Australia: Conference, Sydney Stadiums, Eurovision, Dates

Sydney To Host Global Cities After Dark Conference

Sydney is hosting the daylong Global Cities After Dark Nov. 23. It will be part of the Electronic Music Conference and spearheaded by Amsterdam’s night mayor since 2012, Mirik Milan, who was a keynote speaker at EMC 2016.

The guest list of 150 includes those from Berlin, Amsterdam, Seattle, Ibiza and London along with reps from state and local governments and creative and hospitality industries.

Said Milan, “By sharing ideas for a safe and vibrant nightlife, it empowers bottom-up initiatives after dark that contribute and strengthen creative cities around the world. It will be one of the most innovative forums from a city planning perspective because global thought leaders will gather in Sydney to discuss what strategies can be put in place for creating livable inclusive cities with high quality of life and culture for everyone.”

EMC executive producer Jane Slingo said the conference would “cover the pillars that support safe and supportive nightlife,” ticking off creative industries, music and art at night, public health and safety, transport and mobility, urban planning and legislation. In his 2016 keynote, Milan pointed out how Amsterdam’s 24-hour club licenses saw patrons pacing alcohol consumption, and its Square House initiative where social workers were available in entertainment precincts to cool down troublemakers.

He also stressed the need for a unified voice when talking to government circles: these had to also incorporate the tourism, fashion and filmmaking sectors that were also an integral part of the nighttime economy.

New South Wales government is already working on a 25-point action plan from Sydney Night-Time Economy Roundtables. Its recommendations included encouraging late-night pop events in vacant government and commercial properties where drinking alcohol was not a dominant pastime, a new Contemporary Music Strategy for the live music industry, slash red tape and encourage smaller bars, and integrate arts and culture into the design and development of urban regeneration projects.

NSW Premier Committed To Upgrades For Sydney Stadiums

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has reinforced her commitment to upgrade the 83,600-capacity ANZ Stadium (opened March 1999) and 45,500-capacity Allianz Stadium (opened 1988) before the March 2019 state elections.

She has also prepared to commit more funds above the A$1.6 billion ($1.27 billion) currently set aside, She wanted to push ahead because having world-class facilities “means jobs, it means tourism,” according to the Daily Telegraph.

Estimates for the ANZ work ranged from A$900 million ($712,919) to A$1.6 billion ($2.26 million (and a rebuild of Allianz for A$400 million ($316,853) to A$800 million ($633,706). The Daily Telegraph revealed mid-August it would take up to A$137 million ($108.5 million) just to bring Allianz up to acceptable safety standards.

Berejiklian made her comments during a five-day trade mission to Japan and South Korea to generate investment for Sydney’s infrastructure boom.

“I want Sydney to be the regional capital for major events and we have the potential to do that,” she stressed.

Australia Unveils Plans For Eurovision Asia Song Contest

An Asia-Pacific spinoff of the Eurovision Song Festival was announced Aug. 18, with the launch of the website and a campaign. Plans are still in development – including location and date – but it is expected to follow the European event’s format, and expected to have up to 20 countries involved.

The contest is being run by Australian multilingual TV / radio channel SBS and Australian-based comedy, entertainment and music production company Blink TV.

SBS has broadcast the European event since 1983. In 2015 Eurovision organiser European Broadcasting Union (EBU) allowed Australia to enter the competition. Dami Im got second spot in 2016, and 2015’s Guy Sebastian and 2017’s Isaiah Firebrace in the Top 10.

Last March, the EBU tapped SBS, which has significant ratings fort its Pop Asia show, to co-organise the spinoff. Negotiations have been apparently stretched.

Where Sydney was to be the inaugural host city, it seems Hong Kong and Singapore are now also possibilities.

Negotiations with broadcasters in major music markets China, South Korea and Japan had to weave through political and military tensions between the three countries. A major issue is that China will not allow South Korea’s K-Pop music to be broadcast or streamed within its borders.

Given the dramas between Ukraine and Russia at this year’s European event, it will be interesting to see what transpires.

NZ Rapper Scribe Faces Drugs, Weapons Charges

Multi-platinum New Zealand rapper Scribe is scheduled to attend Christchurch District Court Aug. 22 on drug and weapons charges after already missing court three times. A warrant was issued Aug. 16 when the rapper didn’t attend a court session, after missing out twice before this year.

His lawyer explained later that Scribe – whose 2008 debut album Crusader went multi-platinum in New Zealand and Australia – was delayed in Wellington because his sickness benefits had been cancelled.

The judge granted him bail but warned him that if he breached conditions again he would be arrested, the NZ Herald reported.

Since bursting onto the scene aged in his mid-20s, some of Scribe’s songs reflected the issues he had with fame. In 2015, a play about his life, “The White Guitar,” told of gangs, homelessness and abuse in his early days.

Earlier this year, he announced he was entering rehab for three months.

The xx, Bow Wow, Liam Gallaher Heading Back Down Under

Elton John
Pavel Golovkin/AP
– Elton John
Performing in the Crocus City Hall outside Moscow, Russia.

The xx are back early 2018 to play three outdoor shows, in a team-up by Handsome Tours and Frontier Touring.

The dates, with Kelela and Earl Sweatshirt, are , Melbourne, Jan. 13; Riverstage, Brisbane, Jan. 17 and , Sydney Jan. 20.

They are donating A$1 from each ticket to help support local LGBT+ charities.

The donations will be done through Arcade Fire member Marika Anthony-Shaw’s Plus 1 set up to help artists donate to their charities.

Bow Wow plays 14 shows of mostly nightclubs Aug. 25 to Sept. 23. Fifth Harmony is confirmed for four stadium and theatre dates Oct. 24 to Nov. 1 behind the group’s self-titled third album.

Fifth Harmony also has three stadium dates in New Zealand immediately thereafter. Liam Gallagher, Fleet Foxes, Run The Jewels, Vince Staples, Glass Animals, Foster The People and Kooks are among the international names announced Aug. 22 for Falls Festival.

The four-city event Dec. 28 to Jan. 7, also includes Flume, Peking Duk, Angus and Julia Stone, Thundamentals, Methyl Ethel and DZ Deathrays in its Australian contingent.

Its run also includes Singapore (Jan. 28) and Auckland (Jan. 29).

’s Once In A Lifetime regional run continues to pack them out.

A last-minute show, added by Chugg Entertainment for Oct. 1 at Rochford Wines in Victoria’s Yarra Valley, sold out all 8,000 tickets almost immediately.