Ticketek under pressure for ticket refunds + all the biggest industry headlines

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Ticketek under pressure for ticket refunds + all the biggest industry headlines

(Image: Claudio Schwarz)
Words by Christie Eliezer

Flood Telethon draws 539k metro viewers, First Nations mental health workshops set to launch, 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:

  • Flood Telethon draws 539k metro viewers.
  • First Nations mental health workshops set to launch.
  • Ticketek under pressure for ticket refunds.

Keep up to date with the latest industry news here.

Flood Telethon draws 539k metro viewers

The Red Cross Flood Appeal telethon drew an initial metro viewership of 539 thousand and raised 25 million dollars for victims in NSW and Queensland.

Performers included Tones And I, Jimmy Barnes, Delta Goodrem, Jon Stevens, Missy Higgins, Jessica Mauboy, Vanessa Amorosi, Hunters and Collectors, Kate Miller-Heidke, The Living End, Casey Donovan, and Sheppard.

It’s the first time the three major TV networks screened the same event with their own stars.

Nine averaged 233 thousand, Seven snared 189 thousand, and Ten limped in with 117 thousand.

New week-long festival, music awards, for Sunshine Coast?

A week-long festival and a music awards night are two proposals to amp the Sunshine Coast night-time economy.

They’re by the Sunshine Coast Music Industry Collective (SCMIC), set up last November, with Caloundra Chamber of Commerce president Michael Shadforth as its chair.

Those on the board include Live Nation’s Damian Costin, Moshtix’s Harley Evans, QMusic’s Kris Stewart, Ian “Dicko” Dickson, and Darkwood Studios founder Uncle Kev Starkey.

SCMIC says 15 million dollars has been pumped into the Sunshine Coast music sector since COVID.

The area is one of the fastest growing, with total business investment in the region tipped to reach 15 billion dollars in the next few years.

Shadforth said a night time economy was essential in creating a sustainable region.

“A healthy live music scene is the backbone of a thriving and safe night time economy which is essential for a sustainable region,” he said.

“It acts as an anchor in retaining the talent we already have as well as the talent we are attracting to the Coast.”

Aside from setting up new events like the festival and awards, SCMIC will also lobby to cut red tape and gain industry funding and grants.

Is Ticketek dragging its feet over refunds?

Punters are bombarding Ticketek’s social media channels and NSW Office of Fair Trading with complaints about refunding delays, especially for Faith No More and Harry Styles tickets.

One punter expressed concern to the ABC she was told by Ticketek they had no record of her account or the 700 dollars worth of tickets she bought.

The company defended itself to the ABC, saying it’s processing 20 times more refunds than it did pre-COVID and that 90 per cent of customers got their money back within 10 days of cancellations, with nearly 100 per cent within 20 business days.

Are you disconnected?

Support Act has teamed with the Centre for Social Impact Swinburne for its first Mental Health and Wellbeing in Music and Live Performing Arts survey.

It is open to musicians, songwriters, crew, managers, producers, and live performance artists, and can be accessed here until Thursday April 7.

Findings are announced at Support Act’s Head First conference discussing mental health and wellbeing on Wednesday May 25.

CEO Clive Miller said the idea of the survey is to find out what current services are making a difference or may be needed “to plan for a future where good mental health and wellbeing are at the heart of everything we do”.

First Nations mental health workshops

Support Act holds its inaugural First Nations Mental Health First Aid training program, for FN musicians, managers, crew and music workers, and non-Indigenous people working with them.

Held with Makeshift, the free, online workshops are on Wednesday April 13 and Wednesday May 11, 10am-3pm (AEST) with mental health advocate and former professional sportsman, Deon Bird.

The charity also holds its next Yarning Strong mental health webinar for First Nations music workers with Uncle Archie Roach, life coach Yolanda Finette, and host Mitch Tambo on Thursday April 28 at 7.30pm (AEST). Find out more at Support Act.

Zoo team announce Stranded opening date

Cat Clarke, Luke ‘Boo’ Johnston, and Shane Chidgzey – who run Brisbane venue The Zoo – open new late night bar Stranded on April 9.

Named after The Saints’ ‘70s punk hit, “the rock ‘n’ roll bar for grown-ups” is in Fortitude Valley’s Wynn Lane around the corner from Zoo.

The 80 seater’s offerings include 40 mezcals, classic cocktails, Mediterranean snacks, South American and Mexican beer, vinyl DJ sets, and music memorabilia.

Spotify expands further into A&R

Spotify is expanding its footprint in A&R, Music Business Weekly reported.

A US patent granted on March 1 shows Spotify has its own A&R tech to predict breaking artists.

This is through determining “one or more early adopters” from its user base (who won’t know they’re picked) and collecting data via the software application from their listening patterns and a minimum of 200 thousand playback requests.

A “minimum growth threshold” could be a 300 per cent month-to-month rise in playback requests.

More Aussie acts say hello world

32 more Australian acts and companies get the chance to re-enter the international touring circuit, thanks to the second round of Sounds Australia’s Export Stimulus (SAES) package.

They share in $434,878.35, designed to counter increased costs such as insurance premiums, COVID compliance consumables, and expediting visas.

They include Vance Joy, John Butler, Hiatus Kaiyote, Wolfmother, Parkway Drive, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizards, The Church, Tash Sultana, The Teskey Brothers, Amyl & The Sniffers, and Sampa The Great.

Find the full list here.

DanceWize returns to BASSINTHEGRASS

Evidence-based harm-reduction group DanceWize returns to BASSINTHEGRASS (May 21) at Darwin’s Mindil Beach for a second year.

Last year the government-run festival drew a record 14 thousand, of which nine thousand made contact with peer volunteers offering education, resources and referrals around harm reduction, sexual health, and wellbeing issues.

76 per cent rated their experience with DanceWize staff as four or five out of five.

One of the most anticipated sets is Xavier Rudd’s, when NT rapper J-Milla comes on stage to do his contribution to Rudd’s ‘Ball And Chain’.

J-Milla’s Spotify monthly listeners have since jumped from 10 thousand to 130 thousand.

Tuned Global on the AI Highway

Australian-founded B2B music streaming and technology specialist Tuned Global can offer clients more access to advanced AI technology.

This is through a partnership with Singapore-based AI company, Musiio.

Tuned Global’s clients in the music streaming, fitness, telco, social media, and gaming industries can tag their catalogues with enriched metadata to enhance playlisting and music discovery functions for curators and users.

Sarah McLeod ambassador for QLD festival

The Superjesus’ Sarah McLeod is made ambassador to the 10th Airlie Beach Festival of Music in Far North Queensland, November 4-6.

She will be a judge for the ‘Passport to Airlie’ talent search.

The ‘Jesus played there in 2019 and McLeod did a solo set in 2021 at the after-party.

Single-use plastics banned

The ACT has expanded its ban on single-use plastics at events and stadiums.

Starting last year with National Folk Festival, it extends to Manuka Oval, Canberra Stadium, and Groovin the Moo at Exhibition Park on April 24.

Groovin the Moo co-promoter Stephen Halpin said eliminating these was a priority for the festival.

“Our aim is to improve year on year and in 2022, in addition to our existing initiatives, we’re proud to be working alongside the ACT government to ensure that single-use plastic straws and plastic takeaway containers will no longer be part of Groovin the Moo,” he said.

Find out more on Groovin the Moo.