First Australian Festival Industry Conference set for October
The inaugural Australian Festival Industry Conference (AFIC) is set for October. Founder Carlina Ericson told Pollstar it is dealing with festivals covering music, sports, arts and culture, food and drink, and new technology and ideas.
A marketing, content and event management consultant, she said, “The festival industry, particularly in NSW (New South Wales), is undergoing a massive amount of change at the moment. Organisers are facing a number of major challenges to ensure their survival.
This is all the more reason why AFIC is needed – to provide a forum whereby key issues can be openly and collectively discussed.”
Aside from what Ericson calls “hot topics” as in pill-testing at music festivals, surviving current NSW legislation and reducing environmental footprint, topics mooted include legislative changes, operational developments as waste management practices, marketing event management, new technology and volunteer management strategies.
“We want to create a collective voice,” Ericson hopes. Keynote speaker is former events and conference creator Phil Tripp, current senior business development manager for SXSW for Australia, New Zealand & Hawaii. AFIC will be held in Coffs Harbour, an hour’s flight from Sydney, which has a diverse number of festivals staged.
Australian Music Vault reaches 1 million visitors
Opened in December 2017 at Arts Centre Melbourne to tell the story of Australian music through an exhibition of items, archival footage and interactive videos, the Australian Music Vault has been be a runaway success reaching 1 million visitors.
Venue chief executive Claire Spencer said at a cake cutting ceremony, “When we set out to establish a space in partnership with the music industry where music lovers could immerse themselves in the rich history of Australian music, we knew it would have a strong and meaningful impact.”
She was joined by Las Vegas-based R&B vocal group Human Nature who celebrated the 30th anniversary of forming in Sydney by donating their circa 2000 Motown suits worn in their Motown tribute show at Imperial Palace.
Its success is also attributed to the Vault’s two founders, Frontier Touring’s Michael Gudinski and broadcaster Ian Meldrum, insisting the exhibition be free, and got an $8.3 million (US$5.82 million) funding from the Victorian government.
It draws a multi-generational audience that normally does not attend Arts Centre Melbourne events and returns a number off times. The Vault’s other founding patrons are singer songwriters Kylie Minogue, Tina Arena and Archie Roach.
Elvis Presley movie shooting in Queensland
Acclaimed Australian director Baz Luhrmann is shooting a movie on the life of Elvis Presley at the Village Roadshow studios on the Gold Coast.
The untitled production will look at the relationship between the star and his manager Colonel Tom Parker (to be played by Tom Hanks), which the film maker spent 18 months researching. Luhrmann helmed box office hits as Moulin Rouge, The Great Gatsby, Romeo & Juliet and Strictly Ballroom.
The new project is expected to pump $105 million (US$73.7 million) into the Queensland economy and increase its global tourism draw.
MTV filming Veronicas reality series
MTV and Viacom Digital Studios International revealed May 5 a new reality series based around multi-platinum Aussie act The Veronicas, aka identical twins Jess and Lisa Origliasso.
Work has begun on Jess & Lisa: The Veronicas, to premiere late 2019, and produced by MTV Australia.
Said Bruce Gillmer, global head of music and talent, Viacom, and co-brand head, MTV International.
“The Veronicas were part of our first-ever MTV PUSH launch in 2009, and we are so excited to work with them again and give fans a new, behind-the-scenes look into their lives and music in a way only MTV can do.”
Executive Chairs: Angela Samut, Ian Carson
Angela Samut is new CEO of Queensland association QMusic.
A senior publicist at Festival Mushroom Records, free to air Network 10 and Paramount Pictures, she was most recently communications and marketing manager for Screen Queensland.
She replaces Joel Edmondson now executive director for the Queensland Festival. Among QMusic’s flagship events are the BIGSOUND conference and showcase and the Queensland Music Awards.
Social entrepreneur and 2018 Melburnian of the Year, Ian Carson, is president of the Victorian Arts Centre Trust, overseeing Arts Centre Melbourne.
Australia’s largest performing arts complex, it drew 3.7 million last year, and includes Hamer Hall, the Theatres Building and the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Carson is chairman of Markets at PWC and a trustee of the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Festival promoters speaking at MMF summit
Major live music identities will be speaking at NZ Music Month Summit 2019, held May 25 at Auckland’s Herald Theatre.
At the Festival Bookers panel are Gavin Downie (Music In Parks), Rachel Turney (Homegrown Events), Hamish Pinkham (Rhythm and Vines) and Gerry Paul (CubaDupa).
Marketing & Promoting Live Shows features Mel Parsons, Harry Pettit (Nest Fest), Anna Loveys (Saint Lachine) and Matt Harvey (Concord Dawn).
The event is presented by NZ Music Managers Forum and NZ Music Commission with 100% of ticket income donated to MusicHelps, which has funded 60,000 people in need with grants, and has Lorde and Neil Finn as patrons.