Australia: Delayed Re-Openings A Blow To Music Venues
Delayed Re-Openings A Blow To Music Venues
Australia and New Zealand’s tough COVID-19 lockout restriction flattened the curve enough for authorities to consider easing back to allow some businesses to reopen.
But pubs, in which most music venues are based, will remain dark for another six to 12 months due to patrons’ close social intermingling. Health authorities are nervous a second wave of infections could erupt in the southern winter.
Those in Sydney and Melbourne liaised with state governments on issues as freezing rents, rates and utility disconnections, and wage payments for staff to help keep afloat.
An online petition by Melbourne music venue owners drew 15,000 signatures demanding protection from the state government. Bendigo Hotel owner Guy Palermo, told Pollstar “$50 million (US$31.7 million) will keep every venue in this city alive for at least six months.”
NSW views venues were integral to reviving Sydney’s nighttime economy after five years of lockouts were lifted January. Minister for jobs, investment and tourism Stuart Ayres said, “Hospitality and tourism sectors have been some of the hardest hit in our economy. Getting their recovery right will be crucial in having a strong, vibrant and dynamic 24-hour economy in Sydney.”
In Perth, The Claremont and Flying Scotsman announced they are not returning. Similar fears are held for New Zealand’s smaller venues after six including The Kings Arms and Golden Dawn, closed in a short period. In a late 2019 investigation by Stuff website (https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/music/117642886/are-new-zealands-small-live-music-venues-dying-out), others like The Powerstation and The Cook admitted their margins are tight.
During the pandemic, Auckland City Council turned the 12,000-seat Spark Arena into a food bank to help thousands going hungry.
The Buckleys Launch In NA Via Virtual Tour
When INXS creative director CM Murphy signed teen “hippie country” trio The Buckleys to his label Petrol/Universal Music, the plan was for two hits in the home market before overseas markets. With that achieved, the act released its first international single “Money” through the UMe imprint and with plans for global touring.
But with the act now locked down in its Byron Bay, Live Nation’s president of global touring. Arthur Fogel, and Tiffany Hilliard, of global touring booking at Fogel’s office, came up with a virtual tour covering North America, South America, Europe, The Middle East and Asia, winding up April 30 in Australia and New Zealand.
The North American leg drew 370,000 viewers through LN’s Live From Home platform which also streamed across LN and House of Blues’ regional social media channels. Murphy told Pollstar, “The most they could have drawn if it was a physical tour would have been 17,000.” He added, “The band had six days to come up with four new different sets. They wanted a rhythm section, so Sarah Buckley, the eldest member, learned to play bass in two days, and they roped in their 12-year old brother to play drums.”
MusicHelps Launches Appeal For NZ Biz
New Zealand music industry charity MusicHelps launched April 20 new initiative MusicHelpsLive to provide financial assistance to performers and music workers who lost income due to COVID-19.
The funds came from a campaign during which NZ $210,000 ($126,910) was raised in the first week. It has a target of NZ $2 million ($1.2 million) and will initially allow 200 grants of NZ$500 ($302) each.
Snoop Dogg Launching Wine With Aussie Firm
Snoop Dogg has struck a lengthy partnership with Australian wine company to launch his own Snoop Cali Red, in the northern summer.
19 Crimes, set up in 2012 in Melbourne by Treasury Wine Estate, took its name from the 19 crimes that saw European convicts sent to Australia in the 1800s. It has regional offices in California, the UK Singapore and China.
Marketing VP John Wardley stated, “Snoop embodies the spirit of 19 Crimes — rule-breaking, culture creating and overcoming adversity.” The rap mogul added, “It’s one of the most successful brands in the market, so I’m more than eager to bring this collaboration to the world!”
DJ Timmy Trumpet’s Livestream Hits 1.4m
Over 1.4 million fans from 60 countries tuned in to watch Aussie born global DJ Timmy Trumpet livestream an hour’s set. He abandoned his 10-strong crew, pyrotechnics and celebrity guests as Steve Aoki, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike.
Instead he made do with a scaled-down performance with just himself and his girlfriend in their modest apartment in Potts Point with Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge in the background, surrounded by deodorant cans, Nerf guns and party poppers, and. curious cockatoos watching from his balcony railing.
The set was part of #SaveTheSummer, a multi-artist campaign encouraging fans to be safe for their own health and the community’s future. The campaign targets the European and American summer festival season where the DJ is scheduled to play more than 20 festivals.
“What has happened to the Australian entertainment industry is happening everywhere,” he said. “We all want life to return to normal as fast as possible but the health of all people around the world is the absolute priority no matter your age or where you come from. I’m so proud that promoters and DJs all over the world are sharing this important message.”