Australia News: $250M Rescue Pack, Ticketmaster, Live Music Awards & More
Red Tape Ties Up $250m Gov’t Rescue Pack
The A$250 million ($178.5 million) emergency rescue Arts & Entertainment Package announced June by prime minister Scott Morrison – of which A$75 million ($53.5 million) was for the live music sector – is caught up in red tape an Oct. 21 senate estimates meeting found.
The grilling of heads of the department of infrastructure, transport, regional development and communications found only $49.5 million ($35.3 million) was dispersed. Most went to Screen Australia to fund 20 films and TV productions. Nothing was allocated to the music sector, which was promised grants of between A$75,000 ($53,549) to $2 million ($1.4 million).
For the A$75 million ($53.5 million) allocated to stage new festivals, concerts, tours and events none of the 314 applications since August were assessed yet. Nor were any of submissions for a A$35 million ($24.9 million) pool for those experiencing acute cash flow hardships.
Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young of the inquiry commented: “It’s hardly coming to the rescue if eight months after being hit by COVID19 restrictions the industry is still waiting for support. It’s like promising a struggling swimmer a lifebuoy and not throwing it out till they’re too weak to hold onto it.”
Splendour in the Grass co-CEO Jessica Ducrou responded to her two wins at the Oct. 21 Australian Events Awards – for regional tourism and event producer –by saying the honors came at a time live music “is unable to operate and is in dire straits.
She pointed out that crowd caps were lifted to 40,000 for football games and horse races “in the name of economic recovery (but) there has been no such assistance for our Australian music festivals, which employed 9,176 FTE workers and injected over A$2.7 billion (1.8 billion) into the Australian economy in 2019.”
Promotions, Hires At Ticketmaster Down Under
To set up for expansion moves, Ticketmaster Australia and New Zealand promoted Maria O’Connor, its Melbourne-based managing director for the past 28 years, to chairman.
“(Her) extensive knowledge and understanding of the ticketing and live event industries will continue to be an invaluable asset to our senior leadership team,” said Mark Yovich, global Ticketmaster president.
– Ticketmaster’sMaria O’Connor and Gavin Taylor
Ticketmaster’s new Australian managing director Gavin Taylor – previously GM at Perth Stadium Management and CEO of the West Australian Football Commission – begins his new role January. Justin Pule was named managing director for NZ.
Finance and operations director Jim Kotsonis moves to the newly created role of executive vice president of Ticketmaster Australia and NZ.
Susie Kyrou of ad-tech giant Rokt fills the new role of general manager of data and insights.
At Moshtix, which Ticketmaster acquired 2019, founder Harley Evans remains managing director while Anjelica Devoe takes on head of business development in NZ, based in Auckland.
Six Achievers Lauded At Live Music Awards
Among the winners at the Oct. 20 virtual National Live Music Awards were five for the inaugural special achievements “who made a positive difference in what has been the most difficult year for the industry in living memory.”
They were financial and well-being charity Support Act whose helpline calls jumped 400%; the Isol-Aid livestreamed festival whose founders paid for it with personal credit cards; booking agent Stephen Wade who chaired the Australian Live Music Business Council; mental health charity Listen Up Music; and Melbourne Digital Concert Hall whose 170 classical music streamed shows raised A$700,000 ($499,794)for musicians.
Frontier Touring’s Michael Gudinski accepted Tool’s inaugural win for best international tour. “Tool are one of the most amazing bands that Gerard (Schlaghecke, tour director) and I have toured twice. The production, the show is just incomparable, as is their loyal following.”
Live event of the year went to Woodford Folk Festival in Queensland, and African-born soul singer Sampa The Great was best live act.
Live Nation, Jaggad Celebrate ”Unstoppable Females”
Live Nation Australia and Aussie activewear brand Jaggad set up an ongoing partnership to celebrate “unstoppable females.” First off is Sydney DJ and producer DJ Tigerlily who appears as the face of two new collections and provides playlists for Jaggad’s workout platform.
Kim Friedlaender, LN’s business development director, brand & marketing partnerships at Live Nation said: “This partnership was born out of a shared love for live music and a shared excitement about the power of combining music and health.”
New Live Body Announces GM, Board
The Australian Live Music Business Council, set up in July to represent the wide spectrum of the live sector, has unveiled a permanent setup. Stephen Wade, head of Select Music agency and who was interim chairman, will become chair.
Craig Spann is executive general manager, with a background in government, corporations and music associations.
– Craig Spann
– Craig Spann
He said, “The live music industry has always been innovative and resilient, but 2020 has challenged our industry like never before.”.
The board represents festival promoters, agencies, venue operators, ticketing firms, publicists, economic researchers and production companies.
Wellington Cops Investigating 60 Allegations Of Sexual Assaults By Musicians
New Zealand police have begun an investigation into at least 60 allegations made against Wellington musicians. Media reports and a single social media post led to the other claims.
These included sexual assault, sexual harassment, rape, drugging and violent attacks with victims as young as 13 years old. Twelve officers are working on what has been dubbed Operation Emerald.
As only a few complaints were officially laid, Wellington City councilor Tamatha Paul, victims advocate Louise Nicholas and police, urged others to come forward.
Paul said, “One of the main messages that I’ve seen over the last few days is that actually this is really prevalent in the music industry but also in New Zealand generally.”