Australian News 1/24

Big Day Out Seeks Home


The Big Day Out festival has to look for a new venue in Western Australia for its Feb. 1 stop there.

The festival, which stops in six cities, played the Claremont Showgrounds for the past seven years.
A bill with Neil Young, Arctic Monkeys, The Living End, The Prodigy and Sneaky Sound System was expected to draw a crowd of 38,000.

But in a surprising move, Claremont council turned down its application.

The reason was that two weeks earlier, it had approved V Festival on April 5.

Council’s policy on the venue is it can host only one music event each year of a certain size.

Claremont CEO Arthur Kyron said V Festival applied first. BDO has appealed.

Meanwhile, Big Day Out in New Zealand banned press credentials for Duncan Greive, editor of Real Groove.

Greive who covered the event for the past seven years, last year wrote that BDO’s standards, especially its sound, were slipping.


Live Boom Set For Sydney

A live entertainment boom is expected in Sydney.
New laws debuting Dec. 15 slashed red tape for clubs, pubs, restaurants and cafes wanting to feature small-scale live shows.

They no longer have to apply for expensive development applications or changes in building structures.


Raggamuffin Forced To Move

The seven-city Raggamuffin reggaefest’s Byron Bay stop on Jan. 26 was forced to move to Kingsford Smith Park in nearby Ballina.

The show features Ziggy Marley, Eddy Grant, Ali Campbell, Shaggy, Arrested Development, Inner Circle and Bonjah.

Promoter Andrew McManus Presents became irritated by local council’s apprehension at extra traffic coming into a town already swelled by summer tourists.

He pulled his application in early December when it asked him for an engineer’s survey at a high school car park costing $16,000 and a $28,000 traffic management report.

Last year’s inaugural event drew 3,000 and pumped $300,000 into the local economy. This year’s event was expected to attract 4,000 fans.

The Red Devils Rugby League Club licensee George Petrou estimates the club will lose $30,000 in expected bar revenue, while the local school uses car park fees to buy equipment.


Sydney Vendor Arrested Again

New South Wales police arrested a man accused of selling thousands of pirated music and movies CDs at the Prestons Grand Bazaar markets in Sydney.

He is already facing similar charges from a raid in April.

In an unrelated incident, Australian Federal Police charged a New Zealand man arrested at Sydney airport over an international music piracy ring. He had just arrived from Auckland and faced court in Sydney Jan. 21.

Police say he was a key figure in distributing pirated music CDs to businesses in New Zealand, Western Australia and Queensland.


Short Notes

Artist managers Catherine Haridy and Dan Hennessy were among 21 of 50 speakers announced for the ninth AustralAsian Music Business Conference. Organizer Phil Tripp is locking in “one of the biggest talent scouts in the U.S.” as a keynote speaker for the Aug. 20-22 event at Sydney’s Acer Arena.

Dutch violinist Andre Rieu received his 100th platinum award downunder. His “Live In Australia” DVD sold 300,000 copies seven days after release – earning it an unprecedented 20 platinum awards. The same week, his Waltzing Matilda album, released in May 2008, was also certified platinum.

Neil Finn and Malian singer-songwriter Rokia Traore will headline Womadelaide. It will run March 6-8 at Adelaide’s Botanic Park, showcasing 380 artists from 30 countries. Finn last performed at the event with his band Crowded House in 1993.

Acts including Not Drowning Waving and Blackeyed Susans Trio were to play a tribute to Melbourne manager and booking agent Linda Gebar Jan. 18 at the Corner Hotel. The event is to start a trust fund for her daughters Susie and Annaliesse. Gebar died in October aged 43, 10 days after giving birth to her second daughter.

The Hard Rock Café franchise is returning to Australia within 18 months. Sydney-based Goddings Pty Ltd. is partnering with Hard Rock International to acquire and develop franchise locations in Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns and Perth.

Previous Hard Rock Cafés in Melbourne and Sydney, which closed 2007, will reopen in new locations.