Australia News: Splendour In The City, San Cisco, One Love & More
– Splendour In The City
Inaugural Splendour In The City Unveils Strong Bill As Part Of Sydney’s 24-Hour City Rebrand
The inaugural nine-day Splendour In The City in Sydney unveiled a 50-strong bill with EDM breakthrough Masked Wolf; rock bands Violent Soho, Spacey Jane and Ocean Alley; singer songwriters Tash Sultana and Vera Blue; and rapper Illy.
The event runs July 10-18 at the 900 capacity Customs Hall and 400 capacity Cargo Hall. It is the urban version of the iconic Splendour In The Grass festival in Byron Bay, an 8.5 hour drive or 1.5 hour flight away.
“While we’re still working towards our Byron Bay event in November and are very grateful for the ongoing support from our Splendour community, we hope that the Splendour in the City pop up, alongside our recently announced Splendour XR virtual festival, will tide you all over in the meantime” said co-founder Jessica Ducrou.
It is funded by the New South Wales (NSW) government and its tourism arm Destination NSW to ensure artists and production crew get paid and bring people back into the city post-pandemic. Other features include long table dining, food trucks, specialty bars, art installations, markets, a kid’s program and a Freak VR room pop up.
NSW minister for jobs, investment and tourism Stuart Ayres emphasized, “(It) will reinforce why Sydney is the greatest city in the world – we’re open for business and we’re enjoying COVID-safe live entertainment against the most spectacular backdrop of Sydney Harbour.”
The government’s 24-hour economy drive has included the hiring of a night commissioner, relaxing restrictions on outdoor dining and red tape for late night venues and businesses, and food and entertainment vouchers.
Ayres plans “to make Sydney the events capital of the Asia-Pacific by 2030.”
Just announced to drive summertime events is closing down the busy thoroughfare Cahill Expressway for six days to host pop-up concerts, bars, dining and markets.
West Coast rock band San Cisco are calling on the Queensland government for compensation after it abruptly closed down the NightQuarter on the Sunshine Coast June 11 for allegedly breaching COVID social distancing requirements.
San Cisco sold out the venue the next day as part of a national tour behind their Between You and Me album. They argue the show could have staged if NightQuarter was given the option by Queensland Health to strengthen social distancing, or they could have found an alternate gig if given enough time.
Manager Phil Stevens revealed the show would have grossed A$60,000 ($ 44,928). Rescheduling would have saved extra transport and hotel costs as well as tour wages for themselves and support act Jaguar Jonze.
“The loss of the NightQuarter show will mean the band will lose money on this tour,” adding four shows in Victoria were rescheduled when that state suddenly went into a two week lockdown.
Stephen Wade of Select Agency echoed the sentiments of the live sector when he called the venue’s shutdown “an overreaction” by health authorities, aggravated by the fact sports events of up to 50,000 spectators were allowed.
“The over policing of live music events needs to be addressed immediately,” Wade said. “We are still yet to see any documentation from Qld Health or any health department in Australia giving us an explanation as to why our events are deemed so dangerous to the health of the general public.”
International Artists Return To NZ’s One Love 2022
The first round of artists for New Zealand’s One Love 2022 had something no NZ or Australian festival had for 18 months – international names.
They included Hawaii’s J Boog, Rebel Souljahz, Maoli, Kolohe Kai, Mike Love, and Siaosi; The Original Wailers; Texas soulster LaTasha Lee; California-based Samoan American singer-songwriter Tenelle; grandfather of Pacific Islands reggae Fiji; and Polynesian reggae and R&B/hip-hop artist Spawnbreezi.
They join NZ’s Che Fu and King Kapisi, Nesian Mystik, Sammy J, House of Shem, Ardijah and Tomorrow People.
One Love takes place Tauranga Domain Jan. 29-30, 2022. Half its 20,000 tickets were sold before acts were unveiled. The festival is now under new ownership, Reggae Love Limited, led by Glenn Meikle. He said, “My team and I are deeply passionate about the One Love movement, its kaupapa, the music, our audiences, as well as the huge value the event brings to the Tauranga region, and its important role in maintaining the high profile of New Zealand reggae and roots music across the world.”
Human Nature Now A Trio
After forming at a college in Sydney 30 years ago, R&B vocal pop group Human Nature will become a trio for shows outside their native Australia. The band has been based in Las Vegas for eleven years, but Phil Burton has decided he’s more comfortable living in Sydney.
“I made a family decision,” he told the Melbourne Herald Sun. “Vegas was a fantastic experience but it was time to come home.”
He will rejoin brothers Andrew Tierney and Mike Tierney, and Toby Allen, for shows in Australia where they are currently touring.
In January, the act extended their contract at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas through March 2022. They made a mark with the Motown & More and Jukebox shows, produced by SPI Entertainment and which became PBS specials. They were introduced to Vegas by Smokey Robinson after he saw them play in Sydney.
Venues Changing Hands
Melbourne venue The Gasometer has a new owner after Clint Fisher and Shan Vanderwert put it on the market April 2020 after seven years.
James Martelletti said “the Gaso” will book punk, metal and rock acts. His background is in business and tech but he wanted to run a music venue after his favorite hang-out Bombay Rock closed 2019. Its managers Kacey Knoodle and Asher Trainor have moved to the new venue.
Steve and Dave Sleswick, owners of the Tivoli in Brisbane, along with financier Steve Wilson, are renovating the 133-year-old Princess Theatre to launch it as a live music venue and arts hub late August. They bought it for A$3.7 million ($2.77 million) last December from Lifecity Church.
The heritage building serves 900 standing and 500 seated. The multi-million dollar fit-out will include four bars, a public café, private event spaces, a rehearsal room, a co-working office and workshop space, and an outdoor courtyard.
The Sleswicks want to reclaim it as a community hub when it was known in 1888 as the South Brisbane Public Hall. The Princess and the Tivoli will run as sister spaces, “sharing the same independent spirit.”
New Performing Arts Venue For Wellington By 2023
The New Zealand city of Wellington has no venues that seat between 400 and 1,000, for live music, comedy and smaller performing arts. The Wellington City Council budgeted NZ$5.2 million ($3.61 million) to fit out the space that was a gym complex, to turn it into a 1,000-seater to open 2023.
Over the next two years, an additional A$400,000 ($278,080) will be spent on the reopening of the 400-seat St. James Theater and Wellington Town Hall, which are closed to strengthen them against earthquakes. Both will showcase live music.