Music reforms passed in NSW Parliament, Adelaide Guitar Festival goes annual + more: our wrap-up of Australian music industry news

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Music reforms passed in NSW Parliament, Adelaide Guitar Festival goes annual + more: our wrap-up of Australian music industry news

Music reforms passed in NSW Parliament​

New South Wales is in for a boom after the NSW Legislative Council passed amendments to the Liquor Amendment (24-hour Economy) Bill 2020.


Led by the Labor Opposition, particularly John Graham, the Shadow Minister for Music and the Night Time Economy, some of the most ludicrous and outdated regulations governing music venues have been thrown onto the scrapheap.


These included telling pubs what music they could play, if only cover bands were allowed, no mirror balls over the dance-floor, how many musicians should be allowed onstage and – our personal favourite – which way they should be facing the audience.


The NSW Upper House debated late in the hour and rushed it through without the all-important provision that allowed councils to remove similar restrictions from development consents. 


But Graham plans to bring that up in November when Parliament sits again.


“Until councils are given the power to remove entertainment conditions from development consents nothing will change on the ground,” he said.


The successful Labor reforms included giving music venues an 80% discount on licensing fees and a half hour extension on trading hours, as well as establishing special entertainment precincts based on Fortitude Valley in Brisbane.


Adelaide Guitar Festival goes annual

After running once every two years since beginning in 2007, the Adelaide Guitar Festival is going annual from 2021, and will reach more regional communities than before – including Kangaroo Island, Yorke Peninsula, Strathalbyn, Port Augusta and Eyre Peninsula – with workshops and concerts.


Expressions of interest are open for the Classical Guitar Competition for 2021, with first prize $10,000 along a handcrafted guitar by SA master luthier Jim Redgate valued at $23,000, and an invitation to perform at the next festival. Visit for more details.



Slow Road to Recovery #1: Sleeping Bureaucrats

Remember PM ScoMo’s highly-staged razzmatazz announcement in June regarding the $250 million Arts & Entertainment Package – of which $75 million was for the live sector?


Fast-forward four months, and a Senate inquiry discovered that only $49.5 million had gone out from Arts Minister Paul Fletcher’s office. Most of it went to Screen Australia to fund 20 film and TV productions, 


And for the music industry? You guessed it folks: zilch, null, sifir, nothing. Even desperate applications for severe cashflow instances are still to be assessed. Nor the 314 applications from arts and entertainment companies for $75 million to put on new festivals, concerts, tours and events after the grant opened in August.


Slow Road to Recovery #2: Insurance

Not only have those friendly insurance firms yanked up premiums for some festivals by 400%, but they are refusing cover for COVID or other transmitted diseases.


This scenario appears to be pretty iffy for festivals if they stage in 2021 only to be closed down, as they were in 2020, in the instance that a cluster breaks out in their regions.


As such, the live industry is lobbying the Federal Government for a Live Entertainment Business Interruption Fund by which it will compensate if that happens, and gives promoters the certainty to go ahead with events and get jobs flowing.


The government already has a similar scheme (for $50 million) for the film and TV industry.


Tame Impala make US Chart history 

Tame Impala made US chart history by becoming the first act this year to have two #1s on Billboard’s Adult Alternative Songs chart. ’Is It True’ did the trick on October 24, after ‘Lost In Yesterday’ did it in May for a week.



Golden Guitars get that twang

Faced with a record amount of entries, the Country Music Association of Australia will go ahead with Golden Guitars awards on January 23 at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre. But in the name of social distancing, the public can’t attend. Music executives and artists will sit at round tables instead of the traditional theatre style. The event will be live-streamed, and broadcast on the ABC.


South Australian Music Awards unveils hosts, performing acts​

The Monday November 3 sold-out South Australian Music Awards will be hosted by Three D Radio’s Isaac Selby. Performing are emerging hip-hop and R&B artist J-Milla, indie rock SEABASS, experimental producer and songwriter Lonelyspeck, and pop-punk trio Chelsea Manor. 


Venue owners get inducted into SA Music Hall of Fame

Yvonne and Roger Freeman were inducted into the SA Music Hall of Fame for their contribution to Adelaide’s live music scene. They set up Trinity Sessions as a platform for original music 18 years ago. 


Feedback for 24 hour Sydney​

City of Sydney are looking for feedback on proposed planning controls as part of rebooting Sydney’s $4 billion night-time economy.


Proposals allow shops open from 7am to 10pm 24/7, cultural activities in office, industrial, retail and community facility buildings, gigs at Erskineville Town Hall, and venues protected from noise complaints.


If you’ve got any bright ideas, give your feedback to by Wednesday November 18.


ABC’s The Sound renewed for second season​

After receiving immense acclaim from the national music industry, ABC TV’s one-hour The Sound returns for a second season on Sunday November 1 at 6pm, featuring performances from Kylie Minogue, Midnight Oil, The Ruebens and Vera Blue. Season One saw the ABC and Mushroom Group join forces to film 85 performances from artists at 58 locations, with live clips on social media reaching an audience of 1.68m+ viewers.



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