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NSW music festival regulations rejected

The New South Wales (NSW) Legislative Council has rejected regulations put forward by the NSW Government that imposed stricter licensing laws on music festivals.

The rejection means that festivals formerly placed in the government’s ‘higher risk’ category, and were most affected by the regulations, can revert back to their previous licensing laws.

NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian implemented the regulations, which placed more responsibility on festival organisers to ensure the safety of patrons and incurred many additional licensing and security costs, following a string of drug-related deaths at music festivals in the region.

The regulations were criticised by industry bodies including the Australian Music Festivals Association, Live Performance Australia, Apra Amcos and Music NSW, as well as leading industry figures such as Byron Bluesfest founder Peter Noble and Live Nation Australia chairman Michael Coppel.

“The government can now sit down with the industry for some constructive consultation on ways to improve patron safety at music festivals, including steps to reduce drug-related harm,” comments Evelyn Richardson, chief executive of Live Performance Australia.

“From the outset, we have repeatedly expressed our strong desire to work collaboratively with government on our shared commitment to safer festivals.

“Genuine collaboration with industry representatives who have decades of experience in running safe and successful festivals is the best way to promote the safety of festival patrons, while also ensuring NSW continues to enjoy the economic and cultural benefits from a dynamic and diverse music festival industry.”

“The government can now sit down with the industry for some constructive consultation on ways to improve patron safety at music festivals”

The government now has two months to propose a new set of regulations. Representatives from the Australian Labor party stated that they would support a regime that did not publish an ‘extreme risk’ list of festivals, that followed existing NSW Health guidelines for festival organisers and that ensured all medical providers at festivals are registered.

Politicians also urged the ‘immediate establishment’ of a regulatory roundtable, at which live music industry associations could consult with local councils.

“The opposition does not move to disallow these regulations lightly, but we simply believe that these regulations do not do the job as required to regulate music festivals and to keep kids safe across NSW,” stated shadow minister for roads, music and the night-time economy John Graham, speaking at the debate.

The minister also commented that no politicians met with the festivals at the time of implementing the regulations and that “no consultative body existed, or exists today”, adding that there is “no other industry that government would work with in that way.”

According to Labor minister Penny Sharpe, the “impact on venues and festivals” was not “accounted for” in the regulations. The minster urged the government to learn from its mistakes, referencing the recently scrapped Sydney lock-out laws.

As well as Byron Bay Bluesfest, other NSW festivals include Defqon.1, Days Like This, Transmission, Electric Gardens and Rolling Loud.

 


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Coppel, Dainty honoured in Queen’s birthday list

Veteran concert promoters Michael Coppel and Paul Dainty have been appointed members of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2017 Queen’s birthday honours list.

Coppel (pictured), who has been chairman of Live Nation Australasia since March, is honoured for his “significant service to the entertainment industry as a producer and promoter of theatre, festivals and national concert tours”. According to the honours list, Coppel’s service includes promoting and producing “national tours and festivals featuring Australian and international artists”, including U2, Beyoncé, Adele, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, Fleetwood Mac and Kanye West, as well as various theatre shows, including We Will Rock You, Billy Elliot, Spamalot.

He is also recognised as a benefactor of the Coppel and Piekarski Family Disability Respite Centre in Caulfield, Victoria, which opened in March 2016.

Dainty, who sold his Dainty Group business to TEG last July, is similarly recognised for “significant service to the entertainment industry as a producer and promoter of national concert tours, theatre and events”.

“Paul is truly a doyen of the music industry and the Order of Australia honour is worthy recognition of his 40-year contribution”

Dainty’s service also includes serving on the board of the Film Finance Corporation (now Screen Australia) from 2005 to 2008, as a board member of the Peter McCallum Cancer Foundation from 2006 to 2012 and as director Sydney Football Club from 2006 to 2008.

Geoff Jones, TEG group CEO, comments: “Paul is truly a doyen of the music industry and the Order of Australia honour is worthy recognition of his 40-year contribution.”

Both become members of the Order of Australia, for which there is a quota of 340 appointments per year.

Other high-profile Australians honoured include actress Cate Blanchett, who becomes a companion of the Order of Australia (AC), Sony Music Australia CEO Denis Handlin (AM), Bangarra dance company director Stephen Page (officer of the Order of Australia, AO) and and theatre producer Gale Edwards (AM).

A full list of recipients is available at the governor-general’s website.

 


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Adele smashes attendance records down under

The Australian leg of Adele’s Live 2017 tour has made concert history down under after playing to more than 600,000 people over eight stadium dates.

The British singer’s first Australian tour – which wrapped up in Melbourne last weekend – broke attendance records at all eight venues, and has been described by Michael Coppel, the newly appointed chairman of Live Nation Australasia, as a “career highlight for all at Live Nation”.

The Live 2017 tour, which follows the record-breaking Live 2016 trek of Europe and North America, kicked off in Perth, Western Australia, on 27 February, breaking the Domain Stadium’s attendance record of 65,000, before heading to Brisbane, where Adele played to 120,000 in the Gabba cricket ground over two nights (also a record).

Dates in Sydney – where she played the two biggest shows in Australian history, to 200,000 people at the ANZ Stadium – and Adelaide (70,000 at the Oval) followed, before the Australian leg concluded at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium, where Adele played to 150,000 people over two nights, once again shattering the stadium’s peak attendance record.

“It has been both a privilege and truly a career highlight for all at Live Nation to have been able to present Adele’s record-breaking Australian and New Zealand tour”

She now heads to Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand, for her three final Australasian shows, with ticket sales already in excess of 130,000.

“It has been both a privilege and truly a career highlight for all at Live Nation to have been able to present Adele’s record-breaking Australian and New Zealand tour,” comments Coppel.

“The audiences have been ecstatic at their opportunity to see a true superstar at her peak, and, as the tour promoters, we have been gratified to be able to fully satisfy the expectations of Adele’s management, agent, production and security teams in the presentation of such a high-profile and challenging series of major concert events.”

 


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Coppel named chairman of Live Nation Australasia

Michael Coppel has been named chairman of Live Nation in Australia and New Zealand.

Coppel (pictured), who sold his Michael Coppel Presents business to Live Nation in April 2012, was formerly Live Nation Australasia’s president and CEO, overseeing the company’s acquisition of Splendour promoter Secret Sounds and the lease on Melbourne’s Palais Theatre.

Former COO Roger Field takes over as CEO, and will be responsible for the day-to-day running of Live Nation’s concert business in Australia and NZ.

“Michael and Roger have done an amazing job of transforming our business in Australia and New Zealand … I am delighted that they are going to be continuing to work together”

Coppel, meanwhile, will “continue to service his long-term industry relationships, mentor the company’s growing promoter team in Australia and New Zealand and continue to look for opportunities to grow Live Nation’s business in the region,” says LN.

He comments: “We have built a great team over the last five years, and I am excited to be able to continue to work with them to deliver unforgettable live experiences to music fans across Australia and New Zealand.”

Alan Ridgeway, president of Live Nation’s international and emerging markets division, adds: “Michael and Roger have done an amazing job of transforming our business in Australia and New Zealand over the last five years. I am delighted that they are going to be continuing to work together in their new roles and am sure they will take the company to new heights.”

 


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