Australian News 4/13

Fremantle Lauds Bon Scott

The Fremantle Arts Centre is holding the Bon Scott Project May 17 to June 29 to honour the late AC/DC singer.

It is a multi-faceted event that sees 19 artists celebrate and critique Scott’s legacy, letters and even his fashion style.

It will be done through painting, sculpture, drawing, collage photography, installation, video work and an online blog containing anecdotes and exclusives by die-hard fan and Sydney artist Lucas Ihlein.

International readers who want to add their Scott stories can e-mail Ihlein at [email protected].


April Foos

Two New Zealand DJs on Auckland FM station The Rock may be axed after an April Fool’s stunt.

They announced Foo Fighters were playing an acoustic gig at local venue Powerstation. They expected 50 people to turn up, and they’d instead play them a Foos CD.

But the station heard up to 2,000 fans planned to cut work and fly in from all over NZ. They canceled the sham concert.


Perth Club Owner Investigated?

Craig Hutchinson, part-owner of the Claremont Hotel and a stakeholder of the Leederville, faces investigation and disciplinary action by the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor.

This is after someone sent pictures of him to the Sunday Times newspaper standing on a bar doing a layback – where drinkers lie across bars and have alcohol poured down their throats – with a young woman.

The Liquor dept. frowns upon this as irresponsible liquor promotion. Hutchinson could be removed as a company director or manager.

He says the photos are not of him, but if they were, they’re from a long time ago.


Move To Raise Arts Awareness

A coalition of arts companies, commercial producers, associations and schools launched an 18-month campaign to raise awareness about the economic benefits of the arts and entertainment industry.

The collective is called We All Play A Part, aiming to get the same level of philanthropy, investment, sponsorship and funding that sports get.

The group estimates the arts industry currently contributes about $8 billion to the economy every year.


Jacobsen Opens ‘Hidden Door’

Theatrical promoter and venue operator Michael Jacobsen has used his huge list of contacts to launch a new company called Hidden Door.

It provides corporations with money-can’t-buy experiences to keep up morale and boost company loyalty.

Jacobsen says such experiences include going backstage to a concert or sporting event; being a fire fighter; writing and recording a song in AC/DC’s studio; having a dinner cooked by a celebrity chef; being a DJ for the night or becoming a crew member on the next Sydney to Hobart yacht race.


Hard Rock NZ Shows Made Loss

An ambitious two-day hard rock spectacle in Wellington, New Zealand, called Rock2Wgtn lost NZ$750,000, confirmed its veteran promoter Phil Sprey of C-Capital.

The shows, held over the Easter weekend at Westpac Stadium, featured Ozzy Osbourne, KISS, Alice Cooper and Poison as well as local metal acts.

Sprey told an NZ newspaper that he needed 54,000 over the two nights to break even but got 50,000. He blamed this on a combination of Easter trading laws that left the city quiet, lack of enough hotels to cater for fans coming from outside the city, and last-minute costs for the special effects and freight.

Of the $5.5 million allocated for artist fees, KISS reportedly took $1 million.

All creditors will be paid, Sprey insisted, but he won’t draw a salary this year.


Mars Volta, Bach Returning

The Mars Volta is returning to Australia and New Zealand for Frontier Touring Company, set for five shows June 16-27.

Sebastian Bach, who opened for Guns N’ Roses recently, will return for eight theatre dates May 17-30 for Lennard Promotions.

Chris Rock will make his first visit downunder for Dainty Consolidated Group doing two shows each at Sydney’s State Theatre and Melbourne’s Arts Centre August 4-11.

Sun Kil Moon will return for his second visit July 24-27, through Mobile Industries and Troy Horse Australia.


Short Notes

The Queensland government has consulted with the family of the late rocker Billy Thorpe and his longtime manager Michael Chugg to set up a $10,000 annual scholarship for emerging Queensland musicians.

In addition to a cash component, it will provide for the recipient to record some tracks and get advice from Chugg.

Sony BMG Music Entertainment Australia is expected to announce its new touring division within the month.

Sydney-based The Harbour Agency added Brisbane band Small Mercies to its roster. Melbourne’s tour company Destroy All Lines has added fast-rising Perth band Elora Danan to its booking agency.

Byron Bay’s Splendour In The Grass August 2-3 appointed online entertainment publisher Sound Alliance to handle its online advertising rights. Sound Alliance publishes music and lifestyle Web sites, and

The Australian Business Arts Foundation, set up by the Australian government to foster more corporate support for the arts, posted a loss of $70,015 for the year ending June 30, 2007.

The Queensland government plans a crackdown on venues that charge excessively for tap water. Under rules introduced in 2006, venues should give water for free.

But if they choose to charge, a glass of tap water cannot be more than a glass of soft drink. But the government has been supplied with anecdotal evidence that some venues are charging up to $5 for a glass or small bottle of tap water.

Licensees may be fined up to $7500, or $37,500 for a corporation.

Thousands of fans attending the Queens of the Stone Age show in Hobart were evacuated from Hobart City Hall when it filled with smoke just before QOTSA went on. The culprit was a stage light that overheated, melting its cover. The fire department fixed the problem, and the concert continued after 20 minutes.