Australian Court dismisses Viagogo appeal + all the biggest industry headlines
23.05.2022

Australian Court dismisses Viagogo appeal + all the biggest industry headlines

Words by Christie Eliezer

Mushroom & Coles Mentor First Nations musos, 131 Victorian venues get funding, and more!

Been out of the loop with everything that’s been going on in the music industry recently? We don’t blame you. Here’s a wrap-up of all the biggest Aussie music industry news stories from the past fortnight.

The top headlines:

  • Mushroom & Coles Mentor First Nations musos.
  • 131 Victorian venues get funding.
  • Australian Court dismisses Viagogo appeal.

Keep up to date with the latest industry news here.

Festival Pass eyeing entry to Australia

US live events service Festival Pass, which allows punters to enjoy thousands of events for a monthly subscription, is setting up in Australia.

Founder Ed Vincent told Billboard it is expanding globally outside the US – first in Europe, then Australia, followed by Asia, and Latin America.

“Our roadmap timing will be motivated by regional need for our product or service and results in securing associates to support us to mature in just about every location,” he said.

The events Festival Pass offers cover music, film, food & wine, art, sports, theatre, and tech.

Vincent says a global live community has been created in the huge demand post-pandemic and the evolution of entertainment into Web 3.

US subscriptions range from $19 to $99 a month. It’s too early to know what extra perks Australian subscribers will get.

But the Americans pay up to 30 per cent less for 80 thousand events, get early access to artist NFTs, and can get big discounts at hotels.

The global events industry is projected to hit 200 billion US dollars in 2026, and online event ticketing market size is predicted to reach 68 billion dollars by 2025.

ARIA Awards on the move

The ARIA Awards is moving to Hordern Pavilion on Gadigal land in Sydney this year and will be held on Thursday November 24.

They are broadcast on the Nine Network and streamed to the rest of the world on YouTube.

This is the fourth year of its partnership with YouTube, with last year’s awards clocking over 1.7 million views on YouTube, according to ARIA.

Over the past 12 months, 67 Australian releases landed in the Top 10 on the ARIA Albums chart, and 13 Australian albums reached #1. 

Mushroom & Coles Mentor First Nations musos

Mushroom Group and Coles have partnered to mentor First Nations musicians.

It is via Coles’ First Nations Pathway which was initially set up for sports, and designed by Mushroom, with mentors announced as Emily Wurramara and Nooky.

The program will teach young aspirants about how the music industry works, increase their skills, and help them land jobs.

Coles Radio will play more indigenous music and have the mentors host dedicated segments.

Mushroom was among the first to champion indigenous artists as Archie Roach and Yothu Yindi and today are affiliated with Dan Sultan, Emily Wurramara, Troy Cassar-Daley, and Baker Boy.

Coles Group is one of the largest private sector employers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) people and has had an ATSI plan since 2009 focusing on employment, supply chain, community partnerships, and cultural learning.

131 Victorian venues get funding

The Victorian government has given 131 metro and regional venues grants of up to 65 thousand dollars as part of its Live Music Venue Support Program.

Targeting only small to medium venues (50 to 1,200 capacity), find the list here.

Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson went to Queenscliff to make the announcement at Blues Train, one of the recipients.

Since 1994, the Blues Train has taken 300 thousand guests on a local heritage journey sound-tracked by local blues and roots musicians.

Another local recipient was Queenscliff Town Hall, which opened as a music venue last year as a partnership between the Queenscliff Music Festival and the Borough of Queenscliff to address a lack of venues in the area.

QMusic launches safety program in venues

Queensland music association QMusic has launched Safe Places, a pilot program that promotes respectful, safe, and inclusive behaviour for women, First Nations, and LGBTIQA+ members in music venues.

“Throughout the music industry we need to start the conversation about change, creating safety in our venues, improving patron confidence, and educating people in how to get help,” said QMusic CEO Kris Stewart.

The pilot begins with a small and large venue, The Zoo and The Fortitude Music Hall.

Last week their staff underwent training delivered by the MATE Program, to get skills to be proactive in recognising and addressing problematic behaviour in turn preventing issues.

It began last Friday at Holy Holy’s show at Fortitude Music Hall, following up with The Bronx gig at the Zoo on May 24.

The leadership training follows a Queensland government roundtable which QMusic participated in to discuss safety in hospitality and music venues.

Data presented at the roundtable found a 30 per cent increase in reports of sexual-based offences within or around licensed places, compared to 2016; sexual assault reporting is itself estimated to be under-reported by as much as 70 per cent.

Australian Court dismisses Viagogo appeal

Australia’s Full Federal Court dismissed an appeal by Viagogo over an April 2019 decision by the Federal Court which found the Swiss-based ticket reseller had misled consumers, and in October 2020 gave it a seven-million-dollar penalty.

These involved not disclosing additional fees like a 27.6 per cent booking fee until later in the transaction, claimed to be the official reseller of certain tickets, and that some tickets were scarce.

The appeals court said on May 18 that Viagogo had not proven that the original judge made an error.

Viagogo, which said it had changed its practices since the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission brought the case in August 2017, called the seven-million-dollar penalty “manifestly excessive.” But the new finding said it had to cough up.

Find out more here.

Synch Watch: G Flip for Subaru, The Kid Laroi for Maccas

Subaru Australia ambassador G Flip, has created a catchy tune and clip for the campaign behind the compact SUV Subaru XV.

G Flip said: “I have loved cars ever since I was a kid and I grew up with Subaru in my family.

“My dad would drive me to school in his Subaru and my early memories as a kid are on road trips in that car.

“So, when Subaru invited me to be their ambassador, I was stoked!”

McDonald has Kamilaroi man The Kid Laroi on its first local Famous Orders campaign, featuring his new single ‘Thousand Miles’ from this week.

In the ad his order is a cheeseburger with no pickles, medium fries, medium frozen Coke, and six-piece chicken McNuggets with barbecue sauce.

Which age group tunes into Eurovision in Australia?

Eurovision may come across as a Gen-X pop glitter event with strong social media interaction.

Certainly last year’s global breakdown saw the 15–24 group’s TV share at 52 per cent, a 7 per cent rise.

Of the 50.6 million who watched that week on the official YouTube channel, 71 per cent were in the 18-34 age group.

But a report from research company Luminate finds that the image is only most applicable for France, Portugal, Spain, and Ireland.

Australia’s viewers are mostly Boomers, it says, as is the case in UK, Germany, Italy and Poland.

Their weekly consumption of music is at the lower end, at an average of 11 hours a week, similar to Ireland.

Italian viewers, on the other end of the scale listen to an average of 22 hours per week.

But there is still a great amount of Australian consumption of all things Eurovision, especially this year when Sheldon Riley made it to the final before crashing out.

According to SBS, the grand final drew 400 thousand (a 38.9 per cent rise), with 196 thousand for the 5am live broadcast and 204 thousand in the evening re-run.

Semi-final two, with Riley, had 221 thousand viewers. In February, Australia Decides peaked at 189 thousand.

The original deal of Australia being in Eurovision runs out next year. Its local reps had talks with the bigwigs and think the deal will be extended.

The US is joining Eurovision, New Zealand, and Canada also seem keen to get on the ship.

Head here for more on Eurovision.