Australian News 8/2

Gudinski To Keynote At Big Sound

Michael Gudinski, chairman of Mushroom Group of Companies and managing director of Frontier Touring Company, will deliver a keynote speech at the Big Sound Music Industry Summit in Brisbane September 10-12.

Thirty global execs are scheduled to speak, including Ted Gardner – of Larrikin Management and co-founder of Lollapolooza – and Jordan Berliant of Los Angeles’ Collective Music Group.

Qld. Acts Find Success

The Queensland Government revealed that the three acts it funded to showcase at Musexpo in Los Angeles in late April have signed deals.

Rock band Small Mercies secured U.S management with Alan Wolmark of New York-based CEC Management, with booking representation from Joe Berman of Los Angeles-based Sumo Music.

Art-rockers The Red Paintings are working with California-based Lippman Entertainment on a U.S. tour for late 2008.

Gin Club plans to tour the U.K. and Europe this year.

The government will work with organizers of U.K.’s The Great Escape festival to launch its acts to the U.K. and European markets.


Helpmanns Winners

The Womadelaide Foundation’s Womadelaide was named best contemporary music festival, while Crowded House took the honours for best Australian contemporary concert after touring for Frontier Touring Company.

Bjork’s Sydney Opera House performance in January, presented by Sydney Festival, was voted best international concert.

The Helpmanns, held at the Lyric Theatre in Sydney July 27, are an Australian version of the Tonys and organised by the Live Performance Australia association.


Mercury Closes On Downbeat

Brisbane’s Mercury nightclub is set for the wrecking ball. As a farewell, owner Lou Manetti planned an all-ages disco, serving soft drinks and bottled water.

But news spread like wildfire via the Internet, and by 7 p.m., the club was overflowing with 1,700 clubbers. Police and emergency services, who claimed some safety requirements were not adhered to, closed it down at 10 p.m..

Four were arrested; a 15-year old was hospitalized after having too much to drink.


Short Notes

While Delta Goodrem will spend the rest of 2008 trying to break the U.S. market, she will return downunder in January for a seven-date theatre run January 9 to February 3 for Dainty Consolidated Entertainment.

Blue Murder has teamed Slipknot and Machine Head for five arena stops October 24-30.Crowded House was booked as headliner for Sydney’s Homebake, scheduled for December 6 at the Domain. Aussies with a global presence on the bill include Sneaky Sound System, The Vines, Cut Copy, Kasey Chambers and Gabriella Cilmi. New Zealand’s Headless Chickens are reuniting for the show.

Strokes member Albert Hammond Jr. canceled his solo tour two days before it was to begin July 30. Frontier Touring Company said he lost his voice from a throat infection and will reschedule for late 2008.

Ticket sales for the Sydney Lyric Theatre season of "The Phantom Of The Opera" hit the 200,000 mark.

Sydney manager Troy Barrott (Dappled Cities Fly, Old Man River, The Seabellies) launched his new company, Hub Artists Services.


PEA For Persistence

Aussie charity Planet Earth Artist (PEA) was formed in January 2007 after guitarist and music store owner Nev Johnston went on a vacation to the Indonesian island of Bali and discovered that many talented musicians had no instruments.

Johnston returned to Sydney and got suppliers to donate drum kits and 40 guitars.

In late July he returned to Bali with the booty. Recipient bands like Joni Agung & the Double T and Superman is Dead played a thank-you show.