions Australia relocated to Melbourne to take over as entertainment and business development director at the live music venue the Hi Fi Bar.

The third round of acts for the 19th annual International East Coast Blues & Roots Music Festival sees Ray Davies, Bunny Wailer and the Solomonic Reggaestra, The Cat Empire, John Hiatt, Patty Griffin, The Cruel Sea, Jason Mraz, Damien Dempsey, Ozomatli, Michelle Shocked, Weddings Parties Anything, Lost Dogs (Kasey Chambers’ alter ego band), The Beautiful Girls, True Live, Mamadou Diabate, The McClymonts, Jon Cleary & His Absolute Monster Gentlemen, Fiona Boyes, Jeff Lang, Jake Shimabakuro, Son Veneno, Last Town Chorus and The Angry Tradesmen.