Australia News: Industry Looks To Recover, Seismic Talent, ARIAs & More

– Groundwater Festival

New Festivals, Venues, Sign Of Live Recovery
The mushrooming of new festivals and venues in Australia indicate growing recovery of live music, and many established events have announced new plans for 2021.
European EDM festival Summer Sound plans to be in Australia within two years. Spokesperson Alex Kunnari said, “Wide open spaces and the Aussie summer sounds very attractive right now. Plenty of international EDM talent would love to head down to Australia next season!”
Adelaide promoter Gareth Lott will be repping Summer Sound locally and will scout possibilities in various cities.
In the meantime the similarly titled Summer Sounds Festival will feature 18 shows by Secret Sounds, Five Four Entertainment & Groove at Adelaide’s Bonython Park Dec. 30 to Jan. 30.
Second Sunday, TEG Van Egmond and Major Events Gold Coast are behind the inaugural punk rock and sports Inverted Festival for 20,000 on May 1, 2021 at Metricon Stadium.
The inaugural Gippsland Country Music Festival featuring A-league acts is staged April 24 by veteran festival firm Red Hill Entertainment 150km from Melbourne, headlined by multi-platinum act Lee Kernaghan.
The biggest boost for Aussie festivals came as the federal government began to disperse long-awaited grants from its A$75 million ($55.4 million) Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) fund to reboot the national live sector.
Secret Sounds, which stages the Splendour in the Grass and Falls festivals – both cancelled in 2020 – has a third event marked for 2021. 
The company received A$1.5 million ($1.1 million) towards the government’s criteria for the “development of a festival that would keep audiences connected while also reaching new audiences across Australia and overseas.”
Bluesfest Byron Bay received A$1 million ($738,793) towards its return in 2021. The festival had spent an advance A$15 million ($11.08 million) before its 2020 event was scrapped two weeks out due to pandemic restrictions.
The 2021 instalment over the Easter holiday will be its first all-Australian bill since beginning in 1990. 
It announced Nov. 26 that 14 international acts rescheduled from 2020 – including Patti Smith, George Benson, Allen Stone, Gipsy Kings, Tori Kelly, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Morcheeba, Eagles of Death Metal and John Mayall – were cancelled due to “international border restrictions”. 
– Jimmy Barnes

Aussie drawcards include Jimmy Barnes, Tash Sultana, The Teskey Brothers, John Butler, The Cat Empire, Kasey Chambers, The Church and The Living End.

Other festivals getting RISE grants to plan for 2021 included A$1.4 million ($1 million) for Melbourne International Arts Festival/RISING for four large-scale projects, A$275,000 ($203,174) each for Melbourne Fringe for independent artists and venues and Castlemaine State Festival.
The Red Hot Summer Tour headed by Jimmy Barnes and Hoodoo Gurus, sold out three shows first week for its March to May run. It added seven shows for October and November.
Gold Coast multi-venue country music festival Groundwater, which took a break 2020, returns Nov. 12-14, 2021. It drew 70,000 over three days in 2019.
EDM event This That, which draws 17,000, returns February to Newcastle, NSW, and extends to Queensland.
New music venues are springing up, indicating the fresh buoyancy.
EDM pioneer Mark James, DJ and club owner who founded Future Music festival, opens Arcade nightclub on the Gold Coast Dec. 5.
The owners of Melbourne hard rock club Cherry Bar took over punk-metal venue The Reverence and relaunched it as Hotel Westwood.
Seismic Talent Agency Opens
– Seismic Founder Joel Siviour

New booking agency Seismic Talent opened in Sydney with a roster including EDM acts Alison Wonderland, George Maple, Example and The Presets with the view to expanding their presence through the Asia Pacific.

Founder Joel Siviour, who cut his teeth over the past ten years in agencies Archery Club, Select Music and Falcona, said it was the first domestic agency to have gender parity in the roster.
“That was my long time goal, and presenting unique stories is our priority.”
NZ Stadium Extends Naming Rights
Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium keeps its name at least until 2031 after the New Zealand investment company extended its deal for a further ten years. It was rumored to have paid NZ$5 million ($3.51 million) first time around.
Terry Davies, chief executive of Dunedin Venues Management Limited said, “Forsyth Barr has been fundamental to the success of the stadium. They have been our partner since day one, and we are thrilled that they will be alongside us for the next 10 years.”
Dunedin has become the third most popular city in New Zealand with music and sports promoters. The stadium, built in 2011 for NZ$224 million ($157.4 million), holds 36,000 for concerts and 28,000 for a sports event. In 2018 it put 236,000 patrons through the turnstiles.
Among those who tread the boards were Ed Sheeran, whose three shows over Easter 2018 pumped NZ$38 million ($26.7 million) into the city, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Aerosmith, Elton John, Pink and Kendrick Lamar.
Tame Impala, Sampa The Great, Dominate ARIA Awards
– Tame Impala at ARIA awards

It was a busy 24 hours for Tame Impala. It started with double noms for the Grammys, and the trumping at the virtual ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) awards in Sydney.

To celebrate their five wins, including best band and a performance from a bar in hometown Perth, leader Kevin Parker’s new wife, Sophie Lawrence, posted a picture on Instagram to confirm their first child was due January.
Zambian-born rapper Sampa The Great, with three wins, delivered a fiery black power-themed performance from Botswana with a serve over the whiteness of the top end of the music industry and at the ARIA board for relegating her hip hop category win last year to an ad break.
Being virtual this year allowed the event to feature Sia, Robbie Williams, Sam Smith, Kylie Minogue, Keith Urban and Billie Eilish as presenters and performers from abroad. 
Among the highlights was the star-studded and emotional induction of First Nation singer songwriter Archie Roach into the ARIA hall of fame and 30 female singers performing Helen Reddy’s ‘I Am Woman’ in memoriam.

– Lorde in Antarctica

Lorde Issuing Book On Antarctica Visit
As a prelude to the release of her long-awaited third album, Grammy winning Lorde is releasing a 100-page book Going South about her visit to Antarctica February 2019. 
The trip to the frozen continent, part of her interest in environmentalism, was with government agency Antarctica New Zealand and photographer friend Harriet Were. 
She said it inspired her album, “Antarctica really acted as this great white palette cleanser, a sort of celestial foyer I had to move through in order to start making the next thing.” Proceeds from the book go towards a scholarship for an Antarctica New Zealand postgrad scholar researching climate change.