SA Premier overrules council to greenlight festival + all the biggest industry headlines

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SA Premier overrules council to greenlight festival + all the biggest industry headlines

Words by Christie Eliezer

Festival dramas continue, new TikTok streaming service could be bound for Australia, 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:

  • Splendour saga not over
  • Will new TikTok music service hit Australia or US first?
  • Gold Sounds Conference returns.

Keep up to date with the latest industry news here.

Will new TikTok music service hit Australia or US first?

There’s been much guessturbation over TikTok’s mystery new music service.

A streaming service? A quasi record label? The one granted in the US allows users to “purchase, play, share, download music, songs, albums, lyrics” as well as “live stream audio and video”.

However it transpires the patent was first filed in Australia in November, then the US in May.

Are we reading too much into this? Are the big kahunas at TikTok parent ByteDance keeping their options about trialling it in Oz?

In the meantime Music Business Worldwide unearthed an old US patent filed by Singapore-based TikTok Pte. Ltd in May 2018, and granted in January 2021, for a “method of enabling digital music content to be downloaded to and used on a portable wireless computing device”.

The filing called the invention, Music Station, “a mature, reliable and convenient solution which will enable users to easily acquire, listen to and manage music on portable wireless computing devices” and “has the promise of being genuinely transformative of the way people acquire and listen to digital music”.

Bog Day Out

The saga of the mud, overnight queues, congestion, limited food, and mobile reception at Splendour in the Grass is not over.

Tweed Shire Council compiled a report on the traffic chaos, which mayor Chris Cherry describes as “dangerous”, and has passed it on to “a higher authority”.

She said in a statement: “I know there was a weather event but it wasn’t that big of a weather event.”

The mayor’s issue was that increasing the flood-prone site’s capacity from 35 thousand to 50 thousand should never have been allowed and was “reckless”.

A road too far

The above item wasn’t the only problem promoter Secret Sounds had with a council.

Its new Harvest Rock festival in November in Adelaide is staged on Rymill and King Rodney Parks. They are connected by Bartels Road, which would need to be closed for two days.

Cue dark muttering from Adelaide City Council about closing it.

Before a vote, Secret Sounds’ Jessica Ducrou addressed the council, saying the festival faced cancellation without the road closure.

She explained they’d spent “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in preparing in the last 12 months, and “financially committed five million dollars” to artists whom they would have to pay even if the event had to be axed.

Despite this, councillors voted 8-2 against.

No problem, thought SA Premier Peter Malinauskas, remembering how Harvest Rock is tipped to inject 10 million dollars into SA’s economy, and the 40 per cent of the 20 thousand to 25 thousand expected each day, set to come from intestate.

He overruled council by reclassifying Harvest Rock as “a major event”. It gave the government the power to close the road for 72 hours.

Gold Sounds Conference returns

Music Victoria is bringing back its Gold Sounds Conference for a second year. It is held from October 13-16 on Djarra Country in the centre of Castlemaine.

It “aims to bring together the regional and inner city music communities of Victoria and foster a more collaborative and tight-knit industry overall.”

Programming covers music & identity, regional touring, festival programming, working in creative teams, music & activism, copyright & licensing, songwriters in conversation, grants & funding, and breaking down barriers.

Woolly bullies

Mojo’s Bar in Perth sacked a senior staffer after she turned up as a spectator at its sister venue Freo.Social and abused and shoved punk band Body Horrors’ singer Eden in the green room after their set.

Freo.Social took responsibility, sent Body Horrors’ an apology (the band had filed a complaint with police), updated its code of conduct and backstage protocols, with further training for staff and security to be carried out.

A number of acts supported the band, calling for a boycott of both venues unless changes were made to ensure more safety.

Who’s really reselling on Viagogo?

Could this be the case in Australia too? A study by UK’s anti-scalping group FanFair Alliance found less than 10 per cent of resold tickets to UK festivals and outdoor events were by fans.

In fact two-thirds of 11 thousand tickets from 174 events over a three month period were sold by three “traders” for a combined total of £1.7 million (AU$2.9 million) – almost £1 million ($1.7 million) above face value.

Going clubbing in Newcastle

Things are on the move in the Newcastle scene. The General Roberts Hotel, in New Lambton, has applied to extend its trade from midnight to 3am, Mondays to Saturdays, and from 10pm to midnight on Sundays.

A decision on the Hotel Delany’s proposal to stay open until 2am six days a week and until midnight on Sundays, has been deferred. Councillors were made aware of a social media post telling patrons it was “time to get smashed”.

The petition to save one of the city’s best live music venues, the Cambridge Hotel is reaching its target. It asks Linkcity not to turn it into student accommodation.

More initiatives for Sydney’s Night Time Industries Association

Led by new CEO Mick Gibb, Sydney’s Night Time Industries Association is working on a number of new initiatives.

The newly created Youth Advisory Group of under-30 year olds will tell it what the night time experience should be like, and it has initiated conversations between venues and residents on noise levels.

An action plan was developed from a NITA Recovery Brunch with 80 executives from the hospitality, entertainment and tourism sectors to discuss how consumer behaviour has changed post-Covid and the growth of localism calls for new business models and strategies.