TEG purchases Handsome Tours, Support Act details grants + more: our latest wrap-up of Australian music industry news

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TEG purchases Handsome Tours, Support Act details grants + more: our latest wrap-up of Australian music industry news

Words by Christie Eliezer

Your brief on the biggest industry headlines of the past two weeks.

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 music industry news stories from the past few weeks.

This week’s big stories:

  • Handsome Tours have been acquired by TEG
  • Support Act details $4m of grants to industry workers and artists
  • Aus/NZ group Twice As Nice notch one billion streams for their work on Rihanna’s ‘Needed Me’.

Don’t miss out on all the latest Australian music industry news – keep your eyes peeled on our Industry News page to stay updated. 

One Less Indie Promoter As TEG Buys Handsome Tours

Major promoter TEG bought a majority stake in Sydney-based Handsome Tours. With an ear for the latest in alt-pop, indie rock and hip-hop, Handsome helped break Bon Iver, Gang of Youth, The xx, Stormzy, Phoebe Bridgers, The War On Drugs, AJ Tracey, The National, Fontaines D.C. and Dave in this country.

Recent highlights were Gang Of Youths’ Say Yes To Life Tour which sold 50,000 tickets and the Down To Earth bushfire and climate fundraiser at Myer Music Bowl Melbourne, which raised $1.4 million with Gang Of Youths, Tash Sultana, Angus & Julia Stone and Thelma Plum.

Mark Dodds remains as managing director while Colin Daniels becomes executive director. Co-founders Ashley Sellers, Mathew Everett and Justin Cosby depart. TEG’s CEO Geoff Jones and CFO Sandra Rouse join Handsome’s board.

Dodds said it would increase its “record of contributing to sustained artist careers. Belonging to a world-class group like TEG will empower us to speak to more music-lovers in more sophisticated ways than ever before, delivering bigger outcomes for agents, managers and their talent at every point of an act’s journey.”

Support Act Hands Out $4m In Crisis Relief Grants

As of December 31, music charity Support Act handed out $4 million in crisis relief grants to 1,335 artists, crew and music workers since the start of the pandemic. These helped pay the rent, power and other utility bills, medical expenses, car payments, school fees and more.

Its Christmas Appeal fed 1,204 folks and families via food vouchers valued at $350,000.

Last year’s Music From The Home Front concert, put together by Michael Gudinski and the Mushroom Group raised  $207,730. Also raising tens of thousands of dollars for roadies is the Australian Road Crew Association’s ‘desk tapes series’, the current one being a 1970s show from the red-hot Doug Parkinson & The Southern Star Band in Perth’s Gobbles club.

APRA Awards Another Billion Streamer

Latest to join APRA AMCOS’ The 1,000,000,000 List, for members who gain one billion streams for a song, are Sydney-based Khaled Rohaim and regional NZ-based Te Whiti Warbrick (aka Twice As Nice songwriting & production team) for their work on Rihanna’s ‘Needed Me’.

Rohaim has produced and composed for Ariana Grande, Juice WRLD and Ty Dolla Sign and played a pivotal role in the rise of new Aussie global superstar The Kid LAROI, whose Fuck Love mixtape he produced half of. He was also involved in the production of OneFour’s Against All Odds EP.

Warbrick, aka SickDrumz, has worked on songs by Lil Wayne, Future, Ty Dolla Sign and Post Malone. Of the Rihanna song, he recalled, “I made this song on an old laptop with some broken headphones in a tiny bedroom on the back of a farm with a view of cows.”

How Pandemic Hit Music Workers’ Wellbeing

MusiCares’ first Wellness in Music survey found 51% of US music workers had “low to very low levels of confidence” in being able to afford basic living expenses. 62% had “high to very high” financial stress, and 26% reported “moderate to severe” levels of depression. 34.9% got counselling but 53.5% couldn’t afford it.

Sydney Gets First 24 Hour Economy Commissioner

After scrapping the last of the Sydney lockout laws, in Kings Cross, the NSW government streaked ahead in its bid to make Sydney a 24 hour global city. It tapped Michael Rodrigues its first 24 hour economy commissioner. He certainly knows the inside of late night venues, as chair of the Night-Time Industries Association and long time managing director of Time Out.

The idea is to break Sydney up into hubs, connected by public transport networks, bring in policies to allow entrepreneurs to thrive and diversify the hubs to ensure night time spending isn’t confined to getting pissed off your gills at a club, and make sure each has a local focus.

Tasmania Offers Funding For Arts Sector

To aid its arts and music sector, the Tasmanian government has set up four new funding programs worth $2.5 million. Three are for creative development by arts organisations, individuals/groups and local governments, with the fourth for new work for new markets. Deadline is March 22, see www.arts.tas.gov.au.

Spacey Jane Drummer Launches Management Company

Spacey Jane’s drummer Kieran Lama, who also functions as the young Perth band’s manager, has set up his own management company, Anybody Management. “I’m stoked to finally be making my role as manager ‘official’,” he said.

Venues Alive: Inductions, Reduced Fees, Closures, Court Cases & More

Inducted into the Australian Hotels Association South Australia hall of fame were long running Adelaide music venue the Governor ‘The Gov’ Hindmarsh and owners the Tonkin family.

Nightclubs and venues with dancefloors will be licensed differently, after operators asked APRA AMCOS’ OneMusic to charge them according to attendance than venue capacity. It will see a drop in tariff for many. Plans to increase the rate where a DJ plays music for background rather than dancing, are postponed for another year.

Adelaide Festival Theatre will close for up to seven months from mid-July for renovations, including upgrading the dressing rooms.

Canberra’s Zoo Bar is opening a new Saturday night rooftop venue Mile High Club on February 27, with Sneaky Sound System to launch it. 

While former Gold Coast nightclub promoter Raymond Frangieh awaits sentencing for trafficking cocaine, the Gold Coast Bulletin reported his ex-wife Melissa escaped jail for her role in money laundering $200,000 worth of the profits. The beak told her to “pull up your socks” and become a role model for their two children.

Applications for the first round of Live Music Australia grants to help music venues re-open after the pandemic close on February 18.

In its budget this month, the ACT halved liquor licencing fees for a year to help venues survive. 

Queensland music venues Kings Beach Tavern and Beenleigh Tavern are among 24 pubs that hospitality group Australian Venue Co will be renovating at a cost of $53 million over the next four years. The firm owns 86 pubs in Qld and 80 more across Australia and New Zealand.

UK’s Event Genius Enters Aussie Market

UK ticketing solution company Event Genius entered the Aussie festival market with three deals – Lost Paradise (Glenworth Valley, NSW), Wildlands (Brisbane) and For The Love (Perth, Melbourne, Gold Coast). It offers them “end-to-end ticketing, cashless, and event management” as well as payment plans, Pay With Friends, travel, access control and event delivery tech.

UniSA Splits With Morrison Academy

The University of SA (UniSA) and the James Morrison Academy of Music ended their partnership after six years. They offered a three-year Bachelor of Music program and one-year diploma and honours courses at the Mount Gambier campus. Current students will finish of their courses but there are no new students from 2021. Jazz player Morrison is eager to start it elsewhere saying, “My desire to pass on my love of jazz is undiminished.”

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