Australasia News: SXSW Sydney; WA Wins Coldplay Gambit; Biz In Budget; NZ: Campaigning For Eurovision

Coldplay 'Music Of The Spheres World Tour' Buenos Aires
COLDPLAY PAYS: Chris Martin of Coldplay performs during the first of10 shows as part of “Music Of The Spheres World Tour” at Estadio Mas Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti on October 25, 2022 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Western Australia gambled and won that Coldplay would be a huge draw, and has sold out two stadium shows in Perth. (Photo by Santiago Bluguermann/Getty Images)


SXSW Sydney Unveils Keynote Speaker, First Acts

South by Southwest (SXSW) Sydney, which debuts Oct. 15-22, unveiled a keynote speaker, Chris Lee (aka Sung-su Lee), chief A&R officer of major K-Pop player SM Entertainment; and its first 30 showcasing acts.

‘With SXSW Sydney’s focus on the opportunities in APAC, (Lee’s) participation will be invaluable in helping attendees understand and capitalise on the poten
tial of this dynamic region, ” said the event’s head of music, Claire Collins.

SM is setting up production centers around the world, starting with Singapore, with own A&R, management, music video, artwork and PR and marketing teams.

SXSW Sydney’s 30 emerging acts including alt-pop Alter Boy, First Nations funk seven piece Andrew Gurruwiwi Band and alt-duo Teenage Joans, as well as names from Japan, South Korea, UK, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.

WA Government’s Coldplay Gambit A Success

The Western Australia government’s gambit to generate “millions” of tourism dollars with an exclusive Coldplay show has proven a success.

When Live Nation in early May extended Coldplay’s “Music Of The Spheres” to four Asian cities, it also included a one-off run to Perth sponsored by the state.

The November 18 date at Optus Stadium had about 70,000 tix going for $107 ($71.15) to $260 ($172.88).

However strong presales on May 15 saw a second show added for November 19.

The shows will be marketed in places as Singapore and New Zealand which missed the tour, with hotel packages designed to encourage visitors to stay longer and explore the state more.

Luke Hede, vice president of touring at Live Nation Entertainment, commented, “It’s incredible to see that thousands of fans are keen to travel from all over the country and across Asia to see the world’s biggest band play a historic event in Western Australia.”

Two other music events funded by the WA government to create tourism.

One was an AC/DC-themed festival High Voltage where 50 acts played on a convey of seven flatbeds on 5m of highway and in three parks.

The other was to finance a music video featuring WA landmarks for this year’s Eurovision entry, Perth prog-metal band Voyager, to play on Eurovision channels. The act ranked #9 in the grand final, creating more video airplay.

Music Biz Gets Long-Term Funding In Budget

The music business received long term funding in the May 9 Federal budget.

It included a new development agency Music Australia that guaranteed all government departments would work with the industry for audience development and music export to keep Australia as a Top 10 music market.

Eight training organisations got $9 million ($5.9 million) for skills development for performers and live music production specialists.

But Live Performance Australia’s Evelyn Richardson called for greater funding for “industry-led traineeships and grants to help attract, retrain and retain the skills that are needed to bring live performances to Australians in our cities, regions and country towns.”

Funding included a center to support arts and entertainment workers; a body dedicated to First Nations work, and a school program to include songwriting.


New Zealand Campaigns For Eurovision

New Zealand began a campaign to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest 2024, arguing it has the same rights as Australia, which has been competing since 2015.

Lead by Kiwi brewery Yeastie Boys, the bid includes a public petition and song “Eurovusion (Open Up)” by comedy duo Two Hearts which tongue-in-cheek argued Europe and New Zealand were geographically linked thousands of years ago, and later colonized by Europeans.

The bid won support from Nina Obermaier, the European Union ambassador to NZ, as well as Australia’s entry this year, prog-metal band Voyager.

Australia was allowed to compete because of strong Eurovision TV ratings for 30 years.
But Yeastie Boys founder Stu McKinlay maintains, “Australia being invited to Eurovision without New Zealand is like inviting someone to your wedding but not giving them a plus one!”