Australian News 2/1

Management Signings

Melbourne jazz/hip-hop outfit True Live has signed with Penny Weber’s Jam Packed Entertainment, joining a roster with dance producer Josh Abrahams, female MC Paris Wells and rock band Quadrophonic. The group has songs licensed to the new mini-series "Underbelly" and movie "Verite" and is negotiating to play through Japan, the U.S. and Europe.

Danial Caneva’s Majorbox Music has taken over management of Adelaide-based Former Child Stars, which is about to hit the road showcasing its new material to record labels in Melbourne and Sydney.

Sarah Pearce’s MMAPP inked a two-year international deal with Poland band MotherNight. The act recently signed to Locomotive Records in the States and has its debut album out in February.


‘Jersey Boys’ Heads Downunder

"Jersey Boys," the Tony-winning musical about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons that drew 2.4 million patrons to Broadway, heads downunder through Rodney Rigby and Paul Dainty.

Rigby says he first saw the show two weeks after it started its Broadway run and was determined to bring it to Australia.

"It was a bold and dazzling piece of theatre that audiences literally stood up halfway through act one and stood up halfway through act two," he said.

The Australian production will open at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre in March 2009.


Woodruff On Australia Day Honours List

Veteran music manager and publisher John Woodruff was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Australia Day Honours List, announced January 28.

It was for his contribution to the music industry, through discovering, managing or publishing such acts as Savage Garden, Baby Animals, The Angels, Evermore and Diesel. He also played a role mentoring young talent by helping to set up the Music Managers Forum.

Last year Woodruff was inducted into the Australian Record Industry Association Hall of Fame.

Among others honoured were platinum-selling country singer Lee Kernaghan, who was made Australian of the year for raising $1 million for drought-hit farming communities through his tours.

Given the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) were Bob and Anne Steel, whose annual Elvis Festival brings 8,000 fans to the small New South Wales town of Parkes and injected funds into its economy for the past 15 years. Also awarded was Adelaide arts administrator Deidre Williams for her battle to increase government funding for artists and support for indigenous performers.

Honoured for their contribution to Australian country music were veteran performer and writer Lindsay Butler, who recorded 20 albums in a 40-year career, and songwriters and performers Bill Gleeson and Hugo Fitz-Herbet.


Belvoir Amphitheatre Bans Tykes

The Belvoir Amphitheatre in Swan Valley in Western Australia banned children younger than 10 starting February 1, citing fears of the effect of amplified music on their hearing.

Belvoir’s management will also give future promoters of shows the option of choosing whether to have kids older than 10 there.

In December, fans at a Missy Higgins open-air show at the Belvoir had to return picnic blankets, rugs, fold-up chairs and picnic baskets because they were a "security risk."


Big Day Out Site Secure

The Big Day Out festival can stay at its Parklands, Queensland, site until 2012, Parklands Trust chairman Jim Callaghan confirmed.

A new $1.2 billion hospital will be completed at the site by that year. There was speculation about the festival’s fate after the state government annexed the Parklands Greyhound Club next door to make way for the hospital.

The government agreed the Parklands Trust will not be moved in the near future. Hosting the festival has made the Trust $1.2 million for the past 15 years. This year the festival drew 53,000 to the site.


Sydney Festival Hits Record Takings

This year’s Sydney Festival was its most successful financially. The three-week event took in $6.7 million, breaking last year’s record $5.7 million.

The festival, in its 32nd year, featured 200 acts and attracted 200,000 spectators. Box office sales doubled since Fergus Linehan took over as director three years ago, with next year’s event being his last.


Short Notes

Artist manager Glenn Wheatley has applied to finish off the last five months of his 15-month jail sentence for tax evasion in home detention.Bjork had to bow out of her set at Big Day Out’s Sydney show because her show at the Opera House two days earlier reportedly left her with inflamed vocal chords.Eve plays her first shows in Australia March 30 to April 6.Mum returns March 15-19 for four club dates for Handsome Tours.

Canada’s Corb Lund returns for Entertainment Edge with his band The Hurtin’ Albertans, with the first three of his eight dates (March 19-28) teaming with his buddy Californian country-rocker Gary Allan.

Feel Presents has the Bellrays back for six festival and theatre shows March 14 to 23.

Former Hobart nightclub owner Colin John Latham has denied in Hobart Magistrates Court that he raped a teenage girl last September.

The Australian Hoteliers Association president, Mick Burns, confirmed he is holding discussions with authorities about the possibility of financing a computerised central system that would allow Darwin’s nightclubs to keep out patrons who had been ejected from any of its venues.

The AHA recently introduced the 3 a.m. lockout to Darwin clubs, and only soft drinks are served between 3 a.m and 5 a.m. The AHA is also discussing the possibility of more public transport to get clubbers out of the city when the music stops.Michael Buble’s visit in June has been a success for Dainty Consolidated Entertainment: Dainty has just added three more arena dates.

About 25,000 Christian music fans attended New Zealand’s four-day Parachute festival at Mystery Creek in the Waikato near Hamilton to hear 100 bands, including Switchfoot.

Meanwhile, Nashville-based Aussie Christian band The Newsboys are headlining RezFest 2008 at Point Cook Homestead near Melbourne over Easter.

Perth-based singer/songwriter Samantha Jade has signed with Los Angeles-based entertainment and lifestyle PR firm, Celebrity Nightlife Publicity, Inc. Jade is recording her debut album for Jive Records.