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Australia set to gain two major rock festivals

Australia is set to gain two new rock festivals in 2021 and 2022.

Leading Australian promoter Destroy All Lines is bringing a two-day alternative music festival to Victoria this winter.

Knight & Day will take place at Kryal Castle (Australia’s only medieval adventure park) in Ballarat between 30 and 31 December 2021.

According to the festival, attendees will be able to enjoy “a mesmerising maze, medieval performances, dungeons, torture museums, knights towers, secret dragons and a labyrinth,” alongside full-band and acoustic performances, as well as DJ sets.

Parkway Drive, Polaris and Alex Lahey are set to headline the event.

Early Bird pre-sale tickets are available on Tuesday 21 September at 10:00 AEST. Camping is not available. Find out more information here.

“The time was right to introduce a new summer festival, one which will appeal to a wide cross-section of rock fans”

Australian rock fans can also look forward to the inaugural edition of Uncaged, produced by Silverback Touring.

The East Coast touring festival will feature “a diversely curated blend of hard rock, punk [and] metal” acts, exclusively from Australia and New Zealand.

The three-city run will kick off in Brisbane showgrounds on Saturday 22 January 2022 before stopping off at Melbourne’s Coburg Velodrome (Saturday 29 January) and Sydney’s Olympic Park (Saturday 12 February).

Danny Bazzi, head of Silverback Touring, said in a statement today (15 September): “The time was right to introduce a new summer festival, one which will appeal to a wide cross-section of rock fans.”

The first line-up announcement for Uncaged will be made next Wednesday 22 September. Tickets are yet to go on sale. More information can be found here.

 


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Live Nation GSA announces Download Festival Germany

Live Nation GSA (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) is launching a German edition of Download Festival, the UK’s premiere rock event.

Download Germany will take place on 24 June 2022 at the Hockenheimring, a motor racing circuit situated in the Rhine valley near the town of Hockenheim, which Live Nation GSA head Marek Lieberberg has prior experience with.

Lieberberg’s former company Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur (MLK) previously held Rock’n’Heim at the same location, in cooperation with Live Nation.

The festival took place annually from 2013 to 2015, welcoming around 40,000 fans across three days for the first two years. In 2015, the event was reduced to a one-day event.

MLK also housed both Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, started by Lieberberg in 1985 and 1993 respectively, the twin festivals that from 2022, will be programmed by eventimpresents and CTS Eventim-owned DreamHaus.

At the time of writing, Download Germany has not announced any artists or released tickets for the 2022 event

At the time of writing, Download Germany has not announced any artists or released tickets for the 2022 event.

Download Germany will be the UK brand’s fourth sister event. Other sites are Download Australia, which would have debuted in 2020, Download Madrid and Download France in Paris (both of which last took place in 2019).

The UK event, promoted by Festival Republic, this year took place over the 18–20 June weekend as part of the second phase of the UK government’s scientific Events Research Programme (ERP).

Download Pilot welcomed 10,000 metal fans to the hallowed grounds of rock in Donington Park, Leicestershire, to enjoy a fully-fledged festival experience with no social distancing, no masks and moshing allowed. The event was the UK’s first major camping festival of its kind since lockdown.

The flagship event is set to return to the UK between 10-12 June 2022 with a line-up that includes Deftones, Korn and Megadeath.

 


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Gudinski’s ‘Music From The Home Front’ returns

Frontier Touring has announced the second edition of Music from the Home Front, a special Anzac Day concert spearheaded by the late Australian industry icon, Michael Gudinski.

The second instalment will take place at Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne on Saturday 24 April, the eve of the national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand.

The Kid Laroi, Jimmy Barnes, Dean Lewis, Amy Shark, Tina Arena, Vance Joy, Lime Cordiale, Tash Sultana and You Am I are slated to perform.

Music from the Home Front was conceived by Gudinski, the late Barnes and Frontier Touring/Mushroom Group founder, to pay tribute to both the service people who were involved in the Gallipoli campaign (1915–16) of the First World War, as well as those who were “fighting on the Covid-19 front line”.

The inaugural Music from the Home Front was watched by over 1.4 million viewers on Anzac Day 2020.

“Music From The Home Front is a project [Michael Gudinski] was immensely proud of in 2020”

Matt Gudinski, the son of Michael and the newly elected CEO of Mushroom Group, told Billboard: “It’s incredibly fitting that Music From The Home Front, a project he was immensely proud of in 2020, was one of the events he was working on right up until his last day.

“That we can bring to life a broadcast concert version from his hometown of Melbourne, supporting the industry he loved, in a city he long promoted as the leading music capital of Australia, resonates deeply with all of us at Mushroom.”

Michael Gudinski passed away suddenly on 2 March 2021 at the age of 68.

Similar to last year, the concert will be broadcast live on television on Nine/9Now and on YouTube at 7:30 pm AEST. This year’s event is presented in partnership with the Victorian government.

Tickets for the Melbourne concert go on sale this Friday (16 April). For more information visit musicfromthehomefront.com.au and frontiertouring.com/homefront.

 


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Michael Gudinski to receive state funeral

Victoria, the home state of Michael Gudinski, will hold a state funeral for the late promoter, its premier has announced.

Gudinski, the Frontier Touring founder known as the ‘father of the Australian music industry’, passed away suddenly on Monday (1 March). Bruce Springsteen, Kyle Minogue, Live Nation, TEG and his longtime friend and business partner, Michael Chugg, were among those to pay tribute.

Daniel Andrews, premier of Victoria, told press yesterday Gudinski’s widow, Sue, had agreed to a state funeral for her late husband.

“I think we will be able to come together in an iconic venue and celebrate his life”

“I went and saw Sue last night and offered her and the family a state funeral for an amazing Victorian,” he told local media. Gudinski was born and raised in Caulfield, a suburb of state capital Melbourne.

The funeral, said Andrews, “will be a celebration of his life”, with the details finalised in the coming days.

“It’s got to be Covid-safe, of course,” he added, “but I think we will be able to come together in an iconic venue and celebrate his life and the mark that he made and the legacy he leaves.”

 


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Australia unveils Victoria’s roadmap for reopening

Victoria, the state at the epicentre of Australia’s Covid crisis, has unveiled its “Roadmap for Reopening,” which includes the return of the live entertainment sector.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that the capital city, Melbourne, will remain under stage 4 lockdown measures until 28 September with some relaxation from 13 September, including a later curfew of 9 pm, instead of 8 pm.

The Roadmap for Reopening will require all entertainment venues across Victoria to stay closed throughout the first two stages of the plan.

Subject to case numbers, stage 3 will launch on the 26 October, permitting outdoor entertainment venues in Victoria to reopen with capacity restrictions in place.

Then, provided the state has no new cases for 14 days, the last step in the plan will be initiated on 23 November, when indoor and outdoor venues will open with density quotient and patron caps.

Outdoor entertainment venues in Victoria will be permitted to reopen with capacity restrictions in place on 26 October

Public outdoor gatherings will increase to 50 people and large events will be treated on an individual basis based on “requirements and epidemiology” at the time.

The state will then move to, Covid Normal, when there has been no new cases for 28 days (state-wide), no active cases (state-wide) and no outbreaks of concern in others states or territories.

It’s expected that all restrictions will be lifted at this point, which means that all entertainment venues can reopen with “safety measures and record-keeping” in place.

Chief health officer Brett Sutton said at a press conference all the dates stipulated in the Roadmap for Reopening are “indicative”.

The state has been the epicentre of the country’s second wave, accounting for 90% of Australia’s 753 deaths, according to BBC News.

Ongoing Coronavirus concerns have caused widespread cancellations during Australia’s festival season, affecting events including St Kilda Festival, Strawberry Fields, Loch Hart Music Festival, Festival X, Meredith Festival, BigSound.

 


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Cancellations sweep Australia’s festival season

A number of Australia’s major music events have been cancelled due to ongoing coronavirus concerns, putting a question mark over the country’s imminent festival season.

Australia’s largest free music festival, St Kilda Festival, is the most recent event to be cancelled amid uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.

The Melbourne-based event, which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year and is one of Australia’s oldest festivals, was scheduled to take place in February 2021.

However, Victoria’s capital city has been in lockdown for over a month and the state remains Australia’s biggest concern with 7,274 active cases. Melbourne is under the strictest measures including a night-curfew which was imposed on 3 August.

“We know this will bring disappointment to those who support the St Kilda Festival year on year and we too feel that sadness,” says a statement on the festival’s Facebook.

“Our thoughts are with those in the arts and events industries who work tirelessly to deliver the events we love and continue to feel the strain and devastation of cancelled events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Elsewhere in the country, New South Wales festival Strawberry Fields has also called off. The Tocumwal event, which was due to take place in late November, has been postponed until next year.

Festival director Tara Medina said she felt it “inappropriate” to consider bringing thousands of people to NSW from primarily Melbourne and Sydney.

“We want to respect the space, health and wellbeing of the Berrigan Shire as well as the time of local emergency services who are already so busy fighting the pandemic day-to-day.

“Ultimately, in the current environment, even the best-laid plans can come unstuck”

“Normally our event is announced, and tickets sold out by this time of year. We really waited until the eleventh hour to see if we could work something out – even with a drastically reduced capacity – but we have to come to terms with the reality that it will not be possible until 2021.”

Earlier this month, Loch Hart Music Festival in Victoria was also cancelled – a decision that festival director Jayden Bath said was “heartwrenching”.

“Given the current state of things in Victoria this is unlikely to come as a shock, however, it is still an extremely difficult decision to make. Ultimately, in the current environment, even the best-laid plans can come unstuck. We can only run a festival that we truly believe in and that pays homage to the culture and community that has been built at Loch Hart 2018 and 2019,” says Bath.

Among the other Australian festivals that have been forced to cancel are: Victoria’s Queenscliff music festival, originally scheduled to take place this November; national dance and hip-hop festival Listen Out, originally due in the early autumn; and Queensland’s Caloundra Music Festival, originally planned for October.

Elsewhere in the country, the western states have been preparing for Phase 5, which could see the removal of the 50 per cent capacity for major venues and the two-square-metre rule, and a number of guidelines have been released in order to prepare the region for its return to live.

Western Australia is now in its fourth stage of lockdown easing, permitting all events except large scale, multi-stage music festivals. Unseated performances are allowed to take place at music venues and concert halls, with gathering limits only determined by the state’s two-square-metre-per-person rule. For the state’s biggest venues, however, a 50% capacity rule currently applies.

The state began its return to live with the first “post-restrictions” stadium concert, which took place in mid-July, with local musicians Crooked Colours, ShockOne, Slumberjack and Tina Says performing to over 2,000 fans as part of the WA Unlocked event at the HBF Stadium in Perth.

 


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Australia releases guidelines for return to live

Live Performance Australia (LPA), the trade association for the country’s live performance industry, has released a comprehensive set of Covid-safe guidelines to help facilitate Australia’s return to live.

The guidelines cover auditions, rehearsals and performances, as well as touring of live performances. The Performing Arts Connections (PAC) Australia guidelines for Covid-safe theatres, originally issued in June, have also been revised and updated.

Meanwhile, tailored guidelines for events of scale, such as large concerts and music festivals, are being developed through the Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF).

“People in our industry are passionate about getting back to work and engaging and entertaining live audiences, but safety must be our top priority to ensure the well-being of our workers and audiences,” says LPA chief executive Evelyn Richardson.

“As public health restrictions are eased in different states and territories, these guidelines will help the industry reopen, restart and rebuild following the devastating impact of Covid-19.”

The guidelines have been developed with industry input, reviewed by medical experts, revised based on that advice and endorsed by an epidemiologist. LPA also consulted with trade union Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) on the three guideline documents.

“People in our industry are passionate about getting back to work but safety must be our top priority”

Richardson says the live performance industry is also committed to working closely with state and territory governments on the implementation of the guidelines and the return to live.

“In addition to the emergency funding assistance that governments have provided to help our industry through this crisis, enabling our companies to reactivate and our performers to get back on stage in front of audiences is the best form of support they need. These guidelines provide the pathway for reopening venues and bringing our live performance industry back to life in the months ahead,” Richardson says.

Western Australia is now in its fourth stage of lockdown easing, permitting all events except large scale, multi-stage music festivals. Unseated performances are allowed to take place at music venues and concert halls, with gathering limits only determined by the state’s two-square-metre-per-person rule. For the state’s biggest venues, however, a 50% capacity rule currently applies.

The state began its return to live with the first “post-restrictions” stadium concert, which took place in mid-July, with local musicians Crooked Colours, ShockOne, Slumberjack and Tina Says performing to over 2,000 fans as part of the WA Unlocked event at the HBF Stadium in Perth.

Phase 5, which could see the removal of WA’s two-square-metre rule and the 50 per cent capacity for major venues, was due to be implemented on 15 August but has now been delayed until at least 29 August.

Elsewhere in Australia, Melbourne’s gradual reopening of nightlife is still on hold as the city battles a deadly second wave of coronavirus. Australia’s second-biggest city was put back into lockdown on 9 July after a localised outbreak of Covid-19.

The state has recently mandated wearing masks and tightened a stay-at-home order to reduce transmissions.

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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Live music markets hit as more cities lock down

The Philippines has become the latest live entertainment market to be put back into lockdown amid concerns a surge in new coronavirus cases could push the healthcare system to collapse.

Stay-at-home orders are now in place in Manila and four surrounding provinces for the next two weeks, prohibiting residents from outdoor activity except for going out to buy essential goods or exercising outdoors.

The country only just emerged from one of the strictest lockdowns in June but after reporting a record 5,032 new infections on Sunday (2 June), numerous medical associations urged President Rodrigo Duterte to toughen restrictions.

The capital city is home to some of the country’s largest venues, including the SM Mall of Asia Arena, which in lieu of live events has transformed into a mega swabbing centre.

Across the Indian Ocean, Melbourne’s gradual reopening of nightlife is still on hold as the city battles a deadly second wave of coronavirus. Australia’s second-biggest city was put back into lockdown on 9 July after a localised outbreak of Covid-19.

Melbourne has recently mandated wearing masks and tightened a stay-at-home order to reduce transmissions.

Parts of Leicester have been relinquished from local lockdown, allowing venues in Leicester City to reopen from yesterday

The state of Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, is responsible for over half of Australia’s 18,300 recorded cases.

After Victoria recorded another 671 cases of coronavirus on Sunday and seven deaths, premier Daniel Andrews announced a “state of disaster”.

On Sunday (2 August), Andrews introduced new rules including a night-time curfew between the hours of 8pm and 5am for the next six weeks.

In the UK, parts of Leicester have been relinquished from its local lockdown, allowing venues in Leicester City to reopen from yesterday (3 August). Though venues such as The Shed will remain closed, writing “Music venues still aren’t in the clear, and we’re aiming for September!” on its Facebook page.

English venues were preparing to reopen from 1 August but will no longer be able to do so after the government pushes back the next step of lockdown easing by at least two weeks.

Elsewhere, Botswana has reinstated lockdown in the capital, Gaborone, for two weeks after recording 30 new cases of coronavirus. The order took effect last Thursday (30 June).

“Essential services will operate at 25% capacity, there will be no movement within the Greater Gaborone Zone without a movement permit and movement to and from Greater Gaborone Zone will be void with immediate effect,” says Kereng Masupu, the coordinator of the presidential Covid-19 taskforce.


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Australia hosts first major “post-restrictions” events

Western Australia, home to the city of Perth, has become the first Australian state to host large-scale live events, allowing its biggest sport and entertainment venues to operate at 50% capacity.

The state saw the return of stadium concerts this weekend, with local musicians Crooked Colours, ShockOne, Slumberjack and Tina Says performing to over 2,000 fans as part of the WA Unlocked event at the HBF Stadium in Perth.

The event, organised by Zaccaria Concerts and VenuesWest, was billed as the first “post-restrictions” concert to be held in the country since lockdown measures came into force in March.

Seated tickets for the event cost AU$60 (€37), with standing tickets priced at AU$81 (€50).

Western Australia is now in its fourth stage of lockdown easing, permitting all events except large scale, multi-stage music festivals. Unseated performances are allowed to take place at music venues and concert halls, with gathering limits only determined by the state’s two-square-metre-per-person rule.

For the state’s biggest venues, however, a 50% capacity rule currently applies. Perth’s Optus Stadium admitting 25,000 football fans for a match on Sunday. The stadium is allowed to admit up to 35,000 for concerts and 30,633 for sporting events, with HBF Park given limits of 10,150 for sports and 16,500 for music events.

Western Australia is now in its fourth stage of lockdown easing, permitting all events except large scale, multi-stage music festivals

Phase five of Western Australia’s lockdown lifting, which was to see almost all remaining restriction removed, was recently pushed back from 18 July to 1 August.

Elsewhere in Australia, venues in Melbourne joined those in a number of major cities worldwide to be forced to re-close their doors amid a surge in new coronavirus cases.

The re-imposition of lockdown restrictions across the parts of the state of Victoria – which saw citizens permitted to leave their houses only for work, education, exercise or to buy essential supplies from 8 July – will last for six weeks.

Nightclubs in South Australia similarly faced a second wave of closures after briefly reopening over the first weekend of July. All venues now have to submit a Covid management plan before being allowed to operate.

In New South Wales, home to Sydney, venues are allowed to operate at 25% capacity, with a maximum number of 10,000 people in attendance, as long as social distancing measures are applied. All venue operators must submit a Covid-19 safety plan before organising an event.

Queensland is allowing events of up to 25,000 people (where that is equal to 50% full capacity), as long as there is an approved Covid safe event plan, and enough space for one person every four square metres.

Photo: DaHuzyBru/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0) (cropped)

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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Venues closed as major cities go back into lockdown

Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, has become the latest major live entertainment market to be put back into lockdown amid a surge in new coronavirus cases.

The re-imposition of lockdown restrictions for six weeks – which will see Melburnians permitted to leave their houses only for work, education, exercise or to buy essential supplies – follows a spike in Covid-19 infections in the state of Victoria, which as of 13.30 local time today (8 July) had recorded some 147 new cases over the past 24 hours.

The abrupt halt to Melbourne’s gradual reopening will come as a blow to nightlife businesses in the city. Speaking to the ABC, Guy Lawson, who owns Melbourne’s Napier Hotel, says he hopes the hotel survives the second shutdown but fears “a lot” of venues will not.

“The second round of lockdown will put on a huge amount of pressure for the industry. Once we are able to reopen, it will no doubt be under restrictions again for some time,” Adam Betts, co-owner of the city’s Bonny Bar, tells alcohol trade title the Shout.

“Needless to say, revenue will be right down when we reopen for many months,” he adds, “and the economy will be in a recession. With reduced revenue, we will also have an increase in costs as a double blow.”

In Spain, local lockdowns are in place in Catalonia and Galicia

The second lockdown in Melbourne follows similar restrictions aimed at containing a second wave of Covid-19 infections elsewhere in the world.

In Spain, local lockdowns in Catalonia and, more recently, Galicia are proving similarly difficult for venue operators; in Catalonia, in north-eastern Spain, around 400,000 people are subject to stay-at-home orders, while in the north-western region of Galicia gatherings are once more restricted to ten people, in a local lockdown that affects an area of 70,000 people. Capacity at bars and restaurants is also limited to 50%.

Federal Germany has also seen several areas, including the districts of Gütersloh and Warendorf in North Rhine-Westphalia, locked down after a spike in transmissions, with the English city of Leicester similarly currently subject to a local lockdown.

While music venues have yet to reopen in the UK, English bars, pubs and restaurants were permitted to reopen from Saturday 4 July. This, however, was not the case in Leicester, where residents face fines of up to £3,200 for repeatedly breaching stay-at-home orders.

As in Gütersloh, there is resentment in Leicester – home to around 330,000 people – that the rest of the country is being allowed to open up while their city is left behind. “It shows they have neglected Leicester,” resident Dhansukh Rana tells the Market Correspondent.

According to Leicester’s Curve Theatre, the 902-seat performing arts venue is losing £25,000 a day as a result of lockdown restrictions.

In China, customers may not spend any longer than two hours inside any one venue

Several US states, meanwhile, have been reintroducing restrictions as the country heads towards three million confirmed Covid-19 cases. A recent survey by the newly formed National Independent Venue Association found 90% of its members say, in the absence of government support, they will be forced to close permanently if the lockdown lasts six months or longer.

In contrast, China – where the coronavirus outbreak began in late 2019 – has “largely return[ed] to normalcy: restaurants, hotels and bars are open, and domestic travel has been loosened up so business people are able to travel around China now,” according to hospitality expert Ian Ford. The most recent local lockdown in China ended on Saturday (4 July), with residents of areas of Beijing judged “low risk” once again allowed to travel around the country without having to be first tested for Covid-19.

However, according to  the Chinese ministry of culture and tourism’s most recent reopening guidelines for indoor venues (including theatres, clubs and karaoke venues), that return to normality comes with several stipulations, including a two-hour time limit for customers.

According to the consumer protection section of the new guidelines, translated by Caixin, customers may not spend any longer than two hours inside any one indoor venue.

Additional restrictions include limiting entertainment venues to 50% of their normal capacity, while theatres are restricted to 30% and must leave at least one seat empty between every two people (ie ‘chequerboard seating’).

According to Caixin, the release of the guidelines on 22 June sparked heated debate among Chinese netizens: Some social media users argued that the two-hour time limit may actually backfire by speeding up the flow of customers, while others questioned how such a time limit could be strictly enforced.

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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