Australasia News: Australia Day Honors, Music Gets Boost With New Policy; NZ: Floods Cancel Elton, Festivals

2 AUS Dainty
Dainty TEG head Paul Dainty was made Officer of the Order of Australia during Australia Honors Day.


Promoters Shine In Australia Day Honors

Promoters Paul Dainty, Terry Blamey and Michael Cassel were included in the January 26 Australia Day Honors.

Dainty was made Officer of the Order of Australia (AO). TEG Dainty’s schedule last year included Guns N’ Roses (a quarter of a million tickets in Australia and New Zealand), Bruno Mars, Michael Bublé, Kings of Leon and Chris Rock.

Last year he told Pollstar, “We definitely plan to expand in Asia; it’s potentially a huge market,” and develop more international productions after being a producing partner of “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical” on Broadway and West End.

Appointed a Member (AM) of the Order, Blamey was a partner in Michael Gudinski’s Premier Artists agency and founding president of the Victorian Entertainment Agents’ Association, before managing Kylie Minogue for 26 years until 2013.

Theatrical producer Cassel was appointed AM. The Michael Cassel Group took “The Lion King” through Southeast Asia among its achievements.

The highest honor went to the late First Nations singer-songwriter and activist Archie Roach, who was made a Companion of the Order (AC).

Aussie Music Gets Global Boost In New Arts Policy

Contemporary music got a global boost in Revive, the Australian government’s A$286 million ($202. 6 million) new arts and culture policy, launched January 30.

It provides a 50% funding increase for music export body Sounds Australia, which stages events at festivals, trade fairs and conferences.

Initiatives are also introduced to strengthen the market domestically to provide a diversity of voices to increase overseas opportunities.

New investment and advisory body Music Australia, to launch with A$70 million ($49.6 million), will expand the audience for local music; invest in songwriting and recording in schools; source co-investment agreements with state governments; develop a workforce plan for missing skills, research and advocacy; and ensure well-being body Support Act gets A$1 million a year.

The game-changing policy includes the new Centre for Arts Workplaces to address bullying, sexual harassment and mistreatment in the arts industry; will develop an Arts and Disability Associated Plan for more participation in the cultural and creative life; and putting First Nations culture at the forefront of its strategy.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who came into power early 2022 said at the policy launch at Melbourne music venue the Espy, “[The music sector has] endured a decade in which opportunity wasn’t so much missed as thrown away; capped by the years of the pandemic in which the loss of opportunity was exacerbated by what was a calculated neglect.”


Devastating Floods Cancel Elton, Festivals

A state of emergency because of devastating floods in Auckland forced cancellation of the last two Elton John concerts and a number of music festivals.

The John concerts January 27-28 at Mt. Smart Stadium, with a 50,000 capacity for concerts, had been rescheduled from 2021.

Fans at the January 27 date were evacuated 30 minutes before showtime. “I was committed to fulfilling my promise of returning to say a final farewell,” said John, who immediately flew out of New Zealand to Hawaii in his private jet.

Laneway Festival, to have played to its biggest NZ crowd of 30,000 January 30, returned after three years. It moved from Albert Park to Western Springs after selling out in 90 minutes.

Festival One and One Love also cancelled while EDM-billed Gardens Music moved indoors from Auckland Domain to Spark Arena.

Superstar Lorde was among volunteers offering supplies to those sheltering in community welfare support center in the city.