Australia: RAC Arena, Strip Searches, Executive Moves

– RAC Arena

Live Music Returns To RAC Arena 
RAC Arena in Perth became  the first major Australian arena to bring back live music on a regular basis. The ASM Global-operated venue’s last concert was Michael Buble in February.
Its The Stage program kicked off Aug. 6 with open mic nights on Thursdays and emerging act showcases on Fridays, both free, while Saturdays host ticketed events with prices as low as A$10 ($7.10).
Current restrictions in Western Australia permit venues to run at 50% capacity to allow social distancing of one person every two square meters. This would mean the shows are capped at 8,250. “Although The Stage is a smaller capacity than we’re used to, we’re looking forward to getting back to what we do best,” RAC Arena general manager Michael Scott said.
– NSW police logo
Watchdog Suggests NSW Cops Apologize Over Festival Strip Search
A report from the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) – watchdog for New South Wales (NSW) Police – found further instances of illegal drug searches by untrained officers at music festivals and recommended the force apologize to one woman. It noted that one of the officers was suspended from duty.
After a report in May found eight instances of illegal searches of teens, further investigations by LECC discovered more examples, including a young woman asked to remove her tampon during the search. A performer was told to remove her underwear and bend over, after which she was spoken to unprofessionally and laughed at by male officers.
Another patron was evicted from the festival and banned for six months from the precinct even though no drugs were found on her. More action was recommended against two officers involved.
In March 2019, Strike Force Blackford was established to investigate five complaints from the teens’ parents about “degrading and humiliating” police behavior at festivals including Hidden, Secret Garden and Midnight Mafia. 
The review found that because of the size of crowds at festivals, junior officers were pulled from other duties, leading to illegal conduct, pressure from superiors to conduct searches, and poor communication / record-keeping.
NSW Police has since “produced the person search manual to ensure police officers are appropriately instructed as to how searches are to be conducted,” and increased education and briefing procedures for them, with a final report due end of year.
Executive Moves At The Unconformity, MTV & More
– Kate Harrison

Tasmanian three-day festival The Unconformity announced Kate Harrison as general manager. She was GM for six years of literary publication, Island magazine, and known for her advocacy work in the arts and literature. This year’s The Unconformity was postponed to October 2021.
New programmers are on board at new MTV Australia channels produced out of Sydney as part of Foxtel’s new JV with ViacomCBS are Monique Boir, Julia Natoli and Saniel Marriner. They look after MTV Hits, Club MTV, MTV Classic and CMT (Country Music Television).
Mike Harris, CEO of West Australian Music (WAM) is chair of the Australian Music Industry Network (AMIN), a union of state music associations. Angela Samut from Brisbane-based QMusic is deputy chair and Daniel Ballantyne of Canberra’s MusicACT is secretary.
– Mike Harrison

Lawyer Matthew Hall is the new chief executive of arts and disability organization Arts Access Australia. He was chair of the Brisbane Writer’s Festival and the Queensland Conservatorium, a board member of Queerscreen and has personal experience of living with disability.