Australia: Ultra Returns, Promoter Ian Magan Dies, More Agency Deals

Ultra Confirms Third Australian Visit

Ultra confirmed a return to Australia for the third time in 2020. It lands at Sydney’s Parramatta Park March 7 and Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse March 8, Ultra Worldwide first tested the Melbourne market in 2018, before returning this year with an expansion to a second city and a full-scale production that included the large Main Stage, and the hub of underground sounds with the Resistance Stage and drew a total attendance of 50,000.
Said Ultra Australia’s project manager Travis Grech in a statement, “The iconic Ultra Music Festival remains the biggest and most successful music festival brand in the world. Together with the global team, we strive to deliver a unique, first-class music festival experience with stand-out production at premier venues.”
Supreme Court Hears Nightclub Lawsuit On Cop Remarks
The defamation lawsuit filed by Melbourne nightclub Inflation director Martha Tsamis against Victoria’s state government began in the Supreme Court August 7.She sued over comments made by former Victoria Police superintendent Brett Guerin in 2014 to the Herald Sun newspaper and talk back radio station 3AW that the club was a “honeypot for drug dealers.” 
At the time, police had applied to restrict the King Street strip venue’s 24 hour licence to a 3 am close, claiming 59 underage drinking, violence and drug “incidents”. The police application was withdrawn 12 months later.
The government says Guerin’s comments were true and was protected under fair comment. But Tsamis testified, “It was tarnishing my reputation. It was a betrayal and it was factually incorrect and a pure smear campaign. I was sick. I didn’t get out of bed for three days.”
Tsamis, a 30-year veteran of the nightclub industry, said she served on the steering committee of nightclub associations set up for greater safety, and introduced initiatives at Inflation to stop minors and drug-affected people entering. She added she worked with police, and appreciated that officers numbering  20 would visit seven times in a night checking on the club’s Saturday Cloud Nine parties. “We accept that. We want that,” Tsamis told the jury.

More Aussie Acts Sign Global Agency Deals
Just back from her debut North American tour, Perth singer songwriter Carla Geneve signed with Belgium/Holland booking agency Toutpartout joining Kurt Vile, Beach House and Waxahatchee on its books. Director Steven Thomassen commented, “She is a fresh sounding artist influenced by the right artists.” Manager Harris Waters of Holiday Forever Presents added, “I am looking forward to working with Toutpartout in making Europe a sustainable touring market ahead of the release of her debut album next year.”
Melbourne metalcore outfit Void Of Vision are now repped by Dave Shapiro of Sound Talent Group for the US, and Paul Ryan and David “Skully” Sullivan of UTA for the UK and Europe. Shapiro said, “We fell in love with the band from the second we heard them and can’t wait for the long ride ahead that will be the VOV career.”
Wellbeing Helpline Rings In Successful First Year
The Wellbeing Helpline set up by the Aussie music industry’s benevolent society Support Act, celebrated its first year by revealing 150 people accessed its free service, utilizing close to 400 phone counseling hours The breakdown by sector was 74% artists, 14% music workers and 12% road crew with 54% of Helpline users being under 35 years of age, and just over half are female. Career concerns topped the list, followed by anxiety depression,
Pioneering Promoter Ian Magan Dies
Pioneering New Zealand promoter Ian Magan died a few weeks after his 80th birthday after a battle with cancer. His companies Concert Promotions Company and Pacific Entertainment, were behind visits by Michael Jackson, Elton John, AC/DC, BB King, Pavarotti and Dire Straits, some which still hold local attendance records. At the time of his passing, he was chairman of the New Zealand Entertainment Operators Association (NEOA) and an outspoken advocate for stricter rules on scalping and ticket resale sites.
Fellow promoter Gray Bartlett, whose company merged with Magan’s in the mid-’90s, recalled, “He was very fair, he was one of the first to insist that artists get a percentage of the final profits. “He called his colleague ‘one of life’s great people,’ with a wonderful understanding of the music and radio industry. He was a pioneer, and when we joined forces, we were unstoppable.”
Magan emerged in 1966 as a DJ on pirate Radio Hauraki, broadcasting on a boat in the Hauraki Gulf to challenge the government’s dominance over radio broadcasting. It took a change in political power three years later before the station was offered a legitimate licence. He remained aboard as a director and program director for another seven years.