Australian News 12/5

Ie:music Wins Downunder

London-based management company ie:music made its presence known at the Nov. 26 ARIA awards in Sydney.

Australian-born SIA won best music DVD for “TV Is My Parent” while New Zealand’s Ladyhawke won breakthrough awards for her single “My Delirium” and her self-titled debut album.

Her inclusion in the show aroused protests from some quarters, as she was born in New Zealand and is based in London. Her Australian record label Modular claimed the singer was applying for Australian residence. Another ie:music client was Robbie Williams, who presented an award and performed his single “Bodies.”

George, Whitney Lead Superstar Charge

George Michael and Whitney Houston head a contingent of superstars heading here the first quarter of 2010. Both coincidentally last visited in 1988.

Dainty Consolidated Entertainment announced Michael shows for Perth’s Members Equity Stadium (Feb. 20) and Sydney Football Stadium (Feb. 26) with a Melbourne date to be added.

Andrew McManus Presents has seven Houston arena and winery dates Feb. 22 to March 7. The Frontier Touring Company and Roundhouse Entertainment have 14 stadium and winery shows Feb. 21 to March 14.

Michael Coppel Presents brings Lyle Lovett for his first visit March 23 to April 1, doing five theatres with Kasey Chambers opening.

Short Notes

Melbourne-based live music venue chain Hi Fi Bar has opened in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam in partnership with local hospitality operator Huynh Thi Bich Hong. Hi Fi’s owners opened an outlet in Brisbane this year and will set up another in Sydney next year.

Forsythe’s 2008-09 report on New South Wales clubs in Hunter Valley and the Central Coast noted that only 55 percent turned a profit. The venues blame smoking bans and rises in tax and poker machine charges for their woes. Four venues closed in the past three months, and others are looking at merging.

A new award was set up in memory of manager and venue booker Linda Gebar, who died October 2008 following the birth of her second child. It offers $5,000 to a Melbourne female manager to build her career.

The Tasmanian government gave Falls Festival an extra $287,525 in funding to upgrade roads, irrigation and toilets.

Some Pearl Jam fans did not come “alive” when the band played the QSAC Stadium in Brisbane Nov. 25. About 1,000 were stranded at a railway station and missed half of opening act Ben Harper’s set. Others complained about the sound quality – leading AC/DC’s promoter Garry Van Egmond to give assurances it would not be an issue when AC/DC played there Feb. 25 and 27.