Vinyl sales Up 300% on Record Store Day Australia + all the biggest Australian music industry headlines

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Vinyl sales Up 300% on Record Store Day Australia + all the biggest Australian music industry headlines

Record store Day Australia Australian Music Industry News
Image by Xavier James
Words by Christie Eliezer

Read the latest Australian music industry news - from a 300% increase of vinyl sales on Record Store Day Australia to Mushroom Labels upping international presence.

Been out of the loop with everything that’s been going on in Australian music industry news recently? We don’t blame you. Here’s a wrap-up of all the biggest Aussie music biz stories from the past fortnight.

Read all the latest product & music industry news here.

The top headlines:

  • Vinyl sales up 300% on Record Store Day Australia
  • Mushroom Labels ups international presence with Madeleine O’Gorman moving to London to become general manager UK/Europe
  • Dance music bounces back to US$11.3B

Vinyl Sales Up 300% on Record Store Day Australia

Vinyl sales were at their strongest for the independent music stores that took part in Record Store Day Australia (RSD) 2023.

They were up 300% from the week before for Rockaway Records in Westfield Carindale Shopping Centre in Brisbane, for instance.

Landspeed Records in Canberra sold five times more than the previous Saturday.

RSD is the biggest turnover day for indie stores, overtaking the four day run-up to Christmas, and the strongest marketing tool for the vinyl format.

“We’ve been doing RSD for 16 years and we had our biggest Day to date,” reports Rockaway’s Owena Mundey.

“This year we had an immense range of ages, 15 to 70, in people lining up. 

“There was so much interest, Record Store Australia did an amazing job.”

Adds Landspeed’s Blake Budak, “A lot of people come in for RSD exclusives but they also bought two or three other releases from catalogue and our normal stock.”

The biggest RSA 2023 release by far was Taylor Swift’s Folklore The Long Pond Studio Sessions.

Swift fans began queuing outside stores by 3 am, most grabbing all four copies of the release which came with different cover sleeves.

By the time Landspeed opened its doors the waiting line was 200 meters long.

Pearl Jam’s Live On 2Legs sold out nationally with a strong demand for Bluey Dance Mode and Ocean Alley’s Chiaroscuro Chiaroscuro.

Folklore and Bluey were #1 and #2 on the ARIA Vinyl Chart week after.

The 1975’s Live With The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra had many queries but UK demand was so strong copies didn’t make it to Australia.

Swift and The 1975 topped the Top 40 charts in the UK, where all vinyl sales up 121.8% week-on-week to 190,000 on RSD.

RSD 2023 Australia showed consumer changes.

“Pre-2019, our main group was 35 and 55, and predominantly male,” noted Mundey. 

“Now the biggest is 17 to 35, with an even share between female and male.”

While in America, heavy metal boasted the largest vinyl growth, Budak says hip hop is the growing genre, with younger fans – who’d always bought digital – now collecting early releases on vinyl.

Dance Music Bounces Back To US$11.3B

The global dance music sector has stormed back from the pandemic, now worth 16% more than before the lockdown – with Australia with the highest EDM fans per capita in the world.

Revenue grew by 34% in 2022, to US$11.3 billion (A$17.1 billion), from  $8.7 billion in 2019.

This comes from MIDiA Research’s IMS Business Report 2023, delivered at the International Music Summit in Ibiza.

“After a couple of pandemic-impacted years, the global dance music industry is back in top gear and this report reflects how growth has returned across all the various aspects of its thriving business,” said MIDiA founder Mark Mulligan.

Much of the rebound was due to festivals and clubs, nearly half of all dance industry revenues.

Dance acts accounted for 39% of all festival bookings in 2022, up from 33% in 2021. 

But female DJs made up just 15% of top 100 DJ bookings, dropping from 21% the previous year.

67% of female creators felt pressured to look good, compared to 14% of males.

The figures also found more talent getting involved in creating electronic dance music.

Of the $6.6 billion made from studio & DJ gear, electronic music gear, software, sounds / samples and skills sharing, EDM made up 42% or $2.8 billion.

On social media, EDM grew ten times faster than hip hop (21% to 2%) on TikTok, and 19% to hip hop’s 15% on Instagram.

But it was a different story on streaming, where hip hop’s follower growth was 24% to EDM’s 13% on Spotify and 11% to 9% on YouTube.

Australia, 10th largest music market, had the highest EDM following per capita (208.4%), alongside the Netherlands at 153.8% and whose rate was seven times the USA’s.

MIDiA previously ranked Australia at #16 of countries playing EDM on radio, and represented 20% of EDM’s share on Spotify.

NEON Forum Thumbs-Up Sydney Nightlife

‘Night mayors’ from London, New York, Paris, Montreal and Vienna met at the NEON International Night-Time Economy Forum on May 2 & 3 in Sydney to throw ideas at growing Sydney’s $27 billion night time economy.

London ‘night czar’ Amy Lame pointed out night life would work if not an after-thought but pre-planned with input from venues, bars, night shift workers, students, community groups, residents and transport bodies.

Lame said of Sydney: “You have the world’s first minister for the night-time economy and music, you have the political will, (and) you’re incredibly well funded.

“Sydney’s on a growth trajectory, and it’s got real opportunity now to plan for its life at night and an opportunity to be proactive rather than reactive.”

NSW minister for the night-time economy and music John Graham, who opened the forum, revealed the government has commissioned night time experts VibeLab to deliver the Creative Footprint study this year.

Aside from comparing Sydney’s music and nightlife spaces to 5,000 global venues, it will hold focus groups and interviews with local experts and stakeholders “to better understand our city’s unique challenges and opportunities.

“The first priority is for government to have a good baseline data set to understand the health of our economy after dark.”

The Office of Night-time Economy will expand to six cities, as Newcastle and Central Coast.

Mushroom Labels Ups International Presence

Mushroom Labels amps its global presence, with Madeleine O’Gorman moving to London to become general manager UK/Europe.

She will oversee releases by DMAs’ (their How Many Dreams? debuted the UK charts at #3 on April 7), The Rubens, Alex Lahey, Mia Wray, merci, mercy and UK signings Gengahr and Demob Happy.

Blaise Sherrie is promoted to senior label manager of Mushroom Labels, looking after I Oh You, 100s & 1000’s and Valve.

Sarah Testolin becomes senior label manager of Liberation Records, Brigid Neill is promoted to label manager of Mushroom Labels, looking after Ivy League and Soothsayer, Jess Hilton takes up label manager of Mushroom Labels overseeing Liberator Music and Bloodlines, and Taylah Carroll becomes label assistant.

Universal Music Publ. Signs Double Drummer

Universal Music Publishing (UMP) Australia signed Sydney-based artist development company Double Drummer Music to a global agreement to represent its catalogue.

Under managing director Tim Prescott and Ed Prescott, Double Drummer’s publishing arm includes Melbourne band Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird, singer/songwriters Greta Stanley, Dominic Breen and UK expat Able Joseph,  guitar band Radio Free Alice, Sydney brothers Dust Of Us and Brisbane quintet Fresco Kyoto.

More Concerts For Stadiums

The green-light for the 23,000-seat Hobart Stadium on the Port Macquarie waterfront, will host three concerts a year to 30,000 fans each.

In Newcastle, the 30,000-capacity McDonald Jones Stadium has applied to the City of Newcastle to increase the amount of non-sporting events it can hold each year from 5 to 15 – many of them concerts.

In January, it returned to concerts after 30 years, with two sell-out Elton John shows that injected $12 million into Newcastle’s economy.

Pi!nk’s show in March 2024 is forecast to also bring $12 million.

The NSW government plans to scrap the 30-year old cap on the number of live events in Moore Park – introduced after noise complaints at a Rolling Stones show — and instructed operator Venues NSW to apply for Allianz Stadium to increase its four shows a year to 20.

This will bring in $40 – $60 million into the NSW economy a year, said premier Chris Minns.

Earlier, there was concern Allianz had reached its cap, and Beyonce, Foo Fighters and probably Taylor Swift, be handballed to Accor Stadium.

Swift’s jaunt, said to be announced any day now by Live Nation for February 2024 – looks like only stopping in Sydney and Melbourne (MCG).

New Agency Opens In Sydney

Craft Music is a new agency that opened in Sydney by ex-Harbour Agency agent Jeremy Sharp and ex-New Empire guitarist Peter Gillies.

The 30-strong roster includes Xavier Rudd, Ben Lee, Kate Miller-Heidke, Missy Higgins, Paul Mac and Short Stack.

Aussie Music Bids Farewell to Four

Broderick Smith, who fronted three of the best live acts – The Dingoes who were signed to the Rolling Stones’ management, Carson and Big Combo – died aged 75 on the eve of new music and dates in America.

First Nations player Nicky Moffat who taught himself guitar aged 8, went on to play with No Fixed Address and Coloured Stone, and was inducted to the Aboriginal Hall of Fame twice.

Singapore–born saxophonist and flautist Andrew Oh was a sought after player on sessions and on Australian and international tours before being affected by heart issues.

Adelaide club DJ, critic and photographer Ian Bell died in Paris during a holiday in Europe with his family, of a heart attack aged 60.

Musical Chairs at Dark Mofo and Beyond

Chris Twite is the new creative director at Tasmania’s Dark Mofo cutting edge winter festival, replacing Leigh Carmichael, who held the role since its beginning in 2013.

Twite, 19 years at Sydney community radio FBi, was producer at Sydney Opera House and Sydney Festival, and final curator of Falls Festival Marion Bay (Tas) for five years.

Support Act’s First Nations programs lead and proud Walpiri, Gurindji and Jawoyn woman, Cerisa Benjamin will exit her role end of July.

Since starting in August 2020 Benjamin helped develop a First Nations strategic plan, access webinars about wellbeing, the forthcoming diversity equity and inclusion training; a mental health first aid program, and increased First Nations music workers accessing crisis relief.

The 25-year old Adelaide LGBTQIA+ festival Feast’s new CEO is financial and retail entrepreneur Tish Naughton.

Michaela Jade Nutt joins Arts NT as manager of arts development and programs from shire of Broome where she led its first arts strategy.

Footscray Arts Centre appointed Bec Cole, with a council background in access to arts and music, as co-CEO/executive director alongside co-CEO/artistic director Daniel Santangeli.

Giuliana Bonel moves from a seven year tenure as marketing, commercial and experience director at Brisbane Powerhouse to GM of Toowoomba’s Empire Theatres.

For more info about Dark Mofo 2023, head here.