Australasia News: Suncorp Stadium Cap; SXSW Sydney Returns; Hoodoo Gurus, Manager Split; NZ: Festivals

Taylor Swift Fans Gather Outside Concert Venue In Sydney
SWIFTIES ON PARADE: Taylor Swift fans pose for photographs outside Accor Stadium at the ubiquitous superstar’s first Sydney concert on Feb. 23. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)


12 Concerts A Year For Suncorp Stadium

Brisbane’s 52,500-seat Suncorp Stadium could permanently stage 12 concerts a year from 2025.

It was capped to six but in 2022 the Queensland government temporarily lifted it to revive the live industry post-pandemic and accommodate a flood of international superstar acts.
Now it wants to maintain it and is calling for community feedback. Venue GM Alan Graham said 80% of patron feedback from 2022 favored more music.

Second Year For SXSW Sydney

After an inaugural year with 287,000 attendees from 41 countries, SXSW Sydney returns Oct. 14-20.

It calls for submissions for panels, presentations, workshops and showcases from the games, music and screen sectors to be “announced to the wider international world of early discoverers, tastemakers and industry champions that flock to SXSW Sydney,” said managing director Colin Daniels.

SXSW Sydney 2024 has 23 conference tracks, including for the creator economy, cyber & your data, education & skills, fashion, lifestyle & beauty, and food.

Hoodoo Gurus, Manager Part After 41 Years

After a 41-year partnership, manager Michael McMartin suddenly resigned from Sydney-based, internationally successful band Hoodoo Gurus citing ill health.

“Thanks to the Hoodoo Gurus I have lived a life that I only otherwise could have dreamt of,” said McMartin, who migrated from Canada in 1971.

Over the years, the multiple awards he received included the medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his contribution to music. It included artist management, founding Trafalgar Records and Studios, and helping set up the Association of Artist Managers and the Music Managers Forum.

“We are devastated by this sudden turn of events however we are incredibly proud of everything we have achieved together,” said frontman Dave Faulkner.

Mighty Management’s Mick Mazzone, who also tour managed the band for 10 years, will take over future activities. The band is finalizing North and South American return dates this year.

Gov’t Boosting Aussies Abroad

The Australian government, through Music Australia, is bolstering up the international presence of its music community.

Through its new Export Development Fund, it will work on more acts on overseas festivals, more global tours, international collaborations, and campaign for nominations at awards shows, more airplay on international radio stations, and appearances on TV and streaming platforms.

The fund provides up to A$25,000 ($16,402) in matched funding for international performance and touring, A$15,000 ($9,841) for professional and artistic development, and A$10,000 ($6,561) for international audience and market development.

“Australian artists and music businesses can rarely be sustained by a domestic market alone,” noted Music Australia director Millie Millgate, who built up her global skills and contacts as head of music export body Sounds Australia.


Festivals: Electric Avenue, One Love, Nest Fest

New Zealand’s biggest one-day music festival, Electric Avenue, had another sellout Feb. 24 at Christchurch’s Hagley Park.

More than 35,000 came for a 35-strong bill that included the Chemical Brothers, SIX60 (playing their farewell show with their drummer and founding member, Eli Paewai), Hybrid Minds and L.A.B.

One-time nightclub operator Callam Mitchell set it up in 2013 through his Team Event company, and reported a 20% to 25% yearly growth since.

The reggae gathering One Love had its biggest gathering in its 10-year history. About 15,000 attended from more than 20 countries over two days, for international drawcards Sean Paul, Shaggy, UB40 feat. Ali Campbell and Julian Marley.

The New Zealand Herald reported the sixth Nest Fest in Hawke’s Bay, already suffering losses after cancelling in 2023, failed to generate enough money from this year’s event. BirdsNest Entertainment was put in administration, leaving acts and crews unpaid.