Australia: Robbie, Alanis, Mudtopia

Robbie Williams To Headline Adelaide 500 Supercars Race

Robbie Williams
AP Photo / Lionel Cironneau, Pool
– Robbie Williams
Prince’s Palace of Monaco, Monaco

Robbie Williams is headlining the Adelaide 500 after-race concert March 4.

The state’s minister for tourism, Leon Bignell, called it a coup for the state, and said it would make the state-owned event “bigger and better than ever. Adelaide 500 is not just about motorsport – it’s about providing outstanding entertainment and is a perfect opportunity to show off everything our stunning city has to offer.”

Through its 20 years, the race (formerly known as Clipsal 500 Adelaide) has booked major names such as KISSMotley CrueSantanaKeith UrbanThe Doobie BrothersRob Thomas, and Hilltop Hoods.

The race is a major tourism draw, with an economic impact of A$65.6 million ($51.8 million) and a worldwide television viewership of 300 million. Williams’ appearance marks the return of the race’s Sunday night concert, which was scrapped last year because of a date clash with the Adelaide Festival. As a result, while the entire series drew 263,500, the Sunday’s attendance dropped to 65,000 through the day.

The figure was 95,000 when KISS played in 2013.

The government is counting on the success of the race, held a few weeks before the state’s election. As a result, it’s refusing to divulge how much Williams is being paid.

Premier Jay Weatherill’s sole response was, “We got a great deal and Robbie will more than pay for himself. I’m sure the crowds will come in their droves.”

In October 2014, the government paid The Rolling Stones A$450,000 ($355,969) to open the new 55,000-capacity Adelaide Oval. Williams is a major drawcard in South Australia: his Football Park show in 2006 drew 60,000.

Alanis Morissette, Muse, Craig David Returning Down Under

Alanis Morissette returns to Australia for the first time in almost 20 years, with two dates for Chugg Entertainment: , Jan. 23, and  Jan. 24.

Frontier Touring has Muse back after four years, landing at Sydney’s  Dec. 16 and Melbourne’s  Dec. 18.

Nineteen-year-old El Paso singer-songwriter Khalid makes his Aussie debut as part of his American Teen Tour.

His three stops are at Sydney  Nov. 8, Melbourne’s Forum Nov. 9 and  in Brisbane Nov. 10.

The 50,000-ticket sellout of last year’s RNB Fridays Live tour – an offshoot of the high-rating radio series on the Hit Network – has seen Frontier Touring and Illusive Presents bring it back for a second year.

The class of 2017 features 8 million album-selling Craig David (introducing his DJ house party TS5 to Australia for the first time), Ne-Yo, Sean Paul, Kelly Rowland, Kelis, En Vogue, Mario, Christina Milian, Monifah, Ruff Endz and DJ Horizon with Fatman Scoop on hosting duties.

It kicks off at Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney, Oct. 13, and then takes in nib Stadium in Perth Oct. 14, Entertainment Centre Arena in Adelaide Oct. 15, Hisense Arena in Melbourne Oct. 20 and winds up Brisbane Showgrounds Oct. 21.

One World teamed up ‘80s UK electro chart makers The Human League for its fourth visit and Australia’s Pseudo Echo, for four shows Dec. 11-16. These dates come after the Human League join up with Culture Club and Tom Bailey of the Thompson Twins at Perth Arena Dec. 9.

Chugg Entertainment added an extra date for Elton John’s sold-out Once In A Lifetime run to four regional cities.

This one is in a vineyard a few hours outside Melbourne, as part of Roundhouse Entertainment’s A Day On The Green winery series.

The new date, at Rochford Wines in Yarra Valley Oct. 1, was booked because “The demand was too great to ignore,” Michael Chugg said.

Australian Record Producers Cohen, Lycenko Pass On

Two Australian, globally renowned record producers and engineers passed on within a week of each other. Melbourne-based Tony Cohen was best known for a 20-year collaboration with Nick Cave, covering the Birthday Party, The Bad Seeds and Cave’s solo material.

Cohen worked on many of the releases from the ‘90s indie explosion. Cave said in tribute, “Like many geniuses [he was] a nightmare to work with. But you came back again and again because he was just so good, everything he did was so unique and bold and startling,” Anthony Lycenko cut his teeth through the ‘90s as an assistant and house engineer at UK studios as Metropolis and Mayfair, and worked alongside producers and engineers on albums by U2, Sinead O’Connor, Elvis Costello, David Bowie, The Pet Shop Boys, Pulp and Suede.

He returned to Australia in 1998, becoming studio manager and chief engineer at Rockinghorse Studios in Byron Bay.

He worked on platinum releases by Pete Murray and Busby Marou but in later years focused on unsigned acts while lecturing to music students at Griffith University. Lycenko’s death was announced August 7, cause was unknown.

Bids Open For Naming Rights For Perth Venues

The West Australian government has opened bids for naming rights for the 15,000-seat Perth Arena and the March 2018-opening 60,000-capacity Perth Stadium. It is expected to raise A$10.5 million over four years.

State treasurer Ben Wyatt is looking at bids from mining companies, banks and supermarkets but not from brands from the tobacco, fast food and alcohol sector.

Perth Arena’s operator AEG Ogden and Perth Stadium’s VenuesLive would be responsible for securing the naming rights. Wyatt also revealed that the previous government had paid AEG Ogden compensation for forcing it to stop advanced naming rights negotiations in 2012.

Since then, until it lost power this year, it had paid the company a total of A$7.9 million.

Mud In Their Eye

A row has broken out in New Zealand over plans to import NZ$90,000 (US$66, 233) worth of mud powder from South Korea for the Mudtopia mud and music festival. The first takes place Dec. 1-3 at Rotorua’s Arawa Park Racecourse.

Aside from NZ acts Shapeshifter and

The NZ event is inspired by the well-attended mud festival in Boryeong in South Korea. The NZ government and the Rotorua Lakes Council have committed A$2.3 million ($1.89 million) for the events as part of a tourism drive to the region.

An outburst has come from farmers asking why taxpayers are stuck with the bill when recent heavy flooding in South Island has resulted in a huge quantity of mud. Kiwifruit growers are calling on the Government to stop the Korean mud, according to Newshub.

Seven years ago, their industry lost A$800 million ($588 million) due to the vine-killing disease Psa (Pseudomonas syringae) outbreak, which was first detected in Korea.

The growers’ lawsuit against the Ministry for Primary Industries (MIPI) began in Wellington Aug. 7. They are suing the ministry for negligence, claiming there would have been no outbreak if MIPI had followed its protocols under the Biosecurity Act and not allowed kiwifruit pollen to be imported into New Zealand.

MIPI has responded to the Mudtopia controversy by insisting that what is being brought in under the name mud is actually clay that is milled and filtered, heat treated, irradiated and then crushed into a fine powder.

MIPI insists, “These treatments will make the mud sterile, therefore removing any biosecurity risks.” At a meeting of Rotorua Lakes Council, chief executive office manager Craig Tiriana reported, “The difference between their mud and ours is ours is geothermal and theirs is more cooling.”