Australasia News: Fests At Capacity; New Venue News; NZ: Ziggy Marley To WOMAD

MUNDI MUNDI BASH 2023 SATURDAY 19.08.2023 Matt Williams HIGH RES 1004
OUTBACK REVELRY: Mundi Mundi Bash 2023 at Broken Hill, New South Wales, may resemble Burning Man without the tech bros, but the family friendly favorite this year included not just plenty of live music but set a record for a fan performance of the “Nutbush City Limits” dance in honor of the late Tina Turner. (Photo by Matt Williams)


Festivals Continue To Draw Capacity Crowds

Festivals in August continued to draw capacity crowds despite reduced spending in their target demos due to escalating living costs.

The Mundi Mundi Bash on a remote goat farm 35 kilometers out of red-dusted Broken Hill, had a record 12,000. Two dozen acts included Icehouse and Human Nature, and a new world record was set with 6,594 boot scooting to “Nutbush City Limits”, and $160,000 ($103,391) raised for charity via antics as the undies run.

Founder Greg Donovan this year signed a five-year extension with the farm owners, building 300 permanent compostable toilet cubicles.

The country music Gympie Muster also has to initiate plans to expand showers, toilets and the main stage at its Amamoor Creek State Forest site in Queensland after a record turnout. “More than 40,000 people came through the gates, which was bigger than last year,” reported CEO Greg Cavanagh.

Thousands sported colorful wear to support the This Is A Conversation Starter charity aimed at awareness about mental health for blue collar workers, a 40-strong wedding party and a talent quest with a trip to Nashville for the winner.

The three-day Meredith Music outside Melbourne in December sold out its final allocation for its 12,500-capacity in minutes.

Laneway, which attracted 100,000 this summer confirmed a return to six cities in February, including Auckland which cancelled this year due to torrential rain, with the bill to drop mid-September.

MG Live, Frontier Touring and Illusive Presents return Fridayz Live in November over six cities with 12 acts including Jason Derulo, Boyz II Men and Flo Rida. The run brings together a total 300,000.

Secret Sounds, which landed 24,000 for the first Harvest Rock in Adelaide’s Rymill Park & King Rodney Parks, looks like replicating that figure over two days late October, adding a host of Aussie draws as Tash Sultana and Bernard Fanning after scoring exclusives by Jamiroquai and Beck.

HK Investment Firm PAG Buys Venue Co.

Hong Kong-based investment firm PAG Asia Capital Limited (PAG), is set to buy KKR‘s controlling interest in Australian Venue Co. (AVC).

AVC operates over 210 pubs, bars and event venues across Australia and New Zealand, including music venues as Bungalow 8 and Cargo Bar in Sydney, and The Esplanade and Sarah Sands in Melbourne.

CEO Paul Waterson said, “PAG’s investment affirms the strength of the platform and our future growth potential in Australia and NZ.”

PAG manages US$50 billion in assets for 300 institutional fund investors.


Ziggy Marley Heading For WOMAD NZ

WOMAD NZ announced Ziggy Marley as the first headliner of its 2024 installment March 15 to 17 in New Plymouth. This year it drew 15,000 each day.

Ziggy, eldest son of Bob and Rita Marley was due to play the 2020 festival but cancelled at the last minute due to family commitments.

Like his father, the 8 x Grammy winning Ziggy has a legend status in reggae-mad NZ, especially among the indigenous Māori and Pasifika communities, who further embrace his socio-political and spiritual attitudes.

Bob Marley & The Wailers’ sole NZ show at Western Springs in 1979, two years before his death, attracted 20,000 and had a number of documentaries about how it was a musical and political turning point for the country.