Australasia News: Mushroom Turns 50; Live Music Awards; CMC Rocks; NZ: WOMAD’s New Partner

A New York Evening With Lainey Wilson
COUNTRY TO QUEENSLAND: Lainey Wilson, seen here performing in New York at National Sawdust on Aug. 25, will be one of the headliners of Australia’s sold-out CMC Rocks Queensland festival March 15-17. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)


Mushroom Unveils Star Bill For 50th Celebrations

Jimmy Barnes, Birds of Tokyo, Ross Wilson, Missy Higgins, Paul Kelly, Hunters & Collectors and Amy Shark are among 20 names set for Mushroom Group’s 50th birthday celebrations.

Taking place Nov. 26 at the 14,820-seat Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, CEO Matt Gudinski called Mushroom 50 Live “an incredible once-in-a-lifetime night…(and) a showcase our thriving local music scene and its history. I know my late father (founder Michael Gudinski) would be very proud of what we are putting together.”

Under Gudinski Sr., 10th anniversary celebrations included the Mushroom Evolution Concert at Myer Music Bowl while Mushroom 25 Live at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in November 1998 set a new record for a ticketed concert in Australia, with 73,000 attendees.

In Pollstar’s Q3 report, Frontier Touring ranked No. 6 globally with 1.8 million tickets sold and a $191.2 million gross, with Mushroom Group’s various live entities at No. 19 with a $95.7 million gross from 886,000 stubs, and Chugg Entertainment’s $49.9 million from 356,000 tickets placing it at No. 38.

Records Set At Live Music Awards

Records were broken when the National Live Music Awards (NLMAs) returned after a two year hiatus for its sixth edition, handing out over 60 awards in eight cities with 19 live sets.
Dark Mofo increased its tally to eight with wins for live national and Tasmania event of the year.

Zaachariaha Fielding of electro-soul duo Electric Fields’ won best live voice for the third time, expanding the act’s total to eight.

Punk band Amyl and the Sniffers and rapper Genesis Owusu, both currently on international tours, took home three trophies each. Nick Cave and Warren Ellis were voted best international tour.

Frontier Touring’s Susan Heymann and pioneering First Nations hitmakers Yothu Yindi were Live Legend recipients while rapper Baker Boy took the Musicians Making a Difference award for popularizing the Yolngu language through music and connecting First Nations teens in remote communities to their potential.

Festivals gonged were WOMADelaide, Woodford Folk, Darwin Festival, Meredith Music, Nannup Music and Mardi Gras Fair Day.

Venues spotlighted were Melbourne’s Forum, Brisbane’s Tivoli, Canberra’s Basement, Sydney’s Enmore Theatre, Adelaide’s The Gov, Perth’s Mojos Bar, Tasmania’s The Odeon and the Darwin Railway Club.

CMC Rocks Sells Out For Seventh Year

With U.S. acts Lainey Wilson, Tyler Hubbard and Chris Young heading its March 15-17, 2024 bill, all 23,000 tickets for CMC Rocks Queensland were snapped up promptly.

It marked the seventh consecutive sellout for the 17-year-old event. This year, crowds began to queue outside Willowbank Arena by 2:30 a.m.

In other Queensland country festivals, the Gympie Music Muster raised A$100,000 ($62,894) for mental health associations supporting blue collar workers TIACS (This is a Conversation Starter) and TradeMutt.

The funds helped pay for 1,000 more lifesaving sessions, TIACS said.

P&O Cruises extended partnership with the Gold Coast’s Groundwater brought its peoples choice award, where audiences could vote from 50 acts, and one could get free passage on the three-night Country Music Cruise next year.


WOMAD NZ Gets New Partner, Adds Six Acts

WOMAD NZ extended the 17-year role of indigenous Māori health and social services provider Tui Ora to event partner, expanding the profile of Māori stories and culture through workshops, activities and performances.

Festival CEO Suzanne Porter said the relationship “generated several great initiatives and this new level of partnership will be a powerful vehicle for celebrating Māori culture.”

It follows the exit of Todd Energy after a petition circulated this year by Climate Justice Taranaki urging the event to cut ties with oil company sponsors.

The March 15-17 event at Brooklands Park and TSB Bowl of Brooklands announced six more acts after unveiling headliner Ziggy Marley in August.

Two were local: R&B singer Rei and ‘90s electro pop band Strawpeople.

They were joined by NYC-based, Grammy-winning Pakistani-American singer, composer and producer Arooj Aftab, Haitian-French singer Moonlight Benjamin, Irish 30-instrument folk music group Lankum, and Ukrainian “ethno-chaos” folk music quartet DakhaBrakha.