Callouts for music industry sexual harm review contributions + all the biggest industry headlines

Subscribe to Mixdown Magazine


Callouts for music industry sexual harm review contributions + all the biggest industry headlines

music industry news
(Image: Priscilla Du Preez)
Words by Christie Eliezer

Music venues incoming and outgoing are a plenty, WA live music reveals staggering suffering, 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:

  • Callout to contribute to study in music industry sexual harm & discrimination.
  • Reward for Richard Lane instruments.
  • How WA live music is suffering.

Keep up to date with the latest industry news here.

Content warning: this story contains mentions of sexual harassment and abuse.

Music venues update: Incoming & Outgoing


There was a step forward for a new 30 thousand-seat concert venue in NSW’s Lake Macquarie on the Central Coast that will book international superstars and major Aussie names.

The local council this week approved Winarch Capital/Cedar Mill’s application to turn the former Morisset Country Club golf course into a multi-million-dollar redevelopment to include a tourist park, outdoor gardens, a café, restaurant, splash park, markets, and other recreation areas.

Cedar Mill also has plans for a 22 thousand-person outdoor concert venue in the Hunter Valley.

Melbourne gets a new outdoor pop-up entertainment precinct called Reunion Park in the site of the Burnley Circus.

It was created and curated by Untitled Group and Velodrome Events and covers live music, comedy, circus, and food.

It is supported by the Federal government’s RISE scheme and City of Yarra.

After a two year hiatus caused by COVID and failed rent negotiations, Canberra’s Transit Bar reopened in the former site of Hogsbreath Café in the basement of Bailey’s Arcade in Civic.

After closing in January for two million dollars worth of renovations, Mackay’s Boomerang Hotel is set to return in autumn, under Australian Venue Co.


Two buildings associated with Townsville’s Mad Cow and Wild Goose – both operated by Mark “Red Dog” Napier – in the Flinders Street East nightclub precinct are up for sale.

A petition has been launched after the SA government revealed that the two thousand-seat Thebarton Theatre could be demolished as part of major roadworks.

A petition which was started when rumours circulated in 2019 generated 76,000 signatures.

The Curtin Hotel in Carlton, Melbourne, looks like it won’t be showcasing live music past November.

The landlord died not too long ago, and his estate wants to sell the building, allegedly to turn into apartments.

With a capacity of 300, the room was important in showcasing emerging acts and has hosted the likes of The Libertines, Todd Rundgren, and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard over the years among many more!

Brisbane high-end and exclusive nightclub Ella Sabe closed after two years following losses of 800 thousand dollars.

Owner Elliott Booth said the venue opened on the day (Friday March 13, 2020) that the live sector closed due to COVID, but he already signed the lease of 20 thousand dollars a month in rent.

Callout to contribute to study in music industry sexual harm & discrimination

Music industry personnel are being urged to tell their stories to a new independent review into sexual harm, harassment, and systemic discrimination in the Australian music industry.

The review is seeking the participation of songwriters and composers, artists and performers, crew, agents, members of the live touring companies and record labels, promoters, employees of record companies, managers, publishers, venue managers and staff, and company executives.

It is not examining individual instances or complaints of these behaviours.

Rather, the independent review team wants to listen to your stories, experiences, observations, and suggestions for change to the industry.

It explains, “by contributing to the review, your voice, which may have been silenced in the past, will be elevated.

“Your voice will help shape the findings and recommendations of the review and importantly, influence reform across the music industry.

“You can have your say safely, confidentially and anonymously.”

More information here.

Written submissions can be emailed confidentially to: [email protected].

These will be held in a password protected file that can only be accessed by the review team.

The review this week was endorsed by the NSW parliament, after a move by John Graham, Labor’s Shadow Minister for Music and the Night Time Economy,

Graham said: “We want this to be a very positive step, even though it won’t be easy to tackle these issues of sexual harm, harassment, and discrimination.

“The music industry leads in so many debates. We need them to lead in this one.

“The public, along with the Parliament, (is) watching.”

How WA live music is suffering

While restrictions eased last week in NSW, Victoria, and the ACT, the WA sector was still in dire straits.

The border opening on March 3 allows national acts to enter. When the doors slammed shut unexpectedly, local promoters were wondering what to do with 100 thousand tickets sold to the tune of 13 million dollars.

But new capacity restrictions has delayed the live renaissance in WA.

Perth promoter Brad Mellen told The West Australian that big name international acts like Kings of Leon, Rod Stewart, KISS, Alanis Morissette, and Faith No More rescheduling or cancelling lost the sector 200 million dollars

Mellen said WA’s live music industry sold more than 2.7 million tickets worth about 250 million dollars in 2019 before the global pandemic hit, and employed more than 30 thousand people.

In the past two years, only an estimated 200 thousand event tickets sold valued about 20 million dollars.

Jerry Reinhardt, General Manager of Concert & Corporate Productions WA, revealed: “Our company alone has had over 500 shows cancelled across multiple venues due to restrictions imposed.  Millions of dollars in revenue have been lost.”


DidgeriSTU, frontman and yidaki player of Sunshine Coast First Nations band Oka, died from COVID aged 44. He was diagnosed a month before.

Xavier Rudd was among those who paid tribute to the Wuthathi and Torres Strait Islander: “His music was very important. He created a vibe that elevated people and pulled them out of themselves, a space where everyone was free to express themselves at a high frequency.”

A GoFundMe campaign raised close to 52 thousand dollars.

Reward for Richard Lane instruments

They really can’t afford it but Penny Lanes Music Workshop in Fremantle is offering one thousand dollars for the recovery of late Stems/Chevelles musician Richard Lane’s red-topped Yamaha YC-10 keyboard and green Burns Street guitar.

They were stored in the facility which the musician set up as a community focussed store and school.

Festival patron picking up litter gets punched

A patron at the SummerSalt festival in Canberra on February 27, 2021 was picking up litter after the show when he got into a row with some others, which left him hospitalised with a dislocated jaw.

The man, whose name was not revealed by the ACT Magistrates Court, was clearing the grounds near a stage and was asked by a woman in a group where she could get some litter bags so she could help clear up.

He had replied “I’m picking up your rubbish”. Some of her friends took umbrage, and Todd Keith Rheinberger, 32, hit him in the face, knocking him unconscious.

He sent a message to the victim afterwards apologising, and copped a 12-month good behaviour order, 120 hours of community service and ordered to pay 1,200 dollars in reparations.

SA Music Awards returning in spring

The South Australian Music Awards return in November.

Nominations across all categories for industry-voted and people’s choice are now open and close at 11:59pm AEST on September 15.

Last year, the SAM Awards recorded a number of public votes.

For more information on the South Australian Music Awards, head to their website.