Australia: Taylor Swift, Taste Of Americana, Bigsound, Laneway

Lukas Nelson & Margo Price
John Davisson
– Lukas Nelson & Margo Price
Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real performs with Margo Price during the Luck Reunion at Willie Nelson’s ranch in Luck, Texas, March 15.

A Taste of Americana To Debut In Sydney
A contingent of U.S. and Australian companies and associations are staging the inaugural A Taste of Americana festival at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre Oct. 14.  They include the U.S. Americana Music Association, Michael Chugg’s Sydney-based Chugg Entertainment, producer and artist manager Nash Chambers’ Essence Group, Virgin airlines, Nashville Music City, TN Tourism, Show Group and Sounds of the City.
It will feature U.S. acts Margo Price, Kevin Welch, Willie Watson, and label mate Joshua Hedley with Australia’s Kasey Chambers, William Crighton and Little Georgia.
Most of these acts also perform Oct. 11 in Melbourne’s Thornbury Theatre for the second Australian Americana Music Honours. Australian acts Diesel, Shane Howard and Weeping Willows join them. The Melbourne event is co-hosted by Jed Hilly, executive director of the Americana Music Association and executive producer of the Americana Honors & Awards program in Nashville. Hilly said, “Last year’s event connected the community not just in Australia but around the globe, with a spirit that was and continues to be contagious.”
BIGSOUND Adds Three To Executive Team
As the BIGSOUND conference and showcase wrapped up Sept. 7 in Brisbane, organizer QMusic revealed three additions to its programming team when it stages in 2019, Sept. 3-5. 
Current festival producer Jonny Ruddy, executive festival programmer Maggie Collins and executive festival producer Joel Edmondson will continue in their roles. 
Collins says that with the event growing annually, it was imperative that they bring in new blood. Tom Larkin, Shihad drummer and producer Tom Larkin who runs The Studios In The City recording studio and Homesurgery management will program the conference component.  Curating the live shows are artist manager and publicist Melody Forghani and broadcaster Tim Shiel who presents shows on youth radio network triple j and in 2014 set up record label Spirit Level with global singer-songwriter Gotye.

Paul Kelly
– Paul Kelly
at Bigsound
This year’s meet had a 10 percent rise in attendance, organisers said. Keynote highlights included premier singer-songwriter Paul Kelly observing, “Songwriting is for lazy people, it’s not writing a novel” and trying out new material at a surprise midnight show. Rockstar cookbook author Virginia Hanlon Grohl explained succinctly why her son Dave once famously flew back to the U.S. midway through an Australian tour to take his daughter to the school prom: “when family is priority it’s just what you do.”

Live Nation Announces Broods For Taylor Swift Tour
Live Nation added British pop singer-songwriter Charli XCX and New Zealand sibling duo Broods to Taylor Swift’s stadium swing through Australia and New Zealand.  
Charli XCX earlier joined Swift for her U.S. dates. The five shows kickstart at Perth’s Optus Stadium Oct. 19 then to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane before wrapping up in Auckland Nov. 9. 

Charli XCX
Scott Legato / Getty Images
– Charli XCX
Charli XCX opens for Halsey at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit Nov. 21.
Sonorous Returns To New Zealand For Second Year
The house and techno-focused Sonorous festival returns for a second year, staged Jan.  27 at Matakana Country Park, just outside of Auckland. Acts confirmed to date are Chicago-based DJ Sneak, German-born D-Nox, Holland’s Eelke Kleijn and Spain’s Miguel Bastida among others
Live Music Execs Finalists In Inaugural Women’s Awards
A number of live music executives were unveiled Sept. 10 as finalists at the inaugural Australian Women in Music awards. Susan Heymann, general manager of promoter and artist management company Chugg Entertainment, is in the music leadership category against Milk! Records co-founder and singer songwriter Jen Cloher, and Mushroom Music’s head of A&R Linda Bosidis. 
Up for the creative leadership gong are Sydney Improvised Music Association creative director Zoe Hauptmann,  singer-songwriter Kate Noonan for artistic director of the Queensland Music Festival, and creative director for the Cairns Regional Council’s venues and festivals, Roz Pappalardo.
The dedicated live production category – featuring Lynette Britten, Kait Hall and Robyn Jellef – is among 14 groupings covering songwriters, breakthrough talent, indigenous talent, studio creatives, video makers, photographers, humanitarian workers and collaborations aimed at diversity.  
Helen Reddy, of ‘70s anthem “I Am Woman” fame, will be inducted into the Honor Roll at a ceremony Oct. 10 in Brisbane. 
The event is preceded by a two-day program Oct. 9-10 at Brisbane Powerhouse with free forums and panel discussions, a photographic exhibition, the Queensland premiere of the documentary “Her Sound – Her Story,” and a keynote address by singer-songwriter Kate Ceberano.
New Melbourne Home For Laneway Festival
The Laneway festival moves to a new site for its Melbourne show Feb. 9, around the corner from its current Footscray Community Arts Centre site. Festival founders Danny Rogers and Jerome Borazio said its new home at the heritage-listed Footscray Park retained its picturesque views of the city and the Maribyrnong River but was more convenient for stages and amenities.  The festival’s slate begins Jan. 28 in Auckland, NZ, and five Australian stops Feb. 2-10.