Down Under: Eminem, Scalping, ‘American Idiot’, Boyz II Men, TLC

New Zealand Party Lodges Eminem Case Appeal

Jack Plunkett / Invision / AP
– Eminem
Austin City Limits Music Festival, Zilker Park, Austin, TX

New Zealand’s National Party has lodged an appeal against the verdict in the Eminem copyright infringement case.

As reported in Pollstar, the High Court ordered the party to pay NZ$600,000 ($413,300) to publisher Eight Mile Style for using a soundalike of the Detroit rapper’s “Lose Yourself” in its 2014 election campaign. Eminem was not directly involved in the lawsuit but has reportedly said he will donate his share of the proceeds to charity.

Two Australian States Target Online Scalping

Following pressure from consumer rights groups and concert promoters, New South Wales and Victoria have introduced new laws to combat online ticket scalping.

From 2018, transactions for NSW music and sports events must be capped at 10 percent of the initial sale price. The amendment to the Fair Trading Act of 1987 also bans the use of the “bots” software that scoops up large volume of tickets when they go on sale.

Victoria amended its Major Events Legislation to make illegal the sale and advertising of tickets above the 10 percent cap. Concerts and theatre shows will now be given stronger protection from scalping by being designated as “major events” – a status currently enjoyed by sporting fixtures.

Promoters have long complained that current anti-scalping initiatives around the country are ineffective because they aren’t followed up with actual enforcement. Victoria has addressed this by introducing authorised ticketing officers who, along with police officers, can fine scalpers who target popular events.

Major Rock Names Announced For ‘American Idiot’ Musical

The Australian run of the Green Day musical “American Idiot” will rock frontwomen Sarah McLeod of The Superjesus and Adalita of Magic Dirt join Phil Jamieson of Grinspoon. They will share the role of St. Jimmy. 

The protagonist Johnny is played by Linden Furnell, most recently in local productions of “Kinky Boots” and “Rent.” 

Phoebe Panaretos, who took the lead in Baz Lurhman’s Strictly Ballroom the Musical, reprises her role of Whatsername from an early American Idiot run in Brisbane, won her a Helpmanns nomination.

“American Idiot” plays the Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House (Jan. 11-14), Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide (Jan. 19-28), Perth Crown Theatre (Feb. 2-11) and Melbourne Comedy Theatre  (Feb. 23 – March 11), Playhouse Theatre, Brisbane (April 13-21) and Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin (May 3-6).

End Of The Rock For Woodcock

After five years, it could be the end of the road for New Zealand’s Woodcock noisenik festival. Promoter Scowlin’ Wolf, when announcing the lineup for the 2018 version Nov. 27, said the event would be taking a break to think of some changes.

In part of a lengthy statement, he explained, “Everything is the same. It’s the goddamn same. I can’t tell our first year from the last anymore. We just keep repeating ourselves and I see nothing in our futures but resentment and disdain for each other if we don’t make a change soon.” The 2018 version includes punk and psychedelic bands from Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Bluesfest Enters NSW Tourism Hall of Fame

Bluesfest Byron Bay has entered the New South Wales (NSW) tourism hall of fame after winning the Best Major Festival & Event at the NSW Tourism Awards for the third consecutive year.

Vivid Sydney, 2017 Tamworth Country Music Festival and The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras were all in contention for the title.

In 2013, an independent survey found that Bluesfest contributed A$150.6 million ($114.8 million)  to the NSW economy and A$64.1 million ($48.8 million) to Byron Shire over five days with a total draw of 100,000 patrons.

Bluesfest was also announced as one of 12 recipients (the others were all U.S.-based) of Memphis-based Blues Foundation’s Keeping The Blues Alive award. The 12 will be recognised at a January 19 luncheon.

Boyz II Men, TLC Headline Inaugural R&B Winery Tour 

Andy Argyrakis /
Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Ill.

Following the sellout success of its two RNB Fridays Live runs through cities, Illusive Presents, Frontier Touring and a day on the green have expanded the brand to wineries.

Boyz II Men and TLC co-headline RNB Vine Days.

It takes in three dates Feb. 3-10 in three states, with additional including Shaggy and Aussie DJs DJ Horizon and YO! MAFIA.

TLC and Boyz II Men will also perform three indoor co-headline shows in Christchurch, Sydney and Canberra, while Boyz II Men do their own show in Auckland.