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Live Nation teams on new 1,800-cap Australia venue

Live Nation has teamed with Secret Sounds, Five Four Entertainment, and the team behind Brisbane’s Fortitude Music Hall and The Triffid venues to launch a new live music venue in Adelaide, Australia.

Set to open in August, the 1,800-capacity Hindley Street Music Hall will also include a separate street level nightclub and restaurant, and will act as a hub for domestic and international touring artists.

The AUS$6 million (€3.9m) project is a large-scale redevelopment of the previous HQ nightclub and will create at least 60 jobs.

Secret Sounds co-founder and co-CEO Paul Piticco says the soon to be announced official launch party will be “a celebration of South Australia’s finest musical acts, both past and present as the focal point of the night”.

“South Australia is the State of Art and I have long-admired the value that SA puts on culture and social infrastructure,” says Piticco. “Our plan is to build one of the best music halls right here on Hindley Street, and to also do our bit filling it with the greatest local and international talent.”

Secret Sounds is Australia’s largest festival promoter, organising events such as Splendour in the Grass, Falls Festival, Spin Off Festival and the new Harvest Rock Festival, and works on shows by with acts such as Mark Ronson, London Grammar, The Strokes, Gorillaz and Liam Gallagher.

“The venue will ensure the continued development of the city’s incredible live entertainment scene”

“I’m stoked to be bringing my experience and passion to a city I’ve always truly loved,” says venue director John Collins. “We’ve spent a lot of time on the design of the venue ensuring the relationship between the performer and the audience is the best it can be, and to create an incredibly intimate space where fans feel super close and connected to the artist. I want the Hindley St Music Hall to really contribute to Adelaide’s music culture and become an artist and fan-favourite for years to come.”

Live Nation already runs Australian venues including the Palais Theatre in Melbourne and Spark Arena in Auckland, and will assist the new site in attracting high calibre performers to South Australia.

“Hindley Street Music Hall will be a great new addition to our venues across Australia,” says Live Nation Asia Pacific president Roger Field. “The venue will ensure the continued development of the city’s incredible live entertainment scene and will attract amazing performances for local music fans to enjoy while also creating jobs for the local community.”

Five Four Entertainment, meanwhile, runs various large scale music festivals in South Australia, including Spin Off Festival and St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, and opened the 500-cap Lion Arts Factory in 2019.

“As a proud South Australian who has worked in the local music industry for more than 10 years, I am extremely excited to be part of this project,” says Five Four founder Craig Lock. “Having a venue of this size and quality will no doubt increase the calibre of artists willing to play in SA. Music fans should be really excited about this venue cementing Adelaide as part of global touring circuit.”

The venue is preparing to host confirmed artists including Honne and Pub Choir, with a slew of international and domestic acts yet to be announced.

 


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Summer Sounds reveals Covid-safe ‘party pods’

The organisers behind Australia’s new festival series, Secret Sounds, have revealed the Covid-safe ‘party pods’ that are designed to keep attendees socially distanced during the events.

The festival – which is organised by Secret Sounds, the Live Nation-promoter behind Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival  – will kick off tomorrow (8 January) in Adelaide’s Bonython Park and will run until 31 January.

The format of the event will utilise ‘party pods’ which event director Daniel Michael has said are based on the socially distanced viewing platforms in the Virgin Money Unity Arena in the UK, which was built in the summer.

Tickets for Summer Sounds are being sold in groups of four or six and each party will have to stay within their pod for the duration of the concert, apart from going to buy food or go the toilet. Attendees will be allowed to eat, drink and dance within their pod.

Organisers say that the 10,000-square-metre site will accommodate up to 2,000 fans each night

Attendees are given a 15-minute window in which to arrive to avoid queues forming, and will be issued a wristband with their pod number, so every person at the event will be traceable.

Organisers say that the 10,000-square-metre site will accommodate up to 2,000 fans each night.

Summer Sounds was originally set to start on 30 December but was delayed until 8 January because of travel restrictions between New South Wales (NSW) and South Australia (SA), in response to Sydney’s coronavirus outbreaks.

 

 

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Due to the postponement of the event, organisers were forced to make amendments to the line-up.

Rapper Allday and pop-punk duo Towns will replace Jack River and Mercy, Merci for the 8 January show, while Tilly Tjala Thomas has been added to the 9 January lineup with Bernard Fanning and Something for Kate.

Fanning, a headline act, has been granted an SA Health exemption to travel from Byron Bay for the festival, as SA currently has a hard border closure with NSW.

Other artists performing through the series include Mallrat, Ruel, Cub Sport, Lime Cordiale, Baker Boy, The Chats, Spacey Jane and Ball Park Music.

 


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Live Nation-owned Secret Sounds unveils new event

Secret Sounds, the promoter behind Australian festivals Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival, has revealed details about its new Adelaide-based event, Summer Sounds.

The Live Nation-owned company has teamed up with Adelaide-based promoters Five Four Entertainment and Groove to deliver a concert series featuring more than 20 shows which kicks off in the late December summer season.

Timmy Trumpet, Lime Cordiale, Hot Dub Time Machine, The Jungle Giants, The Veronicas, Ocean Alley, Human Nature, Bernard Fanning, Mallrat, Spiderbait, Hayden James, Ball Park Music, Dune Rats will perform at Bonython Park/Tulya Wodli between 30 December and 30 January.

Each concert will feature party pods, which have been described as ‘an island oasis for a group of 4 or 6 people’ that is ‘decked out with its own esky of pre-ordered drinks and tasty snacks’. The event has been approved by South Australia health officials.

Each concert will feature party pods, which have been described as ‘an island oasis for a group of 4 or 6 people’

The announcement follows the news that Secret Sounds recently received AU$1.5 million from the federal government’s RISE fund to develop a new festival in 2021 ‘that would keep audiences connected while also reaching new audiences across Australia and overseas’.

Live Nation bought a majority stake in the New South Wales-based company in 2016, acquiring a 51% stake in Splendour in the Grass and Falls, as well as its touring, sponsorship, PR, artist management and agency divisions.

The 2020 Splendour festival was called off in June and will instead now go ahead next year with headliners, Gorillaz.

Meanwhile, though the December/January Falls Festival events were set to move forward with an all-Australian line-up, they were also called off in August.

 


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South Australian venues forced to shut immediately

South Australian (SA) venues today have been forced to shutter as the state enters a six-day lockdown from midnight tonight to curb the spread of a coronavirus outbreak.

The lockdown, which will be followed by eight days of eased restrictions, comes after the state detected the first community cases in six months in Adelaide on Sunday.

Under the “circuit-breaker” lockdown, residents must stay home and cannot leave for exercise; mask-wearing will be mandatory in public; all schools and universities will close except for children of essential workers; shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs will close with no takeaway options; and there will be bans on regional travel.

Anyone visiting SA will have to immediately find somewhere to stay for six days and people are being asked not to leave the state for 14 days.

“Covid-19 has swept back into South Australia, posing our greatest health challenge in generations,” says South Australia’s premier Stephen Marshall.

“Covid-19 is a silent enemy and that’s why we’re going hard and going early”

“It’s a challenge I know we will overcome, because we’ve done it before. This circuit breaker will give our world-class health teams the time they need to protect our community. We won’t get a second chance to prevent a second wave of Covid-19. It’s a silent enemy and that’s why we’re going hard and going early.”

The premier praised South Australians’ response to the latest outbreak, saying the cluster had been caught “very early” and authorities know where the links are.

The lockdown comes amid Music SA’s Go Live campaign, an initiative encouraging audiences to safely attend live music from 18 September to 31 December 31 this year.

While SA shuts down, other parts of Australia are opening for business. Yesterday, Queensland initiated a rollback of restrictions, allowing venues and stadia to operate at 100% capacity provided patrons are seated and socially distanced.

Elsewhere, New South Wales is set to host Australia’s first arena shows since the shutdown of the concert business in March and live music under more stringent restrictions has returned to regional Victoria.

 


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Frontier resurrects touring festival success with RNB Fridays Live

The days of touring festivals dominating the Australian outdoor season may be confined to history but Frontier Touring is enjoying phenomenal success with its RNB Fridays Live series.

The concept just wrapped up its third annual instalment in Australia and the company reports that the 2018 edition went to another level – scaling up to stadiums, selling out nationally and moving 200,000 tickets, making it one of the biggest touring festival brands in the region.

Since its debut in 2016, RNB Fridays Live has become arguably Australia’s most successful concert series. For three consecutive years, Frontier has used the brand to bring some of the biggest names in contemporary RNB to the stage, raising the bar with each line-up.

This year, Frontier gambled by stepping up the production for acts including Usher & Lil Jon, Salt-N-Pepa, Trey Songz, Eve and Taio Cruz

The inaugural events saw Nelly and TLC headline an 11-act show that visited arenas in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne, playing to about 68,000 fans in total. Last year, the tour visited the same cities but played seven nights, with back-to-back performances in Sydney and Melbourne, attracting almost 120,000 fans, thanks to appearances by Craig David, NE-YO, Sean Paul, Kelly Rowland, Kelis, En Vogue and others.

But this year, Frontier gambled by stepping up the production for acts including Usher & Lil Jon, Salt-N-Pepa, Trey Songz, Eve, Taio Cruz, Naughty By Nature, Ginuwine, Estelle, Next and others, and sold out Perth’s 20,000-capacity NIB Stadium, Etihad Stadium in Melbourne (45,000-cap), Adelaide Showground (15,000), Brisbane Showgrounds (27,000) and Spotless Stadium in Sydney (40,000), cementing the brand as one of the year’s biggest parties and allowing RNB acts to play to record-sized audiences in the southern hemisphere.

 


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Maddah says Soundwave ‘punished for success’

Soundwave founder AJ Maddah has hit back at reports Adelaide taxpayers have been forced to foot the debt accumulated by the now-defunct festival.

It emerged yesterday that Adelaide City Council (ACC) has agreed to permanently write off more than A$75,000 (US$56,00) owed by the metal festival, with News Corp tabloid The Advertiser writing that Soundwave “has ended up costing ratepayers about $75,000”.

That’s a reductive statement, says Maddah, which ignores the enormous contribution made by Soundwave to the Adelaide area between 2008 and 2015 – in spite of massive year-on-year hikes in rent and alleged abuse of backstage passes by local politicians and their families.

Maddah’s full statement, shared with Music Feeds, is below:

For over a decade Soundwave brought events to Adelaide and over that time provided jobs to thousands of South Australians, hiring thousand of hotel rooms, rental cars, close to $1 million in backstage catering supplied locally, paid ridiculous Adelaide City Council charges and incidentally provided entertainment for South Australian youth – the most marginalised and forgotten section of the South Australian population, with the highest rate of boredom, despondency and suicide.

And over that decade Adelaide City Council constantly punished Soundwave for being a successful event. Doubling and quadrupling the rent at Bonython Park and charging us close to ten times what it charged other events that used the park and employing every third-world tactic imaginable to squeeze the event.

In the meanwhile, council staff, including elected officials, abused the festival’s hospitality, demanded backstage access for their kids who never paid to attend and made a nuisance of themselves at every turn. We took all of this, grimaced and persevered despite the Adelaide market only turning a profit once in the history of the event.

Soundwave incurred catastrophic losses in 2015, with Adelaide accounting for a high portion of the loss. We were simply unable to meet the council’s post-event demands. But over its lifetime, Soundwave was a net contributor to ACC and the taxpayer by a very significant margin.

So, Adelaide City Council, what does the car racing and vanity events sponsored and subsidised by the Council cost the Adelaide taxpayer EVERY SINGLE YEAR?

ACC, however, disputes Maddah’s version of events, saying Soundwave “paid normal rates to use the space as per our rates schedule, plus standard remediation costs which are charged to all event organisers who use the park lands and squares to ensure they are returned to their pre-event state.”

Soundwave, a major touring festival which was also held in Perth, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, filed for bankruptcy in 2015 with debts of A$28m.

 


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