Aussie Shorts

Timbaland, Ciara, T-Pain Join Snoop

Timbaland, Ciara, T-Pain, New Boyz and Busta Rhymes were added to the bill for Australian urban festival Supafest in April.
They join Snoop Dogg, Taio Cruz, Nelly and Bow Wow for the four dates.

Also included on the bill are Aussies, songwriter and producer Israel (he produced Jay Sean’s new single “Break Ya Back”), 18-year-old Sony singning Miracle, and DJ Nino Brown.

Jazz Festival Board Resigns

The board of the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz resigned, so that the local council can set up a new one.

The festival is $120,000 in debt and lost its major sponsor TAC.

The Wangaratta Rural City will take over its debt and meet all creditors and provide the new board with money to move forward.

Peter Laffy Dies

Melbourne guitarist Peter Laffy lost his battle with cancer in Hawaii. He was 59.

Emerging with rock band Fox, who released an album on EMI, Laffy went on to play with Mondo Rock, Mick Pealing Band and Jim Keays’ Southern Cross as well as his own King Bees and the Peter Laffy Band. Friends are planning a memorial in Melbourne next month.

New Owner For Festival Site?

Woodfordia, home of Queensland festivals like Woodford Folk, The Dreaming and currently Splendour in The Grass, may change hands.

The Sunshine Coast Daily revealed that the site is facing financial hard times after a 16 percent drop (or 20,000) in attendance at the folk festival in December due to bad weather. This was followed by $1 million worth of damage in the floods that followed.

As a result, to ensure that the festivals stay in the area, the Moreton Bay Council has indicated it will buy the 200-hectare parkland.

Site owner Bill Hauritz said the festival board would meet shortly to discuss the council’s offer and the future of the festivals.

Robinson Opens For Kaki King

Aussie guitar prodigy Joe Robinson will do five U.S. dates March 29 to April 2. All but one are opening for Kaki King. Robinson will headline the Annapolis show, at Ram’s Head On Stage on March 31. Robinson, discovered at 13 by Tommy Emmanuel in New South Wales, will preview his third album, due in summer.

Carr Signs Jon Stevens

Ralph Carr Management has signed Jon Stevens to its roster, which includes soul singers Vanessa Amorosi and Kate Ceberano. The former INXS frontman is working on a solo album Changing Times, inspired by a near-death experience in 2009. Carr is label-shopping it for a mid-summer release.

Short Notes

Kylie Minogue appears likely to tour here in early southern winter.

How did Good Vibrations cope with Kelis and Nas, who had an almighty court run-in after four years of marriage, being on the same bill? They kept them at opposite ends of the backstage area and put them onstage at the same time.

Fanny’s Nightclub in Newcastle had to bring in a snake catcher to remove a 60-centimetre juvenile red-bellied black snake that made its home in the club’s office.

Blues musicians John Butler and Daniella Caruana’s grants program, the Seed Fund, is back for its seventh year. One of its new categories gives three managers of emerging acts $5,000 to hire a publicist for a CD release and tour. Other initiatives and partnerships cater for indigenous musicians to get slots on festivals, for rock acts to play the Falls and Southbound festivals, and for four managers to attend the management workshop where executives from all sectors will advise emerging managers with business strategies.

In a report on the wake of steroid-fuelled rage in Gold Coast nightclubs, the Gold Coast “Bulletin” quoted Gold Coast Medical Association president Dr Peter McLaren as saying that bouncers using steroids (usually illegal anabolic ones sourced from overseas websites) added to aggression at clubs. Gold Coast Five Star Security Training boss Mike Jeavons opined that Queensland should adopt laws similar to Western Australia where security operators are drug tested.