Bernard Fanning’s Byron Bay studio up for sale + all the biggest industry headlines

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Bernard Fanning’s Byron Bay studio up for sale + all the biggest industry headlines

(Image: La Cueva)
Words by Christie Eliezer

Tomboi aims to put more female, LGBTQIA+, and POC acts on the map, the Brunny Ballroom expands, 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:

  • Bernard Fanning’s Byron Bay studio up for sale.
  • The global music business has a new and increased estimated value for the end of the decade.
  • Tomboi for women, POC, and LGBTQIA+ acts.

Keep up to date with the latest industry news here.

LaCueva Recording Studio for sale

LaCueva Recording Studio in the Byron Bay hinterland is up for sale.

It was set up in Tyagarah, 15 minutes from Byron Bay in 2015 by Bernard Fanning and producer Nick DiDia, built into the stand-alone pool house with a separate entrance and parking.

The studio’s publicity blurb stresses its relaxed ambience with “horizon-wide ocean views across a vast nature reserve to the headland and lighthouse, huge windows, and high ceilings coupled with world class recording gear.”

It has an open control room design with abundant natural light, high-sloped ceilings, and a solid concrete floor, a 4×5-metre drum/iso room, individual amplifier isolation boxes, and Suhr Reactive Load Cabinet Simulators for guitar and bass amps.

It’s been listed by Christian Sergiacomi and Brad Cranfield at Pacifico Property who are seeking offers by June 30.

New signings

Mushroom Music added to its roster Kerryn Tolhurst (The Dingoes) and Rick Brewster and John Brewster (The Angels), and extended deals with David McComb (The Triffids), Greg Macainsh (Skyhooks), Peter Farnan (Boom Crash Opera), Ross Wilson (Daddy Cool/ Mondo Rock), Russell Morris, Shane Howard (Goanna), and Suze DeMarchi (Baby Animals).

Kasumuen Records is the new label home for Ron Peno’s Superstitions/Silver Ray guitarist Cam Butler, “renowned for his expansive modern classical meets Morricone compositions”.

AIR Awards label nominations

Up for 2022 Independent Label of the Year at the AIR awards are ABC Music, I OH YOU, Ivy League, MGM, and Milk! Records.

The winner is unveiled at the invite-only awards on Thursday August 4 at Freemasons Hall, Adelaide in conjunction with Indie-Con Australia.

Brunswick Ballroom expands

Brunswick Ballroom in Melbourne increased its capacity from 293 to 468. “This means we can entice more and more national and international heavyweights to the Ballroom,” said venue director Will Ewing.

Tomboi for women, POC, and LGBTQIA+ acts

New Naarm/Melbourne-based label Tomboi Records is only signing women, LGBTQIA+, and POC (persons of colour) acts.

The team is performer and producer Alexis Benedict (founder/CEO), artist manager Tim Youngson (A&R/label development/international relations), and global producer and mixer Lee Groves (executive producer).

Will the global music business be worth $53.2B by 2030?

Goldman Sachs has re-evaluated its forecast for the global music industry.

In the latest edition of its annual Music In The Air report, it estimates that it will be worth US$53.2B by 2030, not $45.7 billion as first thought.

This is despite macro economic trends such as inflation, growing interest rates, and energy prices.

That would mean it would be more than double the $25.9 billion the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry valued it at in 2021.

Goldman Sachs attributes the growth mostly to “higher paid streaming ARPU (average revenue per user) and ad-funded streaming assumptions as well as lower declines in physical sales”.

It also upped its forecasted annual trade revenues in music publishing from $10.6 billion to $11.6 billion in 2030 because of “higher [projected] streaming, physical and performance revenues”.

Music streaming is expected to hit $89.3 billion, with paid subscriptions making up $55.6 billion and ad-funded at $33.7 billion.

The projection for the live music sector, $38.3 billion, remains as initially conjectured.

Newer platforms like Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, video games, and podcasts will account for 40 per cent of music industry ad-funded revenues (from the current 30 per cent), and 12 per cent of global recorded music revenue from five per cent in 2021.

The forecast for 2022 is upped from $81.6 billion to $87.6 billion as crowds rush back to events and music streaming rose in the lockdown.

Last week Spotify chief Daniel Ek told an investors meeting his company can hit one billion users globally by 2030 even if MAUs (monthly active users) growth is stalling in Latin America.

By then “we can generate $100 billion in revenue annually, and we can achieve a 40 per cent gross margin, and a 20 per cent operating margin.”

At the end of 2021, Spotify had 406 million MAUs, up 61 per cent from the same time in 2020.

More APRA members hit one billion streams

More APRA members are hitting one billion streams. The latest is LA-based David Ryan Harris for his part in Nelly’s ‘Just a Dream’ from August 2010 which went to #3 in the US and quadruple platinum in Australia and America.

Sia now has 15 entries on the 1,000,000,000 List, with six new ones – Flo Rida’s ‘Wild Ones,’ Jessie J’s ‘Flashlight’ from Pitch Perfect 2, ‘Flames’ and ‘She Wolf’ with David Guetta, ‘Try Everything’ by Shakira and ‘Thunderclouds’ by LSD comprised of Labrinth, Diplo, and of course Sia.

WAM moves to Melville

After 30 years in Northbridge in Perth, peak WA music association WAM has moved to the City of Melville to plug into its thriving arts scene.

Its new residence is at the Applecross waterfront at the Goolugatup Heathcote precinct.

Recently, Music NT moved into the Old Courthouse in Alice Springs CBD, while Arts NT office also moved to the CBD, co-located with the National Aboriginal Art Gallery team at Alice Plaza, Mezzanine Floor, 36 Todd Mall.

Changing of guard at Premier Guitars

Premier Guitars in northern Sydney has a changing of the guard on July 1.

Singer/songwriter Adam Rennie is taking over, intending to use his business degree for marketing without changing the business model.

The guitars and amps outlet was founded by John Spence, guitarist with acts such as The Fargone Beauties, a concert and event promoter, and producer of 13-part TV series The Guitar Show.

He said, “While I’m still in good health it’s time to travel again, relax a little, and play more music”.

Conference #1: 4ESydney

Hip hop conference 4ESydney added more panels and speakers.

These include a chat between radio station CADA 96.1’s K-SERA and bestselling author of How To Live for Love & Hip Hop Maxine Johns.

Australian arts leader and creative voice for indigenous youth, Dr Alethea Beetson will deliver a keynote examining the current structure of the music industry and her vision for dismantling it for growth, and then with rapper DOBBY discusses the power of insurgence and resurgence amongst First Nations artists.

4ESydney will be held Friday June 24 and Saturday June 25 at the Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre.

Conference #2: BIGSOUND

The first round of keynote speakers for BIGSOUND (Sept. 6-9) includes #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, ‘Friday’ viral star Rebecca Black, Mushroom Group CEO Matt Gudinski, Jaguar Jonze, and Brisbane-based UK electronic artist Example.

Speakers include ARIA CEO Annabelle Herd, Chugg Music’s Andrew Stone, Heidi Lenffer of green FEAT. (Future Energy Artists), AMP-winning act Cloud Control, Johann Ponniah of I OH YOU, John Mullen of Dew Process, and a host of UK agents and promoters.

QMusic, producer of the event, expects 16 thousand attendees and 1,500 delegates.

Head to BIGSOUND for more.