Virtual shows to stay in post pandemic world + all the biggest industry headlines from the week

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Virtual shows to stay in post pandemic world + all the biggest industry headlines from the week

Words by Christie Eliezer

Ball Park Music raises cash for Support Act, Aussie Nightclub sets world record 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:

  • Youtube brings $608 million into Australian economy in 2020.
  • Creative NSW wants you to join their advisory board.
  • APRA unveils Professional Development Award recipients.

Keep your eyes peeled on our Industry News page to stay updated on all the latest headlines. 

Report: Virtual Sets To Stay In Live Shows

Will virtual shows be discarded once the physical ones return?

A roundtable discussion by live music identities, brought together a month ago by this column, found that most believe hybrids will initially be part of festivals when they return mass scale.

But some hope that patrons will always opt for the “realness” and exhilaration of the live experience.

Now a report from the US looks at what fans are thinking. They are Americans but could presumably be a reflection of the Australian mindset. 

UTA IQ’s Virtual + Reality: The Future of Digital & Live Entertainment In A Post-Pandemic World revealed 96% of consumers will return to live events when safe. 

Concerts ranked alongside sports and movies at the top of the to-do list. One in three will attend more live events than pre-COVID, diverting their money from other hobbies.

Reasons for attending live entertainment were, in order, bond with family, feel normal, make memories, and live life to the fullest. 

Three in four attended a virtual live event during COVID-19, including 90% of Gen Z.  88% of who attended a virtual event during the pandemic will continue to do so when live events return.

Main reasons were to avoid crowds, experience an event comfortably, attend a show in another state or country, and spend less money. They also want to intensify the closer relationships forged with celebrities online.

Music topped virtual events fans participated in during lockdown. 75% who attended virtual music festivals will keep watching those events.

“As ‘real-life’ re-emerges, consumers are roundly rejecting a binary choice between virtual and live entertainment,” said Joe Kessler, global head of UTA IQ. “Much like hybrid work, consumers are demanding a ‘best of both worlds’ approach to their entertainment choices. 

“Consumers are enthusiastic about returning to live experiences, but they also are unwilling to give up the enhanced virtual experiences that helped get them through the pandemic.”

Want A Say In NSW Music Funding & Strategies?

Create NSW is looking for musicians, producers, business managers and independent company leaders for appointment to its 2021/22 advisory boards. These work with the chairs in determining recommendations for funding and providing advice to the NSW minister for the arts on relevant strategic matters.

The advisory boards cover contemporary music and festivals, as well as Aboriginal arts and culture, classical Music, opera & choral, dance & physical theatre, literature, multi-arts, museums & history, theatre & musical theatre, and visual arts. More info here.

Aussie Numbers For YouTube, British Exports

A new study The YouTube Australia Impact Report by consulting firm Oxford Economics showed that YouTube’s creative ecosystem injected $608 million into the Australian economy in 2020. It also supported 15,750 full-time equivalent jobs in that time.

As astounding 90% of views of Aussie content came from overseas – so little wonder that 97% of music and media companies with a YouTube channel stated it got them a global audience and set them up as places for discovery.

Meantime, London-based British Phonographic Industry (BPI) report that the UK’s music export earnings hit a record £519.7 million (A$950.9 million) in 2020. With a 10% global share, British music is the second most popular in the world after the US, one in 10 of all tracks streamed globally now by a British artist, and 300 UK artists achieve 100 million streams annually. 

Australian consumers’ contribution to the figure is £20 million ($36.59 million) – a regular number for the last four years. It’s attributed to a similarity of culture and predominant love for English language music.

Ball Park Music Raises $10k For Support Act

Ball Park Music raised $10,467 for Support Act’s work with musicians and industry workers through a tie-up with TWØBAYS Brewing Co. 

Two of the band suffer from Coeliac Disease, where their immune system reacts abnormally to gluten, so they worked with gluten-free TWØBAYS for a Belgian Witbier called Ball Park Bloom. TWØBAYS made a donation for every can sold and every pot, schooner or pint poured.  

APRA Unveils Professional Development Names

APRA revealed the 2021 recipients of its Professional Development Awards, each representing a genre. Each gets $10,000 cash at a crucial stage in their career, and a prize from Australis Music from an Epihone Casino Coupe guitar to a Behringer POLY-D Synth.

They are Alex Lahey (popular contemporary),  Elle Graham pka Woodes / Tornado Club (popular contemporary), Connor D’Netto (classical / experimental), Sarah Buckley of The Buckleys (country / americana), Christopher Arnott pka Friendless (dance/ electronic), Jessica Koroi pka Jesswar (hip hop / rap / R&B / soul), Freya Berkhout (film & television / gaming), Steve Barry (jazz / improvised music) and Hugo Chiarella & Naomi Livingston of Paradise Road (music theatre).

Jeremy Marou of Busby Marou got the $12,000 Music and Media Award grant from Smugglers of Light, a foundation set up by composer and conductor Nigel Westlake in memory of his son Eli Westlake, who died in 2008 aged 21.

Sydney Music Entrepreneur To Buy Qld Island?

Sydney music & tech entrepreneur and artist manager Mark Spillane is rumoured to be buying Queensland tropical resort Dunk Island for $20 million to $25 million, The Australian reported.

He is hoping to revive the 135 hectares tourist attraction which included 160 rooms and a golf course. It was destroyed by cyclone Yasi in 2011 and its last owner ran into financial issues.

It’s not the first time someone from music has gone into the island game. Kylie Minogue bought a getaway residence Beauciel and 71 hectare farm on French Island, off the Victorian coast. 

A ‘60s pop singer turned ‘70s record label owner owned a resort in Cairns which got destroyed in a hurricane. The manager of one of Australia’s biggest international acts also considered buying a Queensland island as a weekender.

Australian Nightclub Sets New World Record

Sydney nightclub Doof Shed was certified on June 16 by Guinness Book Of Records as the world’s smallest mobile nightclub. Twins Harry and Evangelos Labrakis built it measuring 1.53m x 0.74m x 1.88m – beating the record previously held by the 2.01 metre-high Club 28 in the UK –and allowed seven friends at a time to come in to dance to their DJ sets without fear of crowds.

Jess Barlow Joins Native Tongue

Jess Barlow is new licensing manager for Native Tongue Music Publishing, based in its Sydney office. She worked in Australia, UK and Canada, at EMI Music, Universal Music Publishing, Alberts, Warner Music and recently Sony Music.

Community TV Gets Three Year Reprieve

The ScoMo government gave Melbourne community TV Channel 31 and Adelaide’s 44 another reprieve, this time for three years, and just a week before power was to be switched off.

It means not only do viewers get a new perspective on culture and current affairs, but it remains a training ground for broadcasters, producers, sound engineers, directors and screenwriters. 31 helped launch Hamish Blake, Andy Lee, Waleed Aly and Gorgi Coghlan.

A tremendous amount of federal, state and city politicians went to Canberra to bat for the stations. Check out their names listed in the two stations’ websites and vote for them next time.

Better Radio Experience Inside The Car?

According to trade body Commercial Radio Australia (CRA), 84% of Aussies listen to radio in their cars. So it is working with its US counterpart and tech-heads about providing a better ear-candy experience.

The idea is to combine broadcast radio, internet and voice technology on Google’s open-source Android Automotive operating system which is already signed on Ford and Volvo.

With Android Automotive, the system is built into the car’s computer rather than Android Auto’s need for a smartphone.

Changes To Working Holiday Visa 

The Federal government introduced changes to the Working Holiday Maker Visa (WHM) to top up workers in the tourism and hospitality sectors  in the Northern and remote areas as they recover from COVID disruptions. This could include venues which showcase music.

Tourism and hospitality complained they lost a lot of workers last year, in some instances unable to fill jobs of up to $100,000.

The live music sector also faces a lack of skilled production and road crews. Many moved to audio-visual jobs in the corporate sector. Now they’re happy where they are, with more and consistent wages and hours.

At the moment, acts that are touring are working with small productions so it’s not an issue. But later in the year when major tours and festivals return (well, that’s the plan), it will be a problem. Event companies are looking at bringing in crews and production folk from places like NZ.

Read the biggest headlines from last fortnight here.