Australia News: Concert Series, Vaccination Requirement, New Fests & More

– Michael Gudinski

Gudinski’s Concert Series To Stimulate Tourism

R&B soulster Jimmy Barnes, “Dance Monkey” singer Tones & I, blues rock act The Teskey Brothers and singer songwriter Missy Higgins are involved in a new Sounds Better Together concert series designed to stimulate tourism and biz jobs through the state of Victoria.
A partnership between Michael Gudinski’s Mushroom Group and Visit Victoria, the Jan. 23 to Jan. 30 shows will be staged in regional wine-growing areas as Rutherglen and the Yarra Valley to the surf coast to Melbourne venues as the Prince of Wales Bandroom.
Gudinski said at the series launch Jan. 18, “These COVID safe concerts may be a little different to what we’re used to but the chance to finally experience live music again is incredibly exciting.”  Higgins added, “Live music has always been an essential part of life in Victoria so it’s exciting to finally be getting back to playing gigs here again. Hopefully these special shows can be a bit of a thank you to everyone for all the sacrifices they made last year.”
Singer songwriters James Reyne, Daryl Braithwaite and Deborah Conway, gospel duo Vika & Linda, band Something for Kate and emerging acts Gordi, Didirri and Mia Wray are also involved. Tickets are capped at A$50 ($38.45).
Aussie Gov’t Getting 30 Tours On The Road
– Womadelaide

The Australian government announced A$3.6 million ($2.76 million) worth of grants to support 30 tours. These are through its Playing Australia: Regional Performing Arts Touring Fund and Contemporary Music Touring Program, covering music, theatre, and dance and involving 268 locations, many in rural areas.

Among 16 musicians and associations receiving the grants, ranging from $123,540 ($94,605) to $5,000 ($3,845) were Australian Art Orchestra, Adelaide Festival Centre, Woodford Folk Festival, Bedroom Suck Records and singer songwriters Troy Cassar-Daley, Tia Gostelow, Andrew Swift and Rhyan R Clapham.
TEG Appoints Cameron Stone As CTO
– Cameron Stone

Live entertainment, ticketing and venue operator TEG hired Cameron Stone as chief technology officer. 

He was previously chief information officer at Virgin Australia where he delivered major technology platform transformations in the airline’s history, and CIO and SVP at rail freight operator Aurizon. 
Stone, who reports to Ian Ball, TEG’s chief operating officer and global head of venues, also worked in the health and financial sectors.
TEG chief executive Geoff Jones said: “Cam has built a successful career specializing in large transformation programs and the mobilization of technology driven organizations. He is perfectly placed to extend TEG’s technology leadership across our global operations.”

Music Head Donates $5m To Sydney Festival
– Peter Freedman of Rode Microphones

Peter Freedman, founder and chairman of Australian microphone company RØDE, donated A$5 million ($3.84 million) to Sydney Festival, the largest singular philanthropic contribution to the event. 

Freedman has been its principal philanthropic partner since 2013 and received the Order of Australia five years ago for services to business, manufacturing and export, and his philanthropic support for cultural events.
“Our artistic communities need assistance now more than ever. The creative arts are at the mercy of this pandemic, more so than any other industry, and the past 12 months have highlighted just how fragile the industry is,” Freedman said.
He funded Bentonville, Arkansas performance venue RØDE House, and in 2020 bought Kurt Cobain’s famous MTV Unplugged acoustic guitar for a record-breaking A$9 million ($6.9 million) to spotlight the plight of performing artists. He plans to tour it globally to raise funds for struggling artists through a new philanthropic foundation.
Auckland’s Eden Park Wins Battle For Concerts
– Eden Park

Auckland’s sports stadium Eden Park has won a lengthy battle against neighboring residents to stage concerts. 

An independent commission agreed it could automatically host up to six a year, saving it from having to go through lengthy and expensive applications for each one.
With up to 60,000 patrons, the shows can start by February or March if no objection is lodged by Feb. 5. Eden Park chief executive Nick Sautner said the acts were already chosen.
Of 3,100 submissions at a hearing last November, 2966 were for the idea. Staging concerts is an essential financial consideration for the venue, which received a NZ$63 million ($44.9 million) bailout from Auckland Council in 2019.
Jade Gould Joins Beehive PR
– Jade Gould

Entertainment and extreme sports publicity agency Beehive PR hired Jade Gould as senior publicist. 

She was director of promotions at Sony Music Entertainment and publicity at BMG Music, and more recently at Ditto Music and RPM PR. 
“2021 is already looking up, and I’m really excited and inspired to be a part of the journey for our amazing musicians and talented sports personalities,” she said. 
Gould joins company founder Sammie Anschau and senior publicist and content producer Sosefina Fuamoli.

Sydney Venue Ban Without COVID Vaccine?
New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian is coming down hard on those who refuse to take the COVID vaccine. 
She told the Daily Telegraph Jan. 18 she was flagging a proposal to prevent patrons from entering hospitality venues including music clubs without proof of inoculation. 
“Some of those decisions could be inspired by government, (and) some of those decisions might be inspired by the organisation themselves,” she said. 
Workplaces and airlines have already signaled the jab as essential for entry, as have some music festival promoters.

Three New Festivals Take A Chance, Two Delay
– Play On The Plains

As pandemic outbreaks continue and restrictions and border closures return, three new festivals have been announced while two were delayed.

The promoters of country ’n’ roots festival Deni Ute Muster announced a new all-ages event called Play On The Plains March 7 at its site in the New South Wales regional area of Deniliquin. 
The bill includes younger acts as bands San Cisco, Spacey Jane and WAAX, and singer songwriters Ruby Fields, Benny Walker and Taylah King. General manager Vicky Lowry called Play On “a long-term vision” which “will bring a new young genre of music” to the site.
Queensland sees two new events. Day Trip is held Feb. 20 at the Townsville Turf Club in tropical Townsville. The crowd is capped at 2500 with a bill ranging from indie rock Jungle Giants to hip hop/jazz singer Genesis Owusu.
Road To Roma debuts March 6-7 at the Club Hotel in rural Roma with country music acts including Golden Guitar winner Andrew Swift and hit band Darlinghurst. Organisers Bec Lavelle and Mathew Reynolds said the event was to “give back to a farming community that had shown great resilience the past year.”
In the meantime, the 50-act Airwaves on the Sunshine Coast moved from late January to March 27 to 28 as most of its headliners were from Sydney and affected by the Queensland border restrictions in place until Jan. 31.
This That rescheduled from February to October 30 for its Sandstone Point, Queensland, show and to Nov. 6 for its Newcastle, NSW, stop.