Australasian News: Bluesfest Expands, Subsonic Insurer Cops Out; NZ: L.A.B Wins Big; Asia: Clockenflap Returns; Arrests Made In Video Accident

3 ASIA Clockenflap
MAKING A COMEBACK: Amadou & Mariam are pictured performing at the annual Clockenflap music festival in Hong Kong Nov. 10, 2018. The festival returns in 2023 after a three-year hiatus. (Anthony Wallace / AFP / Getty Images)


Bluesfest Expanding To Melbourne, Perth

Bluesfest Byron Bay’s plans to expand in Australia and Southeast Asia sees it debut in Perth and Melbourne in 2023.

It’s at Nikola Estate in the Swan Valley wine country April 1, partnering with Mellen Events.
Announced so far are the Doobie Brothers, Counting Crows, John Butler, Jessica Mauboy, and Michael Franti & Spearhead.

For the debut at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, April 8 and 9 with local promoter Neil Croker, has 30 acts including the Doobie Brothers, Buddy Guy, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Kasey Chambers and Ash Grunwald.

Bluesfest topped the stadiums listings in Pollstar’s mid-year Australian & New Zealand ratings, and was #4 in the promoter rankings.

Subsonic Insurer Refuses Payout

Insurer Lloyd’s repeated its refusal to pay Subsonic promoter Scott Commens at a Federal Court case management hearing November 12.

Commens claimed $900,000 ($602,293) after he axed the festival in the Hunter Valley, NSW, due to the 2019 Black Summer bushfires which killed 33 people. He said he was concerned for the safety of 5,000 patrons.

Lloyd’s insisted there were “other reasons” for the cancellation, and the Riverwood Downs camping grounds site took other bookings that month. The case is next heard February 2023.


L.A.B Makes History At Awards

Electro-reggae band L.A.B. made history at the Nov. 10 Aotearoa (NZ) Music Awards by winning group, album, single and roots act – the same categories it trumped in 2021.

This comes after a hectic year following a No. 1 album, which saw it the top NZ act in Pollstar’s ANZ mid-year report, with 72,167 tickets in both countries for a gross of $4,216,547. There are four summer shows set for the home market.

Following the April 2023 release of its L.A.B VI album, the act makes its US debut May 26 at the Cali Roots festival in California, with full US, Australian, UK and European dates to be announced.



Arrests In Video Board Accident

Five people were arrested Nov. 11 in connection with the July 28 accident at a Hong Kong Coliseum concert in which two dancers for the boy band Mirror were injured by a falling video screen, one critically.

All five arrested were staff members of either the main stage contractor for the concert, Engineering Impact, or a subcontractor, Hip Hing Loong Stage Engineering Company, according to the South China Morning News.

Then, on Nov. 14, the city’s culture minister announced that organizer Music Nation would be suspended from hiring any venues while the investigation continues.

If any evidence is found showing that the organizer had other “responsibilities” for the accident, it could be banned from the concert business for good.

The accident shocked the city and was the topic of news stories for much of the summer. Mirror is perhaps the most popular boy band in Hong Kong.

Two dancers were struck by the screen, and one was released from hospital almost immediately, but the other, Mo Li Kai-yin, remains under care and is at risk of becoming paralyzed from the neck down due to spinal damage.

Clockenflap To Return In 2023

Hong Kong’s biggest international music festival, Clockenflap, will return next spring for its first full-scale iteration since 2018.

In subsequent years the festival was cancelled, first due to the pro-democracy protests that roiled the city and then because of the continuing COVID pandemic, which prevented outsiders from entering the territory.

According to the festival’s Facebook page, the event will take place March 5-8 at Central Harbourfront.

No acts or ticket information have been announced yet, but according to local media, the reaction online has been outstanding, which likely means it will sell out quickly.

Clockenflap started in 2008 and 80,000 people attended the last festival in 2018.


Jakarta Declares Audience Caps

The Jakarta Tourism and Creative Economy Office has declared a cap on audience attendance for concerts in the Indonesian capital at 70% of a venue’s capacity, according to local news agency Antara.

The provision is part of a new decree on public activities to further fight the continuing scourge of COVID-19 in the tourism sector. In addition, the provincial government will limit concert hours to between 11 a.m. and midnight.

Concert organizers will also be required to receive a letter of recommendation from the COVID-19 Task Force, as well as permits from local police. Finally, attendees will have to utilize the COVID-19 tracking app PeduliLindungy.