Australian Music Industry News: Sydney’s nightlife, $2M for music workers wellbeing + more!

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Australian Music Industry News: Sydney’s nightlife, $2M for music workers wellbeing + more!

Support Act news
Words by Christie Eliezer

Catch up on all the latest music industry news.

Catch up on all the latest music industry news, including industry updates, donations, mega festival fiascos and more!

Australian music industry news

What’s Screwing Up Sydney’s Nightlife?

Aggressive and provocative police tactics. A lack of midsize to large venues. Lack of safety for women, First Nations, LGBTIQA+ and people of colour. Not enough investment.  

More venues to be owned/run by real entrepreneurs. More availability of late night public transport.

Changing the way funding is structured to the live sector. Better training for hired security to work closely with venues and understand today’s patrons are more diverse than before.

Read all the latest product & music industry news here.

If these were the answers, what was the question?

Years ago after Sydney emerged from lockdowns, the live sector embraced “a new positive narrative” and “returning the Harbour City to its glory days as a global destination.”

Earlier this year, the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner decided to put the strength of the city’s nightlife under the microscope, and commissioned global consultant VibeLab.

The resultant Creative Footprint (CFP) report looked at venues in City of Sydney and Inner West, and gave a 6.94/10 score. It was before CFP cities Montréal (6.57) and Stockholm (6.58) but behind New York (7.29) and Berlin (8.02).

Small to medium venues (79% of the two areas) were acclaimed for their creative programming.

The report said, “As in other CFP cities, venues cluster in areas with good pedestrian flow, higher population density (and) higher concentrations of young adults.”

The NSW government has responded it will work on the public transport issue and already started a collective security retraining program. 

Night Time Industries Association chief Michael Gibb agreed security training be changed and some “not trained to deal with today’s clientele”.

The report revealed complaints of “behaviour from the NSW Police Force that can be perceived as excessive, antagonistic and uneven in its enforcement” and “disproportionate police presence at events can create feelings of tension where none had been before … [and] can make attendees feel less safe,” especially for Indigenous people and people of colour.”

Nighttime minister John Graham wants venues and cops to work closer together. But NSW Police insists its policing has a “balanced approach” and with “equity and inclusivity”.

More Music TV Shows?

In other music industry news, the last months have been dred for Aussie music on TV with MTV’s move to a global feed, and Ten bringing the axe down on Studio 10.

But we hear after acclaim after taking over production on the 2023 ARIA awards (a step up from last year’s trainwreck), Rove McManus’ Roving Enterprises is keen to get a show going.

After delivering a huge 800+ ratings for Seven with the four hour Mushroom50 telecast, we can only assume Mushroom Group and Seven should be set to work on another TV foray.

In the meantime, Seven has the rights to ITV’s An Audience with Kylie, filmed in late November at London’s Royal Albert Hall, to screen in 2024.

Australian Idol is back in January and SBS confirmed it’ll be screening Eurovision but still “in talks” if Australia will take part.

Gabba To Hold Concerts For 80,000+

Within seven years, there’ll be concerts at the Gabba (Brisbane Cricket Ground) Stadium for up to 82,000 fans – double the current size. Huge music industry news!

It is part of a $2.7 billion rebuild by the Queensland government for the 2032 Brisbane Olympics and Paralympic Games.

Spectators will get a 360-degree fan experience through an enhanced design, larger entries for quicker entries and exits, better connectivity and accessibility throughout including lifts and escalators, more accessible backstage areas, new food and beverage outlets, merchandise stores, and retail opportunities on the streets outside the stadium.

A 360-degree internal access for serviceability will mean quicker movement for production crews and catering staff, and reduce the need to close nearby roads when events are held.

The Gabba’s new concert capacity will restart a call from the QLD Cricket Club for more shows there. The Government has resisted so far, insisting these stay at Suncorp Stadium. 

The Gabba’s biggest concert was Adele in 2017 when she drew 65,000 each over two nights.

Destroy All Lines Expands To Comedy, Two More Hires

Tour/festival promoter Destroy All Lines (DAL) has set up a new comedy division, headed by Kat Dale.

She was 10 years at the helm of Century Artists where she managed comics Ronny Chieng, Aunty Donna, Aaron Chen, Michelle Brasier, Rhys Nicholson and Matt Okine.

“Kat brings with her a wealth of experience in the field of comedy and we could think of no one better placed to head the comedy division up for us,” said DAL’s Chris O’Brien. 

“I have known Kat for 25 years and couldn’t be more excited that she is joining Destroy All Lines during a period of such growth and momentum for the company.” 

DAL’s festivals include the heavy metal Knotfest and alt-rock Good Things, both sell-outs.

Two others expanded the DAL team. Lochlan Watt, from triple j’s metal show, joined as agent.

Belle Popoff is new director of sponsorship, moving from the US where she was part of the sponsorship teams on some of the biggest Festivals in the USA including Blue Ridge Rock, So What?! Music Fest, Aftershock, Welcome to Rockville and Louder Than Life.

Victoria Provides $2M For Music Workers Wellbeing

Victoria’s Allan Labor government has provided $2 million to music industry charity Support Act to support musicians, managers, crew, music workers and organisations with mental health and wellbeing programs, short term financial support and a free Wellbeing Helpline.

66% of people working in music and live performing arts report high or very high levels of psychological distress – more than four times that of the general population, according to research undertaken in 2022 by Support Act.

This comes from working late-night hours, long stints away from home, insecure work and potentially challenging working conditions.

The Labor government is also supporting initiatives like Yarning Strong, a series of mental health webinars for First Nations music workers people, and Access All Areas, an education program to help music workers intervene if they witness sexual harassment, assault or bullying. 

Nepal Bans Tik Tok

Nepal is the second, after India, to ban TikTok following concerns over “social harmony”.

It says the platform was responsible for 1,600 cybercrime cases in the last four years, and a surge in hate speech. Keep an eye on our music industry news for updates!

Humantix Donates $4M To Charity

Humanitix, the Sydney-based events booking platform that directs all its profits to charity, has made the biggest bequest in 2023.

About $4 million went to global causes that assist children in low-income areas, offer First Nation students scholarships for boarding and education for their entire tertiary years, and teaching young girls computer science.

Humanitix has contributed a total of $6.5 million since it launched in 2016.

AC/DC Drummer Selling Items

AC/DC’s New Zealand-based drummer Phil Rudd is auctioning off a slab of band memorabilia to raise money for to the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation.

His partner Toni has stage 4 of the disease, and not expected to live past Christmas, he said, adding she is in constant pain and hardly eats.

Among items for sale are a drum kit, a sports car and drumsticks he played on their early hits.

“I’d give it all up, throw it on a bonfire, if it meant it would give Toni more time,” he told an NZ newspaper.

AMP 2024 Shortlist

The 19th SoundMerch AMP (Australian Music Prize) shortlisted artists are:

Angie McMahon – Light, Dark, Light Again

Floodlights – Painting Of My Time

Genesis Owusu – Struggler

Gretta Ray – Positive Spin

Jen Cloher – I Am The River, The River is Me


Polaris – Fatalism

RVG – Brain Worms

Troye Sivan – Something to Give Each Other

Gold Coast Council Divided Over Mega Festival

A meeting by the Gold Coast City Council to decide to approve a seven-hour beach concert for 30,000 left the councillors divided.

A decision was delayed until public consultation, the Gold Coast Bulletin revealed.

Promoter TEG Live proposed the unnamed EDM festival for May 4 2024 at Queen Elizabeth Park and Coolangatta Beach to run on the final day of the World Surf League series. 

Councillors supporting the festival argued about its tourism importance, with 70% of attendees expected from outside the Gold Coast and bringing in between $5.5 million and $4.7 million.

Those against it are concerned about safety and traffic issues, especially with a drinking crowd so close to the ocean to stave off the summer heat.

All this is déjà vu for TEG. In 2019, in collaboration with Gold Coast promoter Billy Cross, it pitched a similar festival SandTunes over two days and two stages, with Travis Scott headlining.

But the same protests arose, from local businesses and residents. It was scrapped weeks out, and moved to an indoor stadium and ultimately ditched due to low ticket sales.

This time around TEG has a shorter show, smaller audience and less time for setting up and taking down production.

New Chapter For RSOM

After ten years of existence for Real Songwriters of Melbourne, where emerging writers could showcase their songs and, founder Jena Marino announced a new members’ platform.

Launching Thursday December 8, members get guaranteed performances at their Open Mic Nights, be considered for RSOM showcases and awards, discounts, access to the new database, and featured on RSOM’s Spotify playlist.

Young Thug’s Lyrics Used In Court

Young Thug’s current racketeering trial in Georgia has seen the prosecution use his own lyrics against him to paint a picture of someone who co-founded a violent “wolf pack” gang and whose raps were used as admissions of the murder, armed robbery and carjacking he is charged with.

His Grammy-winning music label is accused in court to be a street gang affiliated with the Bloods gang.

ATO Chasing Laneway Co-Founder

The Australian Tax Office is chasing St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival co-founder Jerome Borazio for almost $960,000 in unpaid superannuation and tax, News Corp reported.

It is not related to the festival, but four now-defunct companies owned by him as Rancho Notorious, which ran Melbourne bar 1000 Pound Bend, Back Of Bend and 6 Hours Of Power.

In a filing with Victorian County Court, the ATO claimed the companies did not pay “hundreds of thousands of dollars in superannuation” to employees or pass on tax deductions.

To keep reading about Support Act, or to support them, keep reading here.