Australia News: Tamworth Country Music Festival, Gimme Shelter & More

Tamworth Country Music Festival
– Tamworth Country Music Festival

Tamworth Country Unveils Plans For 50th Anniversary Celebrations

After having to cancel in 2021, the Tamworth Country Music Festival will hold its 50th anniversary celebrations Jan. 14-23, 2022, in Tamworth, New South Wales. 
The lineup includes Kasey Chambers, Troy Cassar-Daley, Adam Brand, Travis Collins, O’Shea, Casey Barnes, Brooke McClymont & Adam Eckersley, Melinda Schneider, Felicity Urquhart & Josh Cunningham, and Fanny Lumsden.
“COVID-19 has had a major impact on artists, musicians, and crews, with many experiencing more than 12 months without work,” said festival director Barry Harley. “They are the lifeblood of this festival, and we are looking forward to seeing and supporting them in Tamworth in January.”
Highlights include an all-star lineup concert at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment Conference Centre, free concerts in Toyota Park, hundreds of buskers and the Toyota 50th Golden Guitar Awards with the theme “Then. Now. Forever. Australian Country.”
Michael Gudinski’s ‘Home Front’ Album Makes $150k For Music Charity
The soundtrack album from the April 2020 star-studded Music From The Home Front concert made an extra A$150,000 (US$112.720) for music charity Support Act. The figure comprised sales and a donation from the JB Hi Fi retail chain.
Home Front was a move by the late Michael Gudinski to quickly generate performance fees for covid-stricken musicians and workers.
Within a month, it was funded by Victoria’s government and Nine Network broadcast the three hour+ show from Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl to over 1 million. The second show, April 2021, was finished after his death.
The soundtrack album from the first show was released on all formats including a lavish triple vinyl album set, and topped the ARIA chart.
Newly promoted Mushroom Group CEO Matt Gudinski indicated the concert will be an annual event. “Support Act has done such outstanding work during these trying times,” he said.
Gimme Shelter
– Gimme Shelter
Artist Managers Extend Gimme Shelter Program
The Association of Artist Managers extended its early intervention mental health program Gimme Shelter for a third year. The program, used by 192 talent managers, runs with Support Act, which delivers crisis relief, mental health and well-being services to artists, crews and music workers.
“Like many in the music industry, I live with mental illness myself, so going into Gimme Shelter I presumed I already knew everything about dealing with the complex mental health issues of the folks I work with,” Nic Kelly of HATCH Management said. 
“Instead I found a crucial and powerful perspective gaining exercise on how to be there in a meaningful and practical way for my artists and friends, whilst picking up some perspective on how others work with me.”
Support Act holds its inaugural mental health conference for the music industry, Head First, in October. Discussions include sexual health and safety in the biz, burnout, resilience and work/life balance, and the price of musical ambition.
Titus Day Pleads Not Guilty To 61 Charges
Sydney-based artist manager Titus Day pleaded not guilty to 61 charges of embezzlement at the NSW District Court July 2. Police alleged the 48-year old misappropriated A$1.15 million ($864,190) of record royalties and performance fees from R&B singer songwriter Guy Sebastian between December 2013 and April 2020.
They also claimed overseas company Premier Muzik made more than 20 payments into a “trust account” for the singer’s services, but only five of these were actually paid through to him.
Sebastian, who is signed to Sony Music Australia, has sold 3.7 million singles and albums since he became the inaugural winner of TV’s Australian Idol in 2003.
Day is out on bail on $10,000 ($7,514) surety. A trial date of May 2, 2022 is set, and estimated to run for four week.
New EDM Festivals Clash With NZ’s Bay Dream
Two new EDM events in New Zealand are scheduled on the same two days Audiology Touring holds its eight year old Bay Dream festival which in 2018 drew a total of 50,000.
Endeavour Live, fronted by Rhythm and Vines festival founder Hamish Pinkham, is holding the drum & bass and house Gold Rush January 3 in Waihi, 51 minutes’ drive from Mount Maunganui? where the first day of Bay Dream stages.
The new Golden Sounds lands January 5 in Blenheim, an hour’s drive from Nelson which will be hosting the second Bay Dream gathering.
Audiology Touring’s Mitch Lowe told the Stuff website it was a “disheartening reality they felt the need to put their festivals on the same day and neighboring regions as ours” and called it a “desperate play”.
Pinkham responded the double-up was due to availability of performers and that audiences in the regions were “starved for entertainment” and could support all four shows.
Melbourne Nightclub Fined $10K For COVID Breaches
One of Melbourne’s best known nightclubs, Riva in St. Kilda, was fined A$10,904 ($8,194) for breaches of the city’s COVID restrictions. Police attended the event and “observed up to 1,000 patrons in clear and blatant breach of the chief health officer’s directions.” Footage posted on social media by revelers indicated that aside from club staff, no one wore mandatory masks or practiced social distancing.
Police referred the matter to the Department of Health for further investigation. Health minister Martin Foley was “very disappointed” to learn of the incident, adding, “We know the measures in place are tough but they’re tough for good reason.”
Tina Arena
– Tina Arena
Executive Moves: Tina Arena, Natasha Collier
Singer and musical theater performer Tina Arena takes over as artistic director of Adelaide Cabaret Festival in 2022.
Arena sold 10 million records worldwide sung in English, Italian, French and Spanish. She has been inducted into the ARIA hall of fame, just finished a full-capacity eight date run for TEG Dainty and this year was honored by the Australian Women in Music Awards with the inaugural Tina Arena Special Impact Award.
Natasha Collier, one time chief financial officer for the Sydney Opera House and Big Day Out, returns home to the west coast after 21 years. The avid KISS fan took over July 1 as chief executive office of western Australia’s peak music association WAM on a five year contract. 
Rachael Whitworth joins Perth Festival as head of programming from August 11. The trained ballet dancer was most recently senior producer at the Western Australian chapter of theatrical producer Performing Lines the past three years.