Australasia News: Management Merger, Optus Stadium Honor, Renee Guyer Dies; NZ Festival Moved After Flood

2 AUS Barnett
LOOK OUT KID: Australian superstar Courtney Barnett is one major artist that is on the combined roster of Look Out Kid management company, which recently merged with Monster Management. The company is based in Melbourne, Australia.


Look Out Kid, Monster Management Merge

Two high-profile indie artist management firms, Look Out Kid and Monster Management, merged under the Look Out Kid umbrella and set up their first international office in Los Angeles.

The Aussie operation remain in Melbourne, where Look Out Kid was set up 2011 by onetime BIGSOUND conference programmer and Australian Independent Record Labels Association general manager Nick O’Byrne.

Music-attorney-turned-artist-manager Katie Besgrove came in as partner five years ago and moves to the general manager role.

Jacob Snell and Alexandra “Apple” Bagios, who launched Monster Management in 2010, run the U.S. operation.

The combined roster is Australia’s Courtney Barnett, Middle Kids, Sarah Blasko, Methyl Ethel and Hatchie; New Zealand’s The Beths; the U.S.’s Cloud Nothings, Sweeping Promises, Faye Webster and Palehound; and Beverly Glenn-Copeland of Canada.
The acts from Down Under have all toured North America.

Barnett who built up a sizeable following touring the U.S. twice a year the past decade, returns in autumn with her U.S. festival Here And There which last year sold 35,000 stubs from 14 stops.

The Beths remain in the northern hemisphere in 2023 with headliners and slots on tours including the National. They are with Marshall Betts of TBA, and Alex Bruford of UK-based ATC Live.

“The Beths’ rate of conversion to fans is phenomenal is phenomenal,” O’Byrne says of the Auckland pop-rock outfit. “Their fan base is utterly devoted, and their shows sell out.”
Joining Look Out Kid’s nine-strong team as touring and operation manager is Emma Hawkes, most recently helming production for Barnett’s Here And There.

Optus Stadium Wins Best Venue

Perth’s 60,000-seat Optus Stadium won best Australian venue for third consecutive year in the Austadium Awards with a 42% vote.

It trumped Melbourne Cricket Ground, Sydney’s Accor Stadium, Allianz Stadium and Qudos Bank Arena, Adelaide Oval and AAMI Park in Melbourne, among others.

Since its January 2018 opening, it has won 60 awards included international venue of the year at TheStadiumBusiness Awards in Manchester 2022 and world’s most beautiful stadium at the 2019 Prix Versailles international architecture awards.

Soul Star Renée Geyer Dies

Renée Geyer, the multi-platinum soul singer who described herself as “a white Hungarian Jew from Australia sounding like a 65-year-old black man from Alabama” died in Melbourne aged 69.

During hip surgery it was discovered she was also suffering from inoperable lung cancer.
At 16 Geyer was singing in jazz-rock bands, before a series of hit singles and albums from the ‘70s.

A 10-year stay in the U.S. saw her sought after as a session singer, by the likes of Sting, Chaka Khan, Toni Childs, Joe Cocker and Bonnie Raitt.

Back in Australia her run of hits included her 2003 album, Tenderland, entering the Top 15 and her shows selling out before the final curtain.


Festival Moved After Flood Damage

New Zealand’s wet January, which caused events to be canceled, continues to be a problem.

Promoter Endeavour Live was forced to shift Auckland’s Gardens Music Festival at the last moment from Victoria Park citing flood “damage caused to the grounds by a previous event”.

That event was Plane Sailing Festival, which drew 10,000 January 6 to the sodden grounds.

The January 29 EDM show, headlined by Fatboy Slim as part of eight dates around the country, is now at Auckland Domain.