Australia: Gaslamp Killer, Drug Testing, Mariah Carey

Aussie Promoters Cancel Gaslamp Killer Shows

The Gaslamp Killer
John Davisson
– The Gaslamp Killer
Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, Empire Polo Field, Indio, Calif.

The fallout from rape accusations leveled at DJ The Gaslamp Killer has extended Down Under, with Australian promoters The Operatives and Let Them Eat Cake announcing Oct. 16 that upcoming appearances are canceled.

The Gaslamp Killer was booked to for New Year’s Day event Let Them Eat Cake in Melbourne, Western Australia’s Breakfast and New Zealand’s Northern Bass festival.

The Operatives stated that cancellation was “currently the only option,” adding that all three events “have consistently advocated their festivals as safe and all inclusive spaces. Hopefully there will be some clarity on the entire case in the near future, and justice is served in truth.”

The Gaslamp Killer is accused of drugging and raping two women in 2013, after a woman named Chelsea made a lengthy post on Twitter describing the alleged incident. In response, the Low End Theory club event canceled an upcoming appearance featuring him in New York.

The Gaslamp Killer, real name William Bensussen, defended himself, tweeting that the incident in question was consensual and that Chelsea’s version of the story is not true. 

Flying Lotus, during a show at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in West Hollywood Oct. 14, seemed to defend the DJ, playing a Gaslamp Killer track and saying “the internet is a fucking liar” and that he hoped that justice and the truth will prevail. Flying Lotus has collaborated with The Gaslamp Killer.

Sydney Announces Proposals To Boost Nightlife

The City of Sydney has announced new proposals to inject life back into its nighttime economy.

Outdated local planning laws will be revamped to make it easier for small businesses and retailers to extend trading hours.

More small-scale cultural events and activities will also be encouraged, such as a shop hosting an intimate performances or a public talk, to take place without development consent.

The most significant for entertainment venues is the idea of introducing the “agent of change” concept into planning controls. Under this system, already introduced successfully some years ago by the state of Victoria, builders of new residential developments near existing entertainment venues are forced to design and build them to manage the noise of the existing venue.

Conversely, new venues will have to ensure they are soundproofed sufficiently.

These proposals will be open to feedback from the community before being sent for approval to the New South Wales government.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the city had begun plans to diversify the nighttime economy to stress on more family-friendly events that were not focused on the consumption of alcohol, long before the lockout laws were introduced in 2014 in a number of entertainment precincts as a solution to alcohol-fueled violence.

Statistics show that the lockouts, while leading many music venues to close, have cleaned up the areas, leading to more restaurants opening up soaring property values.

“Unfortunately, the lockouts have had a serious impact on Sydney’s cultural life, businesses and our reputation overseas – and while areas like Kings Cross are safer, we know the balance isn’t right yet in terms of Sydney’s nightlife,” Moore said.

The City’s nighttime economy is estimated to produce $3.64 billion in revenue per year. It involves more than 4,600 businesses and employs more than 32,000 people.

Festival Pill Testing Trial Abruptly Shelved

Australia’s first pill-testing trial at a music festival has been shelved for the time being.

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government had greenlighted the tests at the Spilt Music festival, Nov. 26 at Commonwealth Park in Canberra.

The festival traditionally draws 20,000 fans. The tests were to be conducted and funded by the Safety Testing Advisory Service at Festivals and Events consortium.

Spilt Music organisers Kick Entertainment said they had not been given completed documents by the consortium – covering operational plan, associated risk assessment, insurance and legal framework – in time for it to be included in its own event operation planning documents for use of the park.  It hopes a trial will be held next year.

The consortium accused members of the federal government, which has jurisdiction over Commonwealth Park, to sabotage the process. Its lawyers had worked “round the clock”, it said but calls made to the park’s authority over which documents were needed, were not answered.

Mariah Carey Extends Tour Downunder

Mariah Carey
Kate Wade Photography
– Mariah Carey
Neal S. Blaisdell Arena, Honolulu, Hawaii

MJR Presents confirmed that Mariah Carey will extend her #1s Tour to Australia and New Zealand in early 2018. Carey last toured on the continent four years ago behind her Me. I Am Mariah album.

After a one-off in New Zealand at Auckland’s Spark Arena (Feb. 1) she plays the Sandstone Point in Brisbane (Feb. 3), Perth Arena (Feb 5), Melbourne Showgrounds (Feb. 9) and Parramatta Park in Sydney (Feb. 10).

British grime star Dizzee Rascal plays three headliners for Handsome Tours. He starts at the Perth International Arts Festival (Feb. 17), Melbourne’s Forum Theatre (Feb. 20) and Sydney’s Enmore Theatre (Feb. 21).

The Jason Bonham Led Zeppelin Experience makes its Australian and New Zealand debut, with six theatres shows Jan. 27 to Feb. 4.

Secret Sounds has California-based Grouplove returning after 18 months for three theatre clubs Feb. 9-15.

Select Touring and Blue Murder have Thievery Corporation at three theatres March 8-11.

Among the 18 first acts announced for WOMADelaide March 9-12 in Adelaide’s Botanic Park are sitarist Anoushka Shankar, the Australian premiere of Havana Meets Kingston featuring reggae duo Sly & Robbie; Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela, saxophonist Kamasi Washington, Mali blues guitarist Tinariwen, Australian electro-band The Avalanches, veteran Ghanaian singer Pat Thomas, and UK dub producer Adrian Sherwood.

Rodrigo y Gabriela follow their WOMADelaide set with four theatre stops March 10-16.

Sam Smith, who’s doing a one-off Jan 16 show at the Sydney Opera House for Frontier Touring, announced that proceeds from the show will be donated to three charities. They are youth mental health organisation ReachOut, LGBTIQA+ support service Twenty10 and the Equality Campaign currently working to introduce same sex marriage in Australia.

Fifth Harmony Pull Out Of NZ’s Edgefest

New Zealand broadcaster MediaWorks’ first music festival, KFC Edgefest, lost headliner Fifth Harmony three weeks out due to “unforeseen scheduling issues.”

The festival plays Christchurch’s Horncastle Arena (Nov. 3), Wellington’s TSB Bank Arena (Nov. 4) and Auckland’s Spark Arena (Nov. 5). Fellow headliners Jason Derulo and English DJ Jonas Blue will continue.

WOMAD NZ Wins Best National Event For 2017

WOMAD NZ won best national event for 2017 at the New Zealand Event Awards, Oct. 11 at SkyCity Auckland.

Held over three days in March for its 13th year, it drew a capacity 17,500 to the 55-acre Brooklands Park and TSB Bowl of Brooklands in New Plymouth.

It drew 12,389 visitors to the region, injecting NZ$6.9 million ($4.96 million) to the local economy. Suzanne Porter, chief executive of the festival’s organiser Taranaki Arts Festival Trust, attributed its success to “putting a local flavour to a global festival, staging it in one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand, and providing a diverse bill which has people on a discovery.”