Australia News: Event Genius, Under The Southern Stars, Midnight Oil & More

Festicket’s Event Genius Enters Aussie Market With Three Signings

– Lost Paradise

UK based Festicket, which entered Australia in 2018 acclaiming its “incredible potential,” is expanding locally via its Event Genius platform which it bought in 2019 along with Ticket Arena.

Event Genius announced Feb. 2 its first deals Down Under with three festivals – Lost Paradise, Wildlands and For The Love – offering “end-to-end ticketing, cashless [POS], and event management.” 

Lost Paradise returns to Glenworth Valley, outside Sydney, Dec. 28, 2021 to Jan. 1, 2022. Normally drawing 10,000 patrons, it cancelled in 2019 due to raging bushfires and in 2020 as a result of coronavirus.

Melbourne collective Untitled Group’s Wildlands sold out its March 6 and 7 dates at the 25,000-capacity Brisbane Showground. 

For The Love – Untitled Group’s music, lifestyle and ocean festival – which in the past staged in Bali and California, stages this year at McCallum Park Perth (March 13), the sold-out Birrarung Marr Melbourne (April 3) and Doug Jennings Park, Gold Coast (April 17). 

Untitled’s Christian Serrao said, “We’ve worked with worked with Festicket as an allocation ticketing partner in the past and have always been impressed with their ability to help us reach new fans.

“As soon as they partnered with Event Genius to offer an all-round primary ticketing solution complete with payment plans, Pay With Friends, travel, access control and other onsite event delivery tech, we knew we wanted to join.”

Added Sam Owens, head of APAC (Asia Pacific) at Festicket and Event Genius, “It’s always exciting to move into new territories and we can’t wait to build our team in Australia to help deliver a string of great events in 2021 and beyond.

 “It’s been well documented how tough 2020 has been for the festival industry so when promoters of this stature entrust us with helping them get back to running the events their fans love so much it makes it all the sweeter.”

– Under The Southern Stars

Cheap Trick Added To Under The Southern Stars Tour

Cheap Trick has joined Under The Southern Stars, alongside Stone Temple Pilots and Bush. This is the first tour with international headliners since coronavirus restrictions were introduced in March 2020. The tour, through One World Entertainment, was initially set for 2020 with +Live+ in the mix. 

The newly-announced 2021 dates take in eleven arena and outdoor shows April 30 to May 16. 

One World’s Andrew McManus told Pollstar in January that the dates were green-lighted by the Australian Border Force Commissioner after intensive discussions with authorities and over 100 letters including from state premiers, lord mayors and environmental ministers. The proposal included economic analysis that each date would create $5 million to $6 million for the local town, which made the acts “critical workers”.

With stripped-down entourages, the bands get tested in Los Angeles, before flying to Sydney together April 14. They quarantine and rehearse at a locked-off resort.

Travel, accommodation and backstage will be in a bubble with minimal outside contact. “It will be a military environment,” McManus said. He consulted the travel and security experts who oversaw the recent Thor movie shoot in Sydney.

Midnight Oil Brings First Nations Issue To Surface

– Midnight Oil’s Peter Garrett

Decades after “Beds Are Burning” and “The Dead Heart” took Australia’s First Nations issues to the global mainstream, Midnight Oil continue its battle for indigenous justice. 

The rock act’s recording The Makarrata Project, which topped the Australian charts last November, is inspired by The Uluru Statement From The Heart, a call from indigenous bodies to parliament for a Makarrata or “truth telling” and a say in law and policy affecting their issues, including theft of lands and displacement.

Frontier Touring and Roundhouse Entertainment puts them in five outdoor dates Feb. 24 to March 20 to present a set of their reconciliation songs. At each stop they’ll be accompanied by First Nations artists. These include rock act Dan Sultan, country performer Troy Cassar-Daley, rapper Tasman Keith, singer songwriters Alice Skye and Leah Flanagan, and Bunna Lawrie a tribal elder who founded the ground-breaking band Coloured Stone in the ‘70s.

Enmore Theatre Returns With Sydney Celebration

– Enmore Theatre

During Sydney’s covid close-up, The Enmore Theatre “utilized the time to restore the Enmore to its original glory and take it to the next level,” said operator Century Venues COO Sam Nardo.

Popular with live music and theatrical promoters for its inner-city location and medium size (1,700 seated, 2,500 standing), the 1908 art deco building had its side-wing balconies and 24-metre bomber light reinstated, elaborate art deco ceiling and intricate lighting design revamped, and 2.5 kms of LED strip lighting installed.

Reopening night, Feb. 22, has a Sounds of Sydney theme, with guitarist Ian Moss, singer songwriters Tim Freedman, Alex The Astronaut and Isabella Manfredi and bands as Choirboys and Red Riders playing an original and a cover of their favorite song from or about Sydney. All proceeds go to music charity Support Act.

Wellington Street Festival To Draw 100,000

With New Zealand averaging three COVID cases a day its festivals have scenarios unheard of in the rest of the world. Wellington’s CubaDupa street festival, held the last weekend of March in its Cuba Street precinct, will draw 100,000 – with no social distancing or masks required.

There will be 60 acts on 30 stages, along with those showcased in music clubs, with 40 street stalls, for “our most ambitious, most creative and most diverse program ever, according to festival director Gerry Paul who added, “We feel privileged to be in a position to hold festivals. Aotearoa (the indigenous name for New Zealand which is increasingly being adopted for use) is the envy of the world right now.”

New Ownership Team For Brisbane’s Zoo

– Cat Clark, Boo Johnston, Pixie Weyand

Brisbane music venue, The Zoo, moved into a new ownership structure as it sets to celebrate its 30th anniversary 2022. Husband and wife team Boo Johnston and Cat Clarke become new co-owners alongside Pixie Weyand. Johnston is a long-time tour and production manager who runs Road Agent Touring Services, and Clarke was publicist at indie label Cooking Vinyl Australia and booked rooms in Melbourne.

The Zoo, an 800-capacity room in the Fortitude Valley precinct rated highly for its support of indie talent, is about to get a revamp including new air conditioning, renovated bathrooms and an extension of its liquor license to 3 a.m. 

Weyand who took over the club 2016, said, “I’m looking forward and moving past a really difficult year towards a bright future, with a strong team surrounding the venue.

“My focus is and always has been around the longevity of live music within The Zoo and doing whatever it takes to make sure it remains an integral part of Brisbane and the broader Australian live music scene.”