Australia: Kings Cross Plans For Nighttime Comeback, ANZ Stadium Rebuild Scrapped

The Kings Cross district of Sydney
– The Kings Cross district of Sydney

City of Sydney Moves To Revitalize Kings Cross
The City of Sydney gave A$40,000 ($26,672) to the Committee for Sydney think tank to come up with a vision to revitalize the globally known Kings Cross precinct and its nighttime economy.
Lord mayor Clover Moore said, “We want a safe and lively Kings Cross, with a thriving residential community and a diverse economy that includes fabulous bars and restaurants, theatres and shops.”
When New South Wales (NSW) lifted the five-year-old lockouts in January, Kings Cross was not included due to relatively high assault rates. A review will be made January 2021.
The Night Time Industries Association estimated most of the 176 venues that closed in this time were from the once buoyant nightspot precinct.
James Hulme, director of advocacy for the Committee for Sydney said “As Sydney recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, we want Kings Cross to be a central part of the city’s revival.”

An artist rendering of ANZ Stadium after the planned renovation.
– An artist rendering of ANZ Stadium after the planned renovation.

A$810m ANZ Stadium Rebuild Scrapped
NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian scrapped the A$810 million ($540.1 million) rebuild of ANZ Stadium in Homebush, Sydney. The money will instead go towards a coronavirus pandemic A$3 billion ($2 billion) fund to produce 20,000 jobs.
The plan was to turn the 85,a000 seat venue into a rectangular 70,000-seater which would bring 46,000 fans closer to the action. ANZ Stadium is operated by Venues NSW.
Meantime the $735 million ($490 million) rebuild of the 45,000 seat Allianz Stadium at Moore Park has begun, although costs had blown out by $99 million ($60 million) end of 2019.
Call For Class Action Against NSW Cops Over Festival Searches
Sydney’s Redfern Legal Centre and law firm Slater and Gordon are calling for those feeling victimized from being strip-searched at music festivals in the past six years to join a possible class action against NSW Police.
Ebony Birchall, senior associate at Slater and Gordon said “By acting collectively, it makes access to justice easier, particularly as these searches affect marginalized groups.”
The music industry accuses NSW cops of having a confrontational attitude against festival patrons. University of NSW data has showed 20-fold increase in strip-searches over the past decade in the region.
A recent report from the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) found some searches unlawful because a guardian or support person were not contacted when strip searching a person aged under 18. It also found instructions given to officers were inconsistent.

Powderfinger performing on the
– Powderfinger performing on the “One Night Lonely” livestream

Powderfinger Reunion Raises $500k For Charity
Rock band Powderfinger’s reunion gig, their first in ten years, was both a ratings and fund-raising success.  
The One Night Lonely May 23 livestream on their YouTube channel was streamed nearly 635,000 times, most tweeted about in Australia during the stream and generated 500 Instagram posts
It also raised A$500,000 ($333,400) for two mental health services. 
Support Act CEO Clive Miller said the funds it receives would bring help “to thousands of people in the music industry throughout the pandemic and beyond.” 
Powderfinger also chose to support depression aid nonprofit Beyond Blue, which provides free counseling, advice and referral to approximately 200,000 people each year.
Thinking Beyond Physical Distancing
Acts Down Under are looking for new ways to perform paying gigs while overcoming physical distancing restrictions. 
Brisbane band Sheppard played May 29 on the tarmac of Gold Coast Airport. The six-song 30-minute set drew 130,000 viewers and listeners on local radio Hot Tomato and social media channels of the station and the airport.
Those listeners were from across Australia, New Zealand, the US and England, said organizers. Donated input from local businesses Dreamweavers and Gold Coast Heli Tours made the performance as much a tourism exercise.
Gold Coast Airport COO Marion Charlton said “There are not many airports around the world that are located in such an incredible spot, so close to the beach and the hinterland. So, we knew the views of the concert would be fantastic and help promote the Gold Coast to visitors.”
A show at Sheppard airport
Luke Marsden
– A show at Sheppard airport
In Queenstown, New Zealand, an adventure tourism hotspot, operator Ziptrek introduced the Tree House Sessions over the Queen’s birthday weekend from May 30 to June 1.
While its customers high-speed ziplined from tree to tree 450m above the city, they were greeted by performances from 22 local musicians, the first gig in two months for many.
The Tree House Sessions sold out in days, and co-organizer Scott Kennedy remarked, “It was an awesome way to ignite two sectors, music and tourism, devastated by the pandemic.”
James Blunt, Groundwater, Sydney Fringe Latest COVID-19 Casualties
Frontier Touring is not going ahead with James Blunt’s visit in spring with Jason Mraz, citing COVID-19. The shows, Nov. 12 to 27, included two arenas, two theatres and five A Day On The Green winery shows.
Queensland’s Broadbeach Alliance has axed July its July country music festival Groundwater, which last year drew 70,000 over three days.
Sydney Fringe will not be celebrating its 11th anniversary in September. Festival director and chief executive Kerri Glasscock said it was too risky to take a chance restrictions would be relaxed but added, “It’ll save us money to go ahead with next year’s event.” The month-long festival drew 70,000 in 2019.