Australia News: Restrictions Lifted, Survey, Signings & More
Bill To Lift Restrictions On 600 Sydney Venues
Australia’s major opposition party, Labor, introduced The Right to Play Music bill into NSW parliament calling for the removal of out-of-date restrictions to 669 Sydney pubs as they are denying musicians jobs at a time when they are needed.
These include banning venues from showcasing certain kinds of music, specifying number of musicians, what instruments could be played, even how musicians should face the audience.
Shadow minister for music and the nighttime economy, John Graham, said at a press conference, “These are all restrictions on work. We support regulated noise, we don’t support banning music.
“That’s what this bill does. It doesn’t change noise regulation, it will let these musicians do their job in more than 600 venues across the state.”
Graham and other Labor ministers were joined by Isabella Manfredi of rock band The Preatures, electronic music producer KLP, jazz musician Jonathan Zwartz, Brendan Gallagher of country rock outfit Karma County and Cecil Coleman of punk band Body Types and Georgia Mooney of All Our Exes Live In Texas.
The bill will grant local councils the ability to remove such restrictions from their development consents and require the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority to take work opportunities for musicians into consideration when making decisions.
Higher Attendance Green-Lighted For Music Venues In NSW, Queensland
More music venues in New South Wales and Queensland will consider re-opening after their states unwound coronavirus restrictions to allow more patrons, effective Oct. 1
The NSW premier’s Major Events Taskforce agreed they, along with cinemas and theaters, could double capacity to 50% but with ticket sales capped at 1,000. Corporate events at function centers can double to 300 seated delegates.
Minister for the arts Don Harwin called it “a major step forward to recovery for the performing arts sector”, adding, “For workers across the full spectrum – from box office staff to ushers, from technicians and roadies to the artists – this change means more jobs.”
Queensland also upped capacity in venues to 50%. But with chief health officer Jeannette Young “getting more and more information that outdoors is the best place to be,” outdoor stadiums and amphitheaters lift their cap from 50% to 75% as well as theme parks and zoos.
The impact was immediate in Brisbane. Sirromet Winery announced a Day On The Green concert by Christmas for 7,000 seated at its 15,000-capacity site.
The Tivoli has a summer series November to February with Cub Sport and Washington the first announced. The Triffid, booked Ball Park Music for a residency.
Survey Indicates Mass Job Losses And Business Closures
A survey by the Australian Live Music Business Council of its 600 small- to medium-sized business members unearthed sobering figures. Over 70% predicted closure within six months – 30% by Christmas – based on cashflow projections and government support. This equals 400 businesses and about 18,000 jobs.
In the survey, 73% reported a revenue downturn of 75-100% in the past six months, with only a small percentage expecting to be eligible for government support. 76% had no form of loan deferral while 9% had no rent relief.
Interim chairman Stephen Wade told Pollstar his fortnightly meetings with politicians from the prime minister and federal treasurer down gave them an understanding of how the sector works.
“They’re concerned but they’re learning how the live sector is so interlocked, and should be viewed in a national sense than state-by-state. Or that 80% of an Australian act’s tour dates being outside their home state, means border restrictions create issues for national touring.”
New Signings From Down Under
Acts from Down Under continue to tap into the global live pipeline.
New Zealand heavy metal band Alien Weaponry scored management with Rick Sales’ Los Angeles based management company, The RSE Group, slotting alongside Slayer, Gojira, Mastodon and Ghost. Singer/guitarist Lewis de Jong called Sales “a legend, and an influential figure in the metal scene worldwide.”
The Napalm Records act is booked through Pinnacle Entertainment for North America and K2 Agency in the UK for rest of the world.
Fast rising 19-year old Sydney artist flowerkid signed a worldwide management deal with Australia’s Wonderlick Management, partnering with Danny Rukasin of Best Friends Music for North America.
Rukasin, whose clients include Billie Eilish and FINNEAS said, “When I first heard flowerkid’s music, a recommended listen from Jason Kramer at KCRW, I was immediately blown away by how special and gripping of a voice he has, and the stories he is telling from a songwriting perspective.”
The act is booked in Australia through Select Music, and signed to Atlantic (US), Warner Music Australia (ANZ) and Parlophone (UK).
Sydney rapper Kwame signed with Guven Yilmaz’s Melbourne-based agency VITA’s new management division for global representation, just as he finalized a global publishing deal with BMG.
He was signed in February to the UK’s Primary Talent International by director Ben Winchester.
Two Men Charged Over Death Of Rapper Mak Muon
Two men in their 20s were arrested Sept. 25 and charged with giving “false and misleading information” over the death of Sydney rapper Mak Muon.
His body was found 24 hours before in a vehicle in a park in western Sydney with multiple stab wounds.
Police, who initially investigated it as a road rage incident, said the victim knew the two men.
Elton John Delays Make-Up Shows To 2023
As Elton John added new London and European dates to The Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, two rescheduled Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, shows are delayed again.
The dates from February 2020 were pushed back after he lost his voice mid-concert due to walking pneumonia to January 2021. The new shows are January 27-28, 2023.
Parkes Elvis Festival Postponed To 2022
Parkes Elvis Festival was postponed from March 10-14 2021 to Jan. 5-9 2022 due to COVID-19 concerns.
Parkes Shire mayor Ken Keith called the decision “disappointing and a major setback for the region’s economy, but is the right thing to do to keep the community safe.”
The festival, which began 1993, drew 24,000 this year and pumped $15 million for the hamlet 350 km west of Sydney. Its 200 events included tribute acts, forums, a motor museum, buskers, beauty pageants and film screenings.