Australasia News: Australian Managers Awards; Chugg Remembers Ironside; Stadium For Tasmania; NZ: Eden Park

Björk Cornucopia Tour Perth
ICELANDIC QUEEN: Bjork performs during her “Cornucopia” tour at Perth Festival March 9 in Australia. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images for ABA)


McMartin, Stone Honored At Managers Awards

Michael McMartin, guiding force of the Hoodoo Gurus, and Andrew Stone of Chugg Music, were among those gonged at the April 27 Association of Artist Managers (AAM) awards in Sydney.

Canadian-born McMartin began with the Gurus 1985, found them a North American market, and was put on a five-way equity split by the quartet.

He co-founded the Music Managers’ Forum Australia and the AAM and served as chairman and executive director of the International Music Managers’ Forum.

Stone took manager of the year, with a healthy 12 months that saw electro-pop duo Lime Cordiale, rock band Teenage Dads and country singer/songwriter Casey Barnes touring globally.

Charlotte Ried of Powerhouse Management won breakthrough manager after pop trio Blusher signed to Atlantic/Warner, singer-songwriter Gretta Rays grew her base and garage rock duo Polish Club landed a sync with the rugby league.

Jane Slingo’s community engagement gong was for a vote scheme for the national elections, a program where five acts performed and collaborated in the UK, and an electronic music therapy and school holiday program for children living with disability.
The inaugural A$7,500 ($4,962) career-boosting Patron’s Gift, recommended by Michael McMartin, went to Ricky Simandjuntak of When Worlds Collide, for his role in rap acts The Kid LAROI, Sampa The Great and Onefour.

Michael Chugg Remembers Colleen Ironside

Promoter Michael Chugg recalled the late Colleen Ironside’s work ethic when presenting her with an Outstanding Services to Australian Music trophy at rights association APRA’s awards in Sydney April 27.

Ironside, who pioneered Western superstar tours in the Asian region from the 1980s with Frontier Touring and Live Nation, died in her Bangkok home July 2022.

Chugg recalled how as a Sydney venue booker and the first female agent at his Harbour Agency, she championed the unknown INXS, Midnight Oil and Cold Chisel as well as First Nations artists.

Her workplace rules were don’t get to the office before 1 p.m. “or people will think you weren’t up all night discovering bands, hustling potential gigs and pursuing new clients”; never take a call before two coffees and a pack of cigarettes; and “always argue with your fellow staff members – purely for practice!”

New Stadium For Tasmania

After years of debate, Tasmania seems set to get a 23,000-seat sports and concert stadium, with the Australian government putting A$240 million ($158.7 million) towards the A$715 million ($473 million) Hobart Stadium.

This was on top of A$375 million ($248 million) from the Tasmanian government and
A$15 million ($9.9 million) from Australian Football League (AFL).

Paving the way for a Tasmanian AFL team, it will be built on the Port Macquarie waterfront, with plans to host three major concerts a year to 30,000 fans.


Eden Park Proposes Retractable Roof, Larger Capacity

Operators of the 50,000-seat Eden Park stadium have a proposal to Auckland Council to attract more international music and sports events.

It includes a retractable roof, three new grandstands, and growing capacity to 60,000.
Eden Park Trust chair Doug McKay believes a revamp would be 40% to 50% of council’s building a new stadium elsewhere.

The trust’s latest report showed Eden Park made a NZ$7.3 million ($4.5 million) operating profit, but a NZ$3.6 million ($2.2 million) loss when loan costs and depreciation were factored in.