Australia: Cancellations, BIGSOUND, Return To Capacity & More

– Splendour In the Grass

COVID Outbreak Cancels Splendour in the City, Trip The Switch
Two festivals were cancelled after an outbreak of coronavirus put Sydney in lockdown until July 9. There were also COVID eruptions in other states.
The July 10-18 Splendour In The City, a tie-up between Splendour In The Grass and the New South Wales government to revive foot traffic in Sydney and provide employment in live music, was cancelled on June 28.
“It has become impossible to progress with plans to move artists and staff around the country, and also to build the event in Sydney,” organisers said. It was impossible to reschedule as Splendour stages in its Byron Bay home November. Its inaugural online version Splendour XR continues July 24 and 25.
Trip The Switch, set for July 3 at Willowbank Raceway in Ipswich, Queensland, was also canned on June 27.  Already rescheduled from February 2021, it was forced to pull the plug with Sydney acts in headliner Icehouse as well as The Angels and Shannon Noll and their crews were prevented from entering the state.
Events in Aussie spring remain unaffected, however. 
Country music Groundwater returns to the Gold Coast Nov. 12—14, a free event staged beachside through parks, bars, restaurants and streets. In 2019, it drew 73,000, of which 62% were out-of-towners and injected A$7 million ($5.3 million) into the local economy.
TEG and Empire Touring’s Spring Loaded added two new dates—in Brisbane and Melbourne— now making its October 16 to December 4 run totaling seven.

– Tarana Burke

#MeToo’s Tarana Burke, Henry Rollins To Keynote At BIGSOUND

#MeToo founder Tarana Burke and punk poet Henry Rollins are the first keynote speakers announced for BIGSOUND, the southern hemisphere’s biggest music industry gathering, to be held Sept. 7—9. They will deliver their keynotes from the U.S.
“This year, we have the incredible chance to reconnect, recharge and experience the magic of discovering new music with one another again – friends, colleagues, and music-obsessed strangers – who, for too long, have been separated by geographical borders,” said Kris Stewart, CEO of QMusic which produces the Brisbane event which turns 20 this spring.
“It’s an absolute honor to have the caliber of talent in Tarana Burke and Henry Rollins to bring their powerful insight to BIGSOUND for what will be an important piece of the puzzle as the industry grapples with the big issues to progress real, positive change.”
2021 also features the Little BLAKSOUND conference. Via panel discussions and hands-on workshops, it invites the music biz to listen to how the next generation of First Nations arts leaders can be placed at the forefront of industry conversations.
In recent years, Baker Boy, Thelma Plum, Sycco, Budjerah, JK-47, Emily Wurramara, Miiesha, Birdz and Electric Fields crossed over into the mainstream. But the U.S. and European success of The Kid Laroi sent a volt through the sector.
BIGSOUND’s First Nations programmer and producer Alethea Beetson noted, “Indigenous young people are so incredibly important as they are the youngest generation of the oldest surviving cultures in the world. 
“Little BLAKSOUND provides a much-needed space for them to share their vision of the future, connect and demand change within the music industry.”
Western Australia’s Venues Back To 100% Capacity
Music venues in Western Australia, including Perth and Fremantle, became the first in the country to return to a pre-COVID 100% capacity after 16 months of restrictions.
From June 24, after the state registered the highest rate of vaccinations in the country, the two square meter rule and the 75% capacity limit were removed. All major events resumed with no limits on size or crowds. Venues with ticketed fixed seating such as Optus Stadium, RAC Arena, theatres and cinemas were already at 100% capacity.
The move followed negotiations with promoters and the Australian Live Music Business Council (ALMBC). Its chair, Stephen Wade, added, “Through the work done by the ALMBC we were clearly able to show the WA government the positive impact the live music economy has on the overall entertainment economy in Perth.”
The Australian Hotels Association (WA)’s CEO Bradley Woods warned the live sector, “If we are to remain in Phase Five and reap the benefits of having no capacity restrictions in place, it is critical that we all maintain our vigilance by ensuring contact registers are used every time and personal hygiene practices continue.”
In case restrictions returned, Events Industry Association of WA chair Tim Kennedy wanted the government to “put some sort of mechanism in place to help events continue.”

Singer Katy Perry’s Small Legal Win Over Designer Katie Perry
While singer Katy Perry and Australian fashion designer Katie Perry are set to have their trademark dispute go before the Federal Court Nov. 29, the Sydney Daily Telegraph reported the singer had an early technical win.
The designer’s legal term requested access to documents, including emails between the singer, her management and lawyers. But the judge ruled the material attracted legal privilege.
Designer Katie Jane Taylor said she operated a clothing label under her birth name Katie Perry since 2006, and the singer (born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson) infringed her trademark when she began selling clothes under her name in Australia. Taylor is calling for damages.
Live Music Not Forgotten In Queensland, NSW, Budgets
Heavy lobbying from the national and state live sectors saw live music get concessions in state budgets in Queensland and New South Wales (NSW).
Minister for the arts Leanne Enoch announced, “We have amped up investment to Queensland’s live music industry, which we know has been impacted by the pandemic, with an extra $7 million ($5.3 million) in 2021-22.
“This funding will ensure the live music sector can continue to support Queensland talent and help to connect artists, audiences and communities across the state.”
The sum is part of a A$90 million ($68.2 million) investment into the arts sector, which Enoch said, “The arts are key to delivering our plan for economic recovery, each year contributing A$8.5  billion ($6.4 billion) into the state’s economy and supporting more than 92,000 jobs for Queenslanders.”
NSW’s budget committed a total of A$1.3 billion ($986.1 million) to arts and culture.
 For live music, it included A$5.2 million ($3.94 million) for the Sydney Opera House to upgrade recording and broadcast studio equipment; A$15 million ($11.3 million) for a Cahill High Line, inspired by the Manhattan High Line, to temporarily transform Sydney’s Cahill Expressway into an area of live music; A$200 million ($151.7 million) over four years to make Sydney the events capital of the Asia-Pacific; and A$24 million ($18.2 million) for small and medium arts companies to become more creative and tour regionally.

Sydney’s ‘Doof Shed’ Declared World’s Smallest Nightclub

The Guinness Book Of Records officially recognized Sydney’s Doof Shed as the world’s smallest mobile nightclub. It It measures 1.53m x 0.74m x 1.88m, beating the previous record by the 2.01 meter-high Club 28 in the UK.
Twin DJ brothers Harry and Evangelos Labrakis built it during the first pandemic in 2020. Patrons are picked by ballot, and bring up to six friends.
Those dancing in the repurposed a corrugated metal shed get a basic DJ set up with mirror ball, lights and sound system, but can opt for smoke machine, strobe, flashing lights and lasers.