Australia: Festivals Take Steps, Destroy All Lines Launches Agency

Bluesfest Byron Bay
Courtesy Bluesfest
– Bluesfest Byron Bay

Bluesfest, Tamworth Country,  Darwin Festival, Take Confident Steps Toward 2021

The fate of the Australian summer festival season still has uncertainties but three major events confirmed their return.
The 100,000-drawing Bluesfest Byron Bay, which canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions, unveiled rescheduled March/April 2021 theatre tour dates for 14 acts that were to have played.
These included Patti Smith and Her Band, George Benson, The Gipsy Kings, Tori Kelly, Buffy Saint-Marie, Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles, Morcheeba, The Wailers, Walter Trout and The War & Treaty.
Director Peter Noble further confirmed 30 acts from the 2020 bill are signed on to play 2021. At this stage most promoters forecast international acts won’t be back until June. But Noble shrugged, “With the space of a good ten to twelve months we can be confident – we will dance again!”
The Tamworth Country Music Festival, which draws an aggregated 300,000 over ten days, has no problems with overseas acts. It only features Aussies. It has confirmed it’s being held for the 49th year January 15 to 24, along with the Golden Guitar awards on its final day.
It is held primarily in small venues in the country music capital. “Ultimately how the festival will look is dependent on the social distancing measures, and restrictions, that are in place come January, if any,” said mayor Col Murray.
Organizers are keen for the festival to go ahead. Its increasing draw of a younger demographic sparked brand sponsorship interest from technology, insurance and banking companies.  The festival generates A$50 million (US$32.6 million) a year for the local economy, essential for a region fighting the impact of bushfires and drought.
Darwin Festival confirmed it will run August 6 – 16 with details in June. The Northern Territory has eased many restrictions after successfully fighting the coronavirus. 
“The shape, scale and scope will be radically different,” said artistic director Felix Preval. “The program will be a much-needed pick-me-up; a source of hope and positivity as well as a celebration of Territory strength and resilience.”

Goldman Sachs’ Matthew Donazzan Joins TEG 

Matt Donazzan
– Matt Donazzan

Matthew Donazzan, executive director at Goldman Sachs, joined promoter, ticketing agency and data analyst TEG in the newly created role of director of strategy and M&A.
His team will assist in determining and executing strategic projects tin global live entertainment, ticketing and technology. He also oversees its mergers and acquisitions program.
Donazzan, based in Sydney, previously worked at UBS Investment Bank and KPMG Corporate Finance, and co-founded start-ups as One Cent Flights and Cold Drip Beverages. At Goldman Sachs, he covered private equity clients and he played an instrumental role in the sale of TEG to its new owner Silver Lake Partners in 2019.
TEG CEO Geoff Jones cited Donazzan’s “sharp, creative and commercial way of thinking” as an asset as TEG continues to expand,.

Ticketek To Offer Afterpay
Australian buy-now-pay-later service Afterpay, which operates in the US, UK and New Zealand, struck its first deal with a ticketing platform. Ticketek, a division of Sydney-based TEG, will be integrating the payment option into its website and apps in the coming months. Fans pay for tickets in four fortnightly installments and secure their seats with the first payment.
Addressing concerns the company was targeting millennial aged fans, Afterpay CEO Anthony Eisen earlier said its Australian user’s average age is 34+ and mostly in middle and high household income brackets.
Guy Sebastian Vs Titus Day Case Back In Court
The two-year Federal Court case between R&B singer and The Voice coach Guy Sebastian and his former manager of 11.5 years Titus Day heated up further May 20. Sebastian’s attorneys sought to include international neighboring rights royalties worth almost $19,236, alleging neighboring rights business Montreal-based Premier Muzik was asked to place the money into a bank account controlled by Day’s now-deregistered company 6 Degrees.
A spokesperson for the singer told The Music Network  “Guy’s new claim, if allowed, will also include overseas royalties that have now come to his attention that were not passed on over several years.”
Sebastian’s most notable international hit, a 2012 duet with Lupe Fiasco, “Battle Scars”, sold 1 million copies in the US, and went to #1 in Australia and #2 in New Zealand and Norway.
Sebastian is claiming A$200,000 ($130,692) in unpaid fees. 6 Degrees counter-sued fit was owed A$1.4 million ($914, 845) for services for the singer and his designer wife. But that claim was dropped by liquidators when they took control of 6 Degrees last year. Day earlier claimed his company fell over due to A$150,000 ($98, 019) worth of legal fees to date.
Destroy All Lines Officially Launches Agency
Promoter Destroy All Lines amped up the operations of its agency division, announcing May 25 it was officially launching with 20 new acts. GM of touring Chris O’Brien told Pollstar that in the past three years, building the company and creating its Good Things festival had overshadowed the agency, which built its six acts from 500-capacity rooms to 3,000.
But with a golden period expected for Australian music post-cvod-19, he says the time is to set up acts to take advantage. Among the 20 are bright new sparks as Caligula’s Horse, To The Grave, Lagerstein, Circles, Deez Nuts, ALT.,
Antagonist A.D. and Vanishing Point.
“Our core focus is on indie/rock/metal/punk/alt-rock for the interim as that is where we shine,” said O’Brien. “No one promotes in the alternative space better than us and our results back that up.”