Further restrictions causes more pain for WA’s live sector + all the biggest industry headlines

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Further restrictions causes more pain for WA’s live sector + all the biggest industry headlines

(Image: Maxwell Collins)
Words by Christie Eliezer

Epic Games buys Bandcamp, Road Crew Association pulls music from Russia, 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 week.

The top headlines:

  • More chaos & pain for WA’s live sector.
  • Road Crew Association pulls music from Russia.
  • Mushroom sets up artist management division.

Keep up to date with the latest industry news here.

More chaos & pain for WA’s live sector

WA’s live sector plunged further into chaos and pain as the state went into tighter Level 2 restrictions from Thursday March 3.

In January when it closed its borders promoters were stuck with 100 thousand sold tickets worth 13 million dollars at the time. At the time promoters told Mixdown they were hoping restrictions would lift by March.

Instead there’s now a two square-metre rule and 150 patron cap at entertainment venues and nightclubs with seated service only, and 50 per cent capacity for major stadiums such as Optus Stadium, RAC Arena, HBF Stadium, and HBF Park.

Up to 170 events will be affected through this month, said the WA Events Industry Association.

Promoter Zaccaria Concerts & Touring had to cancel March 20’s By The C, and reschedule Summersalt, costing “many millions of dollars”.

Summersalt, which was to have drawn eight thousand at Fremantle Esplanade, could now only have 500.

A move to the 15 thousand-seat RAC Arena which allows a capped 7,500 was contemplated, but rejected in case of a rush on refunds.

With WA an issue, Destroy All Lines moved the four-city Monolith with Karnivool and Cog (their first tour together in 17 years) to August and September.

Triple J gets heat from major radio network

Australian Radio Network is rebranding its The Edge as a “national youth brand anchored in hip-hop and RnB”, targeting the 15 to 29 age demo and with triple J’s ass clearly in its sight.

Epic Games buys Bandcamp

In the growing intersection between music and games, Epic Games – maker of hit games Fortnite and Unreal Engine –has bought Bandcamp, the online music store and direct-to-fan platform used by many Aussie indie musicians.

Bandcamp will play an “important role” in its “vision to build out a creator marketplace ecosystem for content, technology, games, art, music and more”, the buy-out coming after its acquisition last November of Harmonix, creator of Rock Band and Dance Central.

Road Crew Association pulls music from Russia

The Australian Road Crew Association (ARCA) became the first Aussie music company to protest Russia’s bully-boy tactics in the Ukraine. It pulled its 22-edition Desk Tape Series – made by sound engineers at concerts off the desk – from streaming services.

It was a major step for ARCA as proceeds from the series goes towards Support Act’s Roadies Fund to help crews in financial and health crises.

But ARCA co-founder Ian Peel says it was important to stand by the Ukraine people, “we roadies don’t cop abuse; we don’t tolerate it on a personal, local, or national level”. He challenged other Aussie companies to follow suit.

The tapes included Crowded House, Australian Crawl, Men At Work, Neil Finn, Redgum, Wendy Matthews, Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons, Capt. Matchbox, Tim Finn & The Escapade Band, V Spy V Spy, TISM, Russell Morris, and Models.

Mushroom sets up artist management division

Mushroom Group set up a talent management division Mushroom Management, with Sarah Donelly as its Managing Director.

There are 50 acts at launch, including Tkay Maidza, Bliss n Eso, Rolling Blackouts C.F., merci, mercy, The Living End, Fergus James, Something For Kate, Big Twisty, and producers Konstantin Kersting and Scott Horscroft.

Mushroom Management’s stable of managers includes Barna Nemeth, Cara McDonald, Kirsty Kassabis, Marc Scarborough, Missy Scheinberg, Sarah Donelly and Summer King.

Joining them are Johann Ponniah and Scott Armstrong of Converge Management alongside Callum Wallace, Cameron McKinnon, Sasha Chifura and Shelley Liu of Foreign Echo and Andy Kelly.

YouTube data extended for ARIA charts

YouTube data will be added in all Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) charts involving streaming from Friday March 4.

YouTube provided data for the Streaming Audio Visual Tracks chart, but now it is in “play across a much greater range of charts alongside our other streaming partners including Apple Music and Spotify,” ARIA CEO Annabelle Herd said.

Report: Rap fans tend to ‘Repeat Listen’

Rap/hip-hop fans tend to ‘repeat listen’ to favourite tracks more than other fans to relive the buzz.

77 per cent of them repeat listen compared to 64 per cent of overall music listeners, up to 80 per cent with Millennial hip-hop and rap fans according to an MRC study.

MRC said this was proven after the SuperBowl’s all-hip hop entertainment. The Millennial nostalgia bill saw combined Eminem and Dr. Dre’s catalogues increase by 50 million streams.

Up in court

A handful of revellers at last month’s Jynx House Amplified festival on the Sunshine Coast found themselves in the revolving door of the Maroochydore Magistrates Court after feeling the wet noses of the sniffer pooches.

They were let go with good behaviour bonds for smuggling in MDMA and cocaine.

As per the Sunshine Coast Daily, the beak was told two snuck in their stash in their bodies.

He asked if it was too embarrassing to tell the court where the drugs were found. “It was not in his mouth your honour,” a lawyer replied.

Boost for Newcastle live scene

Over March and April, 60 free music, comedy and theatre are held in 18 Newcastle venues.

It’s part of City of Newcastle’s ‘Locally Made and Played’ program, which pays up to 1,500 dollars to venues and three hundred dollars for individuals per show.

Report: Summer radio listening high

Nearly nine in 10 listeners (89 per cent) consumed as much or more radio over summer as during the rest of the year, as Omicron disrupted holiday plans, said the fifth GfK Summer Listening report.

91 per cent consider radio a great source of information; and with many spending time alone due to COVID, 66 per cent tuned in to feel connected.

A trend was the rise in listening in the 10-24 age group, up 25 per cent tuning in from a variety of places.

27 per cent listened more in the car, 20 per cent more at home, 17 per cent at the beach, and 14 per cent more at work.

They were more likely to listen with other people and the report believes radio enhances time spent with family and friends. One in three (35 per cent) discussed what they heard with others.

Support Act sets new date for Head First

Support Act holds its rescheduled Head First music business conference about mental health and wellbeing on Wednesday May 25 at the Australian Institute of Music campus in The Rocks, Sydney.

It also invites NSW music and live arts workers to apply for new COVID-19 Crisis Relief Grants.

These are funded by the NSW Government through Create NSW and are valued at $2,000 for individuals and $2,700 for families with children. They are available until the funding round runs out.

Nominations open for Art Music Awards

APRA AMCOS and the Australian Music Centre call on members to nominate their peers for the 2022 Art Music Awards until March 23.

They cover contemporary classical music, contemporary jazz, improvised music, experimental music, and sound art.

Musical Chairs

Public sector leader Claire Febey is new CEO of Creative Victoria. She’s held senior posts at everything from the Department of Premier and Cabinet and not-for-profit Save the Children Australia.

In her most recent role as associate deputy secretary of Tourism and Events at the Dept of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, she drove Victoria’s economic and social recovery and growth through tourism, events and the visitor economy interacting with the creative industries.

The P.A. People expanded its team with one-time Jands service manager Tim Pike as QLD state manager, and Peter Grisard to head its new Venue Engineering team.

Adrian Basso to step down mid-2022 as station manager of 3PBS after 15 years.

NSW’s peak arts and disability organisation Accessible Arts appointed Liz Martin as CEO.

Arts Centre Melbourne’s chief people officer Leanne Lawrence will be acting CEO from April 14 while it searches globally for its new head to replace London-bound Claire Spencer.

Find more details about nominating for the Art Music Awards here.