– Blues On Broadbeach
Artists continue to be added to the lineup of Blues on Broadbeach, which draws up to 200,000 fans to the precinct on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
As more states drop live restrictions, major festivals are returning – some bigger than before – cashing in on enthusiasm for the live experience.
Techno and house PURE, which began 2016 in Sydney and Melbourne, is in 2022 running to five cities April 22-30. It is presented and curated by Carl Cox, Eric Powell of Bush Records and Richie McNeill of Hardware. Its last national attendance figure was 20,000.
Promoters Untitled and Beyond The Valley signaled that Brisbane’s Wildlands is expanding to a “multi-day, multi-city music and arts” event.
Major Events Gold Coast’s free Blues On Broadbeach (May 19-22), which draws 200,000 over four days, continued to add international names to its 21st anniversary bill. Japanese funk orchestra Osaka Monaurail join U.S. guitarists Robben Ford and R.L. Boyce.
Yours & Owls in Wollongong, which in 2021 spent A$1 million ($729,055) on a 700-page COVID-safe document, this year hastily added more events and a sixth stage for its 14,000-strong crowd after restrictions were lifted weeks before its April 2-3 shows.
Good Day Sunshine, a COVID-safe event in 2021 with its crowd split into bubbles facing a revolving stage, returns to Western Australia’s Busselton Foreshore on Sept. 24 with a blues-rock bill topped by Leon Bridges.
Birdsville Big Red Bash, billed “the most remote music festival in the world,” sold out 10,000 tickets, with crowds making the 29-hour drive to the red-earthed Simpson Desert to see headliners Jimmy Barnes, Missy Higgins and Kasey Chambers over three days in July.
A further eight confirmed their return after receiving funding of up to A$482,400 ($351,695) in the Australian government’s latest round for 91 music and arts projects of its A$200 million ($145.8 million) Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund.
New initiatives were backed, which included regional showcases and pop-up merch stores by UNIFIED Music Group acts; an all-ages festivals in Newcastle and the Gold Coast; and music series for Sydney’s City Recital Hall and Live Nation’s Palais Theatre in Melbourne.
Plus, Empire Touring put on a 23-date tribute tour by Aussie acts to celebrate the music of The Rolling Stones, Nirvana, John Lennon and David Bowie.
Live Nation Behind New Adelaide Club
Live Nation is part of a contingent setting up the 1,800-capacity venue Hindley Street Music Hall, set for an August open in Adelaide’s entertainment and dining precinct of that name.
Joining the A$6 million ($4.37 million) project are Secret Sounds, Five Four Entertainment, and the team behind Brisbane’s Fortitude Music Hall and The Triffid.
With a street-level nightclub and restaurant, it will also showcase comedy and theatre.
Roger Field, president of Live Nation Asia Pacific, noted it a worthy addition to Live Nation’s venue portfolio, which includes Melbourne’s Palais Theatre and Auckland’s Spark Arena, and “will ensure the continued development of the city’s incredible live entertainment scene and will attract amazing performances for local music fans to enjoy while also creating jobs for the local community.”
Auckland Unveils City of Music Report
Auckland City of Music, a collab between the music biz and Auckland Council, unveiled the results of a four-year plan to grow the sector.
Aukland is a UNESCO City of Music within the global UNESCO Creative Cities Network since 2017, the report explained.
Aukland’s win as Best Global Music Office at the second annual Music Cities Awards 2021 bested Tulsa, Okla., in the U.S. and Melbourne, Australia.
It included songwriter workshops with Bob Geldof and Mick Fleetwood, gig participation schemes, support for grassroots venues, a program to address gender equality and support for the UN’s 2030 sustainable development goal.
During the pandemic, MusicHelpsLive raised more than NZ$850,000 ($578,354) and assisted nearly 600 musicians and music workers with direct support for 18 grassroots music venues. Auckland City of Music director Mark Roach said a thriving music industry had wider benefits, including a boost in tourism and civic pride in the city.
“We can be really proud of what the partnership has achieved, and we know the industry is extremely resilient, but the pandemic has really challenged artists and creatives,” he stressed.