Read the latest Australian music industry news - From Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour finally having Australian dates to the humble, four stringed cello finally receiving the recognition it deserves (“Cello! You’ve got a bass!”)
Been out of the loop with everything that’s been going on in Australian music industry news recently? We don’t blame you. Here’s a wrap-up of all the biggest Aussie music biz stories from the past fortnight. Read the latest Australian music industry news!
The top headlines:
- Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour is officially coming to Australia. Can it break the attendance records set by Ed Sheeran’s Mathematics Tour?
- Updated criteria to ARIA Awards to help shine a light on Australian artists.
- Josh Pyke ‘Busking For Change’ campaign helping preserve first nations languages.
- The results for ‘Most Popular Instrument’ poles from ABC Classic and ABC Jazz are in!
Read all the latest product & music industry news here.
Can Taylor Break Ed’s Attendance Records?
When Taylor Swift arrives in Australia next year, will she beat the latest crowd attendance records set just a few months ago by Ed Sheeran on his Mathematics Tour?
Tay-Tay has her stunning 4D three-stage production and 44 songs over three hours at Melbourne Cricket Ground on February 16 and 17, and three nights at Sydney’s Accor Stadium February 23-25.
The MCG normally seats 100,024. But at his first show, on March 2, Sheeran played to 108,000 fans at the G. On March 3, it was to 109,500, a new record for concerts for the venue, for Australia, and for himself.
The previous bar was set by Eminem who diesel-bombed there in 2019 to 80,708 braying hoodies.
Similarly, Eduardo set a new concert record at Accor Stadium on February 25 with 85,000, easily beating Guns N’Roses 51,087 on November 27, 2022.
Industry analysts say it’s more than likely Tay-Tay will get the shine on Ed, given that demand will be much greater as the American is only playing two cities so expect a rush from around Australia and overseas.
A petition was launched on change.org calling for Brisbane to be included on the tour, while WA’s tourism minister called for a Perth show. Both tours were through Frontier Touring.
How rabid are Swifties? A guy in Massachusetts shelled out $21,000 to go at the last minute.
ARIAs Changes To Spotlight More Aussie Acts
The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) has made criteria changes to the ARIA Awards which are held later this year.
“Broadly speaking, the changes see our criteria expanded for a number of categories to allow more Australian artists to submit for nominations,” said ARIA CEO Annabelle Herd.
“(They’ll) help shine a greater light on local artists; particularly those in emerging genres like R&B, which certainly deserves more than the four eligible artists who submitted last year.”
The Best Rock, Adult Contemporary and Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album categories now also cover releases on the Australian Artist Top 50 Albums aside from Top 100 Album only.
The Michael Gudinski Breakthrough Artist category now covers releases in Australian Artist charts to Top 50, previously only Top 40.
Best Pop Release: now includes Australian Artist Top 50 Singles or Albums rather than just the main Top 100 singles or albums.
Best Dance/Electronic Release: introduces additional option of charting in the Australian Artist Top 20 Dance Singles or Top 10 Australian Artist Albums Dance (previously main Dance genre charts or Club Chart only).
Best Soul/R&B Release: removed chart appearance criteria altogether, now entries must only have been surveyed for Hip Hop/R&B charts.
Mix Engineer – Best Mixed Album category is changed to Best Engineered Release to allow for the inclusion of high-impact singles.
Producer – Best Produced Album category is changed to Best Produced Release for the same reason.
Josh Pyke Protecting First Nations Languages
Singer songwriter Josh Pyke is calling out to non-indigenous primary school students to preserve endangered First Nations languages through his ‘Busking For Change’ campaign.
The kids learn the song “Words Make The World Go Around”, in English and Kriol and raise money by performing it before friends, family and the school, or by posting a video online.
It raises funds for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in remote communities to read and write books in their native dialects. Only 123 dialects remain, from 250 before colonisation/invasion.
Most First Nations kids learn half a dozen dialects before they learn English. Busking For Change has raised $50,000 since Pyke initiated it in 2019.
First Nations musicians DOBBY, Jeremy Marou, Tilly Tjala Thomas, and Aodhan are also part of the campaign.
“Words Make The World Go Around” was written by ILF ambassadors Pyke and Justine Clarke with help from Deborah Cheetham and Gawura School students in Sydney.
To register before June 30, visit buskingforchange.ilf.org.au.
Harry Styles Made $69.4M From Australia
Harry Styles pocketed $69.4 million AUD from selling 373,000 tickets in four Australian cities he played, Billboard has reported.
The US trade mag reports its figures in American dollars, putting the Styles shows at $47.6 million USD.
The Sydney shows at Accor Stadium, March 3 and 4, generated $16.4 million USD ($23.9 million AUD) while the Melbourne run at Marvel Stadium on February 24 and 25 moved $15million USD or $21.8 million AUD.
Styles also played Perth (HBF Park) and the Gold Coast (Metricon Stadium).
Aussie Music Biz High-Fives Passing Of Creative Australia Bill
The music biz high-fived Labor’s passing the Creative Australia Bill through Parliament.
From July 1, DJ Albo and his homies can start setting up the music development agency Music Australia and Creative Workplaces.
Music Australia will see all government portfolios working with the music industry for best results in overseas touring, investment, job creation, up-skilling and developing markets and audiences.
Creative Workplaces will promote fair, safe, and respectful workplaces for Australian artists, arts workers and organisations.
Reactions from the music industry came from:
APRA AMCOS Chief Executive Dean Ormston: “The establishment of Music Australia with $69.4 million in funding will, for the first time in the nation’s history, provide an opportunity for a whole-of-government, cross-portfolio, strategic and long-term relationship with the breadth of the Australian contemporary music industry.
“The next ten years will be critical if Australia is to realise future job creation and build skills in music – one of the fastest growing global creative industries at the forefront of cultural expression, community building, innovation, and economic growth.”
ARIA and PPCA CEO, Annabelle Herd: “Music Australia has a big job ahead of it. While consumption of music is growing in Australia, our share of listening of local music is facing serious challenges with very few Aussie artists making it into the top of the ARIA charts. “
“The competition here and globally has never been stronger and a strategic focus and investment from government has been lacking.”
Live Performance Australia Chief Executive Evelyn Richardson: “We are still recovering and rebuilding from the hugely disruptive and damaging impacts of COVID-19, compounded by an increasingly challenging business and economic environment.
“The establishment of Creative Australia comes at a critical time for our live arts and entertainment industry.
“The new agency will have a vital role in putting in place the strategic policy and investment arrangements that will support our recovery and future success.”
They Call Me Mellow Cello
A poll by both ABC Classic and ABC Jazz voted the cello was the most popular instrument.
The two-day countdown accumulated over 171,000 votes for 327 instruments. At #2 was the piano, the violin following behind at #3, then the oboe, clarinet, guitar and organ.
Music from all over the world featured, including First Australians’ yidaki (didgeridoo) at #15, Japan’s koto at #87, the Chinese erhu at #68, the Indonesian gamelan at #58, the lute-type oud at #16, the Native American courting flute at #96, panpipes at #37, and from the African continent like the djembe (#95) and the kora (#76).
See the Top 100 at https://www.abc.net.au/classic/countdown-1/102467092.
NT Names Go National
National recognition for Northern Territory musicians continues.
Singer songwriter Shellie Morris was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia for service to the performing arts, to the Indigenous community, and to not-for-profit organisations.
King Stingray’s Roy Kellaway and Yirrnga Gotjiringu Yunupingu won the $50,000 first prize in the Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition for “Milkumana”, about role models and leadership, sung largely in Yolngu Matha.
Spotify To Launch ‘Supremium’ Tier
Bloomberg reports that Spotify is setting up to launch its highest priced tier called ‘Supremium’.
It includes HiFi audio quality and expanded access to audiobooks.
Rivals Apple Music and Amazon Music already offer HiFi listening but free on basic premium.
Vivid Sydney Sets New Attendance Record
Vivid Sydney set a new attendance record with 3.28 million over 23 days.
The seven drone shows Written In The Stars, featuring 1,000 drones, was viewed by 500,000.
The tribute to Archie Roach at Sydney Town Hall, A Bend In The River, drew 1,200.
‘Chuggi’ Gets Canadian Gong
One of the internationally best known of Australia’s music executives, promoter and manager Michael ‘Chuggi’ Chugg, got another North American gong.
The founder/CEO of Chugg Entertainment was made International Promoter of the Year at the Canadian Music Week summit.
He was previously named Pollstar’s International Promoter of the Year four times, and twice picked up the Best Promoter gong at the International Live Music Conference.
Nightlife Music Partners With Doing Things
Nightlife Music provides 7,550+ venues clients with music and videos for customers in fitness, hospitality, dining, accommodation, cruising education, leisure and retail.
It’s just struck a partnership with Doing Things, a team of creators producing shareable, relatable, and hilarious content, all while building communities and businesses.
“The popularity of viral video content and the engagement opportunities it creates for our clients is very important to us,” said Nightlife Music’s head of content Matthew Lymbury.
“Partnerships like these ensure the best on-screen entertainment in venues.”
In the wake of their global remix smash “Cold Heart” by Elton John & Dua Lipa, Aussie dance act Pnau signed an overseas deal with Sony Music for an album in October.
Mushroom Music and Bucks Music Group went into a joint publishing deal with Manchester-based artist and producer Joshua Epithet, whose 2023 single “She Writes Fanfiction” was released via Mushroom Labels worldwide.
Sydney-based producer and DJ Loosie Grind inked a number of deals as she dropped new single “Get What I Want”— recording with Club Sweat, live rep with Seismic Talent Agency (Alison Wonderland, BRUX, The Presets) and management with Banquet Music.
Perth-born Melbourne-based power pop act Wesley Fuller – better known overseas after being discovered by English A&R man James Endeacott (The Strokes, The Libertines) – now has a home at Cheersquad Records & Tapes, alongside Hard-Ons, Stephen Cummings and The Meanies through which he’s dropped new single “Back To Square One”.