Australian News 8/29

AMBC Bids Farewell

The ninth biennial AustralAsian Music Business Conference – Aug. 20-22 at Acer Arena in Sydney – was the last. Organiser Phil Tripp plans to retire by 2011.

Over 18 years, AMBC championed the move to the digital model.

Among the keynote speakers at this year’s meet was South by Southwest’s creative director Brent Grulke. He stressed that playing live was the best way for Australian acts to make money and encouraged acts to make their presence felt in North America.

Blow For Men At Work Case

Men At Work suffered a blow in their court case with publisher Larrikin Music.

Larrikin filed action against songwriters Colin Hay and Ron Strykert alleging that their hit “Down Under” took snippets of the song “Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gumtree,” which was written by Melbourne teacher Marion Sinclair for a Girl Guides jamboree in 1934.

Men At Work argued that Larrikin did not own the rights to the song, but the Federal Court ruled that it did.

Short News

At the Aug. 22 Northern Territory indigenous music awards, the government announced a $350,000 grant over three years to set up more festivals and touring opportunities for local players.

U2 will be here in 2011, its stage designer Mark Fisher told the Sunday Herald Sun. He also revealed that they will leave the gigantic stage of the “360” world tour in an Australian city to remain as a permanent concert pavilion.

After 45,000 AC/DC tickets sold in three hours for the Jan 28 show in Wellington, New Zealand, Garry Van Egmond added a second show.

Andrew McManus Presents locked in Fleetwood Mac for five arena dates Dec. 1-15.

Rob Thomas is booked for four arena dates in February for Michael Coppel Presents and four winery stops for Roundhouse Entertainment.

The second Australasian World Music Expo returns to Melbourne Nov. 19-22 with a series of seminars and showcases.

Dean Turner, bassist and co-founder of guitar band Magic Dirt, died Aug. 21 after battling a rare form of tissue cancer for nine years. He was 37.

Hoodoo Gurus guitarist Brad Shepherd revealed he has had surgery to remove cancerous cells.