Australia News: Firms Apologize For Harassment, Bluesfest Returns With Global Artists, Sydney Nightlife Report


Firms Apologize For Workplace Harassment Report

Twenty-six live sector names were among 56 industry groups that apologized for the “disturbing and confronting results” of a study into safe workplaces.

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PRIME VISIT: Bluesest 2022 director Peter Noble (right) welcomes Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese to the site.

A joint letter stated, “The Australian music industry is committed to change and to rebuilding trust (and) foster safe, welcoming, respectful, creative, and fun environments.”
Signatories included Live Nation, TEG, Frontier, Chugg Music, Live Performance Australia, Association of Artist Managers, CMC Rocks, Country Music Association of Australia, Electronic Music Conference, UNIFIED Music Group and Australian Festivals Association.
The Raising Their Voices report, commissioned by the music biz and conducted by MAPN Consulting, was released Sept. 1 and made 17 recommendations for change.

Of 1,600 surveyed, 55% experienced workplace sexual harassment, for 72% of women and 39% of males; 85% of those who identify as an additional gender reported at least one incident.

Perpetrators were 74% men and 25% women. Most (45%) incidents took place at a music venue, 21% in an office and 17% at a work-related event. Eighty-two percent did not report it. Only 3% made a formal complaint. Most (71%) who did found their careers affected, and 57% were “dissatisfied with the outcome.”

Bullying was more likely to occur in an office (41%) or music venue (29%), more likely a man (67%) than a woman (28%), who was a senior manager (17%), or a colleague (14%).
Ninety-one percent of women experienced “sexism from senior managers, supervisors or other leaders.”

People from First Nations, of color, with disability and LGBTQ+ backgrounds complained of restricted opportunities.

Bluesfest Returns To Full International Lineup

The 34th Bluesfest’s first 40 acts for 2023 (April 6-10) showed a return to full-scale pre-COVID international names. These included Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Bonnie Raitt, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Jackson Browne, Buddy Guy,
Mavis Staples, Femi Kuti and Jason Isbell, with exclusive appearances from Beth Hart, Eric Gales, Joe Bonamassa, Kaleo, Nikki Hill, Southern Avenue and Greensky Bluegrass.

The Australian contingent had Black Sorrows whose Joe Camilleri also heads a star-studded tribute to blues greats, onetime INXS singer Jon Stevens, The Cat Empire, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Tash Sultana and Xavier Rudd.

Director Peter Noble revealed, “Since last year we’ve invested over $500k upgrading and waterproofing the Bluesfest site … looking at every single aspect of the Bluesfest experience to ensure it’s of the highest quality possible.”

New Report Warns On Sydney Nightlife

A September report on Sydney’s nightlife had warnings about its growth with younger music fans even as the New South Wales (NSW) government launched two new initiatives.

The Night Time Industries Association’s “Night Time Industries Recovery Roadmap 2022-2024” said, “Young women in particular found the ratio of male to female often overwhelming, (venue) security being very aggressive and intimidating and public transport being unsafe for them.”

They also found too many CBD venues expensive and police presence at night scary.
This comes at a time when the government is boosting nightlife with two initiatives.

One trials venues on the Enmore Road precinct to stay open an extra 30-60 minutes from September to the end of November to boost nightlife.

It is also underwriting the free Sydney All-Nighter in partnership with hospitality group Solotel.

It will bring 100 live music acts to more than 27 stages between 16 venues until 4 a.m.