fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Australian festivals cancel early 2021 editions

A swathe of Australian festivals have cancelled their early 2021 editions due to uncertainty about future Covid restrictions on mass gatherings and international travel.

Unify Gathering, a three-day event in Victoria dedicated to punk and hardcore music, is the latest festival to cancel its 2021 edition, which was planned for March.

A statement from the annual boutique camping festival says: “We’d been hoping to have enough clarity to announce the festival today, with the view to have it take place in late March. However, without enough assurances that the event can go ahead in a safe and financially viable way, we don’t want to take any risks.”

Organisers say they plan to keep much of 2021’s previously announced line-up for next year’s edition. The all-Aussie lineup was slated to replicate the bill of Unify’s 2015 debut event, which featured the likes of The Amity Affliction, Northlane, In Hearts Wake, Thy Art Is Murder, Hellions and more.

“Without enough assurances that the event can go ahead in a safe and financially viable way, we don’t want to take any risks”

In place of a live event in 2021, the festival has partnered with hard rock radio network The Faction which will host a hard rock radio takeover, scheduled to take place between 15-17 January.

Victoria-based festival Golden Plains, similarly scheduled to take place in March 2021, has also been cancelled three months after the postponement of its sister festival Meredith Music Festival.

Next year’s edition would have marked the fifteenth iteration of the event, which typically takes place annually across the March Labour Day long weekend.

In a statement, ‘Aunty Meredith’ says: “The Space-Time Continuum has wibbled, and it has webbled, but it has not wobbled open wide enough to grant safe passage for Golden Plains this Autumn.”

“When favourable atmospheric conditions return, the full, rolled-gold, four-dimensional GP experience will land again. All dancing, all singing from the same songbook, in a close encounter of the Fifteenth kind. One more spin around the sun should do the trick.”

Golden Plains’ 2020 edition featured the likes of Pixies, Hot Chip, Stereolab and Sampa the Great and was one of the final large-scale festivals to take place in Australia before the pandemic took hold.

Back in September, Meredith too announced that it would not be going ahead as planned, noting that the Covid-19 pandemic and its associated restrictions made it impossible to hold the festival’s 30th-anniversary celebrations in its usual format.

“Until we can put on a festival that lives up to the expectations of our fans, we’re going to postpone. We won’t put on a second-rate event”

Elsewhere, the organisers behind country music festivals CMC Rocks Queensland have announced that the event won’t return until it can book international acts with confidence.

In a joint statement, Potts Entertainment, Chugg Entertainment and Frontier Touring said the ongoing pandemic and subsequent restrictions mean that the staging of the event is not possible.

“As such, organisers have today announced that the March 2021 festival will not proceed as planned and will instead be postponed to 2022,” they said.

Festival director Michael Chugg said organisers would not stage a subpar festival. “Everyone knows that CMC Rocks QLD is the place they go to see their favourite international and Australian country artists in action and discover new favourites,” he said.

“Until we can put on a festival that lives up to the expectations of our fans, we’re going to postpone. We won’t put on a second-rate event”.

The 2021 event will be postponed, and event organisers will instead focus on 2022.

This year’s event, which was due to take place in March, was cancelled a week out from the event after prime minister Scott Morrison banned “non-essential” gatherings of over 500 people.

The annual three-day camping festival, which has been running since 2013, usually takes place at Willowbank in Ipswich.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Mushroom Group restructures following AEG partnership

Australia’s Mushroom Group has announced major structure and personnel changes in response to what it calls “unprecedented growth across its live and label businesses” in recent months.

Following a series of major partnership announcements in 2019 with AEG Presents, Chugg Entertainment and CMC Rocks, and amid continued growth in the live touring sector, Mushroom – the parent group of Frontier Touring – will create a dedicated live marketing and communications division, set to launch on 4 November.

The new unit, headed up by Reegan Stark, marks the “full integration of the Frontier and Chugg teams”, and will be responsible for all marketing, PR and digital for Frontier Touring, Chugg Entertainment, CMC Rocks and other live partnerships, as well as PR and digital communications for boutique urban promoter Illusive Presents.

Stark, who has over 17 years’ experience at Mushroom, 12 directing Mushroom Promotions and 20 years of live touring experience, will be promoted into the role of chief marketing and communications officer, overseeing the communications, marketing and digital divisions of Mushroom’s live businesses. The newly created position reports directly to CEO Michael Gudinski and COO Dion Brant.

Simultaneously, Mushroom’s labels will launch in-house promotions, marketing and social media teams to drive the success of its local and international recorded-music roster.

Mushroom Promotions, meanwhile – formerly responsible for all publicity and promotions across both the touring and label divisions of Mushroom Group – will be separated, with staff moved into either the touring or label teams.

Mushroom Group chairman Michael Gudinski says: “Mushroom has seen significant growth in recent years across both the live and label businesses, and this restructure is an incredibly exciting stage in our evolution.

“This restructure is an incredibly exciting stage in our evolution”

“Our overriding principle at Mushroom is to be leaders and not followers, and I believe these changes will allow us to consolidate both sides of our business. I’m also very pleased to be promoting so many great staff from within and can’t wait to see them develop even further in their areas. Watch this space – there is more to come!”

A full list of staff changes in the live touring marketing and communications division is as follows:

Frontier, Australia’s last major independent promoter, announced plans to merge with AEG Presents in April, in a move that will bring the touring landscape down under in line with the corporate-dominated Europe and North American markets.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Australian country promoter Rob Potts passes away

Rob Potts, the veteran Australian country music promoter, agent and artist manager, has died aged 65.

Potts (pictured) – who as CEO of Entertainment Edge brought some of the biggest stars in country music, including Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean, Dixie Chicks and a young Taylor Swift, down under, and founded Australia’s biggest country music festival, CMC Rocks – lost his life in a motorcycle accident on Friday 27 October.

“Chugg Entertainment and CMC Rocks are devastated to announce the sudden passing of Rob Potts, who died tragically in a motorcycle accident on the west coast of Tasmania on Friday afternoon,” Chugg Entertainment, which co-promotes CMC Rocks, says in a statement.

“Rob Potts was a pioneer of the country music industry and single-handedly opened the door for the biggest international country music artists to find a welcoming home in Australia.”

Australian country guitarist Tommy Emmanuel comments: “I am sad to hear about the passing of Rob Potts. He has been a friend to me for a long time and such a strong supporter of so many artists in our business. I’ll miss him, I’ll miss our talks, our fun together, but most of all I’ll miss his love. He was a person of strong character, never judged harshly, always steady and full of enthusiasm for the future. When I’d come off stage in a sweat, he’d say, ‘You hosed ’em good, mate!’

“Well, Rob, you hosed us good! Our last conversation was on my phone, backstage at the Hall of Fame, Nashville, where I was excited to tell him that Alan Jackson, who he promoted in Oz, was being inducted into the Hall of Fame, and Alison Krauss and I were about to perform one of his songs. He thanked me for calling and I told him I wanted him to feel included in this special occasion. He told me he loved me and I replied the same.

“Rob single-handedly opened the door for the biggest international country music artists to find a welcoming home in Australia”

“Rob, your friends and family will be gathering together to say farewell. I send my love out to you all, and wish there was a way to say I love you now. RIP.”

“For a decade, Rob was a passionate and hard-working member of the CMAA board and executive,” says Dobe Newton of the Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA). “The organisation and, by extension, the broader Australian country music community, had the benefit of his intimate knowledge of industry operations, his extensive local and international networks and his constant advocacy for a global perspective.

“Among his many contributions, he was a leading advocate for ground-breaking market research which helped raise the profile of local country music and brought it to the attention of the world’s major market.

“Even those just entering our industry owe Rob a debt of gratitude, as he was an absolute believer in the need to increase the artistic and business skills of the next generation of industry leaders. He was one of the most vocal supporters of the CMAA’s world-first college and Camerata (as they were first known) and the CMAA Academy of Country Music (both junior and senior) which, next year, celebrate a unique 20th anniversary.

“This behind-the-scenes advocacy often goes unnoticed, but remains as a wonderful legacy. I know we speak for fans of country music everywhere, when we say thanks for your vision, commitment and friendship.

“You’ll be sorely missed. Rest in peace.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.