Aussie News 6/6

Aussie Festivals Greener Than Most

The reputation that Australian music festivals hold for environmental awareness was justified when a record eight of them won categories in the UK’s Greener Festival Awards.

Top of the list was NSW’s Peats Ridge for providing virtually everything from recycled goods – including an inflatable stage made from leftover tents and bunting from recycled banners – as well as organic food and workshops to teach attendees how to be more green.

The other festivals were Bluesfest, The Falls Festival (on two sites in Victoria and Tasmania) WOMADelaide in Adelaide, Southbound in Perth, Fairbridge near Perth, Island Vibe held on North Strandbroke Island off Queensland, and Blues n Roots in Fremantle.

Fremantle Activist Attacked

An outcry from venue owners followed the New South Wales government’s May 27 release of a “shame list” of licensed venues with the most assaults.

They now face harsh restrictions.

Most operators challenged the assaults they were blamed for. In Newcastle, a Facebook site was set up attacking local activist Tony Brown, who is calling for early closures for venues.

Brown revealed he has suffered death threats, had his car damaged, had eggs thrown at his house and reported more than a dozen attacks on his property to police.

Cohen, Muse Return

Frontier Touring is bringing back Leonard Cohen for nine arena shows Oct. 29 to Nov. 24. Cohen’s return last year after a 30-year absence was a runaway success and won the Helpmann Award for best international concert.

After touring Muse through their Big Day Out in January, Lees & West bring the British band back for four arena stops Dec. 5-19.
Chugg Entertainment added a fourth Sydney show and second Melbourne date for Florence & The Machine.

Short Notes
Wolfmother canceled its European tour, scheduled to start in May 31, citing leader Andrew Stockdale suffering an illness preventing him from flying for two months.

Telecommunications giant Optus pacted a two-year naming rights sponsorship for Queensland’s Gympie Muster. To be held Aug. 24 and Aug. 29, the country music event has raised $12 million for rural charities over its 28 years.

The We Love Sounds urban tour – featuring Underworld, Felix Da Housecat, Laidback Luke and Tiga – axed its June 6 Perth date following low ticket sales.

The Adelaide City Council delayed its final decision to charge more for its parklands to commercial events. The hard rock/punk Soundwave festival said it would bypass Adelaide next February, estimating its fee for using Bonython Park would rise from $3,000 to $100,000.

During his tour for Andrew McManus Presents, Michael Bolton played a private charity fundraiser at the $50 million home of Aussie Home Loans founder John Symond in Sydney. The $1,500-per-head appearance raised $21,000 for a children’s hospital. Bolton himself threw in $10,000.

New Zealand

Slash, Roth For G-TARanaki
Slash and his solo band, as well as former Scorpions member Uli Jon Roth, are among international names performing at G-TARanaki 2010.

The five-day guitar celebration takes place Aug. 11-15 in New Plymouth, Taranaki.

Also performing, with some also holding workshops and masterclasses, are Jennifer Batten, Vinnie Moore, Leslie West, California Guitar Trio, metal supergroup Hail! and rising British axeman Oli Brown with bassists Tony Levin and Guy Pratt.
There’ll also be an exhibition of rare and valuable guitars.

Savage Tops At Pacific Music Awards

NZ breakthrough rapper Savage was named best urban artist at the sixth Pacific Music Awards May 29.

Reggae outfit Three Houses Down grabbed best album for Break Out and song for “Kanikapila.”

Other winners were J Williams (male), Erakah (female) and Smashproof (radio airplay).

Adeaze performed a tribute for Ardijah, who picked up the lifetime achievement award, while a tribute was paid to OMC’s Pauly Fuemana, who died earlier this year.