Australian News 2/15

Aussie Autumn Circuit Sizzles

As the Australian touring scene remains buoyant, 10 more tours were announced for the southern autumn circuit.

Harry Connick Jr. is returning for Michael Coppel Presents for four theatre dates, March 23-30.

Frontier Touring is bringing James Blunt for his third visit in two years, stopping at eight arenas April 29 to May 9.

KMW Productions has Whitesnake for four theatre shows Marc 26-31, and Korn for four arena shows April 5-22.

Perennial favourite Henry Rollins is returning for yet another speaking tour for Feel Presents, doing nine shows April 11-30.


Maybe Next Time

Velvet Revolver axed their five-city February 15-20 tour through KMW Productions to allow singer Scott Weiland to undergo rehab treatment.

The R&B "Get Served" tour – with Omaron, Marques Houston and Avant – was canceled for the second time.

Rescheduled from November 2007 because of "personal problems within the party," it was axed early February at the 11th hour. This time promoters cited artist manager apprehension of "security problems," but press reports suggested unrenewed visas were the problem.


Levy For Late-Night Venues?

A levy for nightclubs and live venues that want to stay open late? That’s one of the ideas being considered by the Queensland state government to address violence inside and outside clubs.

The levy would range from $2,000 to $20,000 a year, depending on the size of the venue and how late it wants to remain open.

Meantime, other cities are discussing other strategies. Darwin clubbers might have to have their ID scanned and photo taken before being allowed in. That prospect has aroused concerns of how long such data will remain with the clubs.

Canberra is tossing around the possibility of a 3 a.m. lockout (the club stays in business but no new patrons are allowed in), more police patrols, and on-the-spot fines for hotel (bar) owners who serve alcohol to drunken patrons.


Short Notes

Adelaide world music fest Womadelaide won a legal battle against a U.S.-based cybersquatter.

Those who punched in and left out the ‘au’ (denoting an Australian site) were sent to a porn site selling DVDs. Festival organisers Arts Projects Australia shot off a stern lawyer’s letter and got the domain name transferred to the festival.

Eighteen Aussie acts confirmed to showcase at South By Southwest are Paul Kelly, The Vines, The Stems, Tourettes, The Chevelles, Jedd Hughes, Chris Pickering, Xno Barbequex, Naked On The Vague and Justice Yeldham.

Playing the famous Aussie BBQ in the car park are The Stems, Paul Kelly, Something With Numbers, The Panics, Old Man River, Whitley, Yves Klein Blue and Ash Grunwald.

Entrepreneur Glenn Wheatley’s attempt to shift the last six months of his 15-month jail stint for tax evasion to home detention got support from People Against Lenient Sentencing. "It’s not as if he would be sitting around drinking claret all day," said a representative on the radio.

Added to V Fest’s bill are Modest Mouse, Hot Hot Heat, Roisin Murphy, The Rakes, Cut Copy and Glass Candy. V will make four huge outdoor stops, in Sydney, Gold Coast, Melbourne and Perth March 29 to April 6. Already on the bill are Smashing Pumpkins, Queens of the Stone Age, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Air.

Hard rock band Airbourne, making strong inroads on American rock radio, are also creating a buzz in the U.K. On its first tour there through February, tickets were being sold for £120 (US$233) on eBay.

A 21-year-old man is to face Adelaide Magistrates Court on charges of stealing a ticket to Big Day Out from a patron at knifepoint on the way to the concert. The patron gave cops a description and the alleged offender was arrested as he tried to enter. A police check discovered he had outstanding warrants.