Australia: Creamfields, TEG, Dates, Gurrumul

UK’s Creamfields Heads Back Down Under

UK electronic dance music festival Creamfields is returning to Melbourne in November. It first staged here between 2010 and 2013 as a national run of five cities through promoter Totem Onelove, which also ran major festivals including Stereosonic before going into administration in 2016.

This time the festival returns via Dance Nation Australia in collaboration with Evolution Events. It promises “the biggest and the best DJ’s and electronic artists.”

Creamfields, which set up in 1998 in England, is now in 22 countries with more to be rolled out as part of its 20th anniversary.

In the meantime, China’s STORM festival has released more information on its Australian debut this year. It lands in Sydney Dec. 9, also promising international and Australian acts on the bill and “next level” production.

The promoter has set up a local team in Sydney and Melbourne, “many of which helped to create some of the biggest festivals and events ever to grace Australian shores.”

TEG Forms EDM alliance with Division Agency

Sydney-based Asia Pacific ticketing and live events company TEG teamed with the Division Agency to jointly stage and promote national tours and events featuring electronic dance music acts.

The strategic partnership came about after Jason Ayoubi joined Division as director and partner, reuniting with Scott Robertson, with whom he ran EDM festivals Future Music and Summadayze.

“We’ve achieved great things together and there’s so much more to come,” Ayoubi said. “I’m looking forward to producing some massive projects and enjoying the buzz that only comes from doing what I love – putting on iconic and life enhancing events.”

TEG CEO Geoff Jones said, “This alliance makes sense from so many angles and the winners will be EDM fans and artists. TEG has a diverse and dynamic roster of artists who we promote and we have great respect for Jason and Scott’s achievements and ambitions. There are exciting times ahead.”

Chainsmokers, 50 Cent, George Ezra Add To Major Visits

The Chainsmokers
Jack Plunkett / Invision / AP
– The Chainsmokers
The Chainsmokers bring their hits to the Sony Lost in Music Showcase during SXSW in Austin, Texas, March 17.

Tour schedules for Australia and New Zealand continue to grow with more major acts confirmed for visits. Live Nation has The Chainsmokers’ Memories… Do Not Open World Tour returning Down Under for five stadium stops Oct. 17-24.

The act’s biggest hit in the region, “Closer” featuring Halsey, reached triple platinum in New Zealand and 11 times platinum in Australia.

50 Cent celebrates the 15th anniversary of Get Rich Or Die Trying with two massive outdoor shows through MJR Presents.

These are Parramatta Park in Sydney Feb. 9 and Melbourne Showgrounds Feb. 10. English singer-songwriter

George Ezra, who had to bow out of his Splendour In the Grass slot in late July at the last minute, wasted no time rescheduling. Secret Sounds Presents confirmed he’d return for three theatre dates in three cities March 6-9.

Chugg Entertainment teamed up Pennywise and The Bronx for appearances in six theatres Oct. 27 to Nov. 3. Pennywise, frequent visitors to these shores, plays its seminal album Full Circle in full for the first time.

Globally Acclaimed Dr G. Yunupingu Passes

The biggest-selling Australian indigenous act, Dr. G. Yunupingu, died aged 46 after a lengthy illness.

Aboriginal traditional forbids the full name or photograph of the deceased to be published until the mourning period ends. Blind from birth, Dr. G. Yunupingu was born in the remote Galiwin’ku community on Elcho Island off the coast of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.

Painfully shy, he taught himself drums, keyboards, guitar (a right-hand-strung guitar played left-handed) and didgeridoo before joining indigenous bands Yothu Yindi and Saltwater Band.

His debut solo album Gurrumul in 2008 was a landmark release. Despite his songs being sung in his rare Yolnu dialect and in English, it reached No. 3 on the Australian Recording Industry Association chart and was certified triple platinum.

The purity of his angelic voice and themes of family and land broke through language barriers.

Tours of North America and Europe saw Gurrumul reach sales of half a million, with Elton John, Sting and Bjork counting themselves among fans.

Contracting Hepatitis B as a child led to years of kidney problems. By last year Dr. G. Yunupingu needed daily renal dialysis, which curtailed all touring although he continued to work at a slow pace in the studio.

At his passing, his Darwin-based record label Skinnyfish Music said he’d be “remembered today as one of the most important figures in Australian music history,” not just for his music, but for his humanitarian works including setting up the G Yunupingu Foundation which created opportunities for young people across the Northern Territory.

Firecracker Hurts Band During Shannon Noll Show

Two members of country singer Shannon Noll’s band were injured after a patron threw a lit firecracker on to the stage.

The incident happened July 28 in a club in South West Rocks in regional New South Wales. Keyboardist Michael Tan stomped on the explosive, but it went off under his foot, leaving minor burns on his foot.

Drummer Pete Skelton was hit with shrapnel and temporarily lost his hearing. Both required medical attention, with Tan taken to hospital.

Both rejoined Noll at the concert the night after. Noll posted afterward, “I’m all about having fun at a show but tonight was completely idiotic,” calling the patron a “f#*king moron.”

Police are investigating, while Noll’s management added security measures for further shows.

Three Options For Etihad Stadium

Foo Fighters at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium
Melbourne Stadium Ltd.
– Foo Fighters at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium
When a massive storm hit Melbourne Feb. 28 forcing the cancellation or delays of many festivals and concerts, Foo Fighters managed to play the Australian city when the 53,359-capacity Etihad Stadium closed its retractable roof. The Foo Fighters visit was booked through Frontier Touring.

As both the Australian Football League and Victoria’s state government debate the future of the 18-year-old Melbourne , an option is to lift the retractable roof and replace it with a higher structure that would increase capacity from 53,359 to 75,000. But this idea has its critics, reports the Melbourne Sunday Herald Sun, including those who say it would cost A$100 million to add to “the worst seats in the house.”

The AFL is given two other options: knock it down and start again, or redo ground level to upgrade amenities.

SoundCloud, Pandora Close Offices Down Under

Within a week, both SoundCloud and Pandora closed their offices in Australia and New Zealand.

SoundCloud, which only opened its local offices in September 2016, recently axed 173 jobs around the world and shuttered offices in London and San Francisco as a cost-cutting exercise.

It said this would be to “remain independent” but analysts say it is to look more attractive to investors. Pandora, which had offices only in Australia and New Zealand outside the United States, withdrew from the market to focus on U.S. operations and to rebrand itself. This caused a loss of 66 jobs.