Australia: Music Awards, Jenny Morris, Anti-Sexual Assault Tool & More – Pollstar

Baker Boy

Australian Music Awards Get Widest Reach In Virtual Format

Multiple Australian music awards were forced to go online because of the pandemic, but still found a positive result. 

Music NT, organizer of the Aug. 8 National Indigenous Music Awards said, “We created the largest audience in the event’s (17 year) history.” 

Live sets from home and the 7,000-seat Darwin Amphitheatre were broadcast on National Indigenous Television (NITV), free-to-air multicultural channel SBS, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter as well as numerous radio networks.

Highlights over two-hour program were rapper Baker Boy’s three wins (including artist and song of the year), elder statesman Archie Roach’s album of the year gong, his late wife Ruby Hunter inducted into the hall of fame, and Midnight Oil closing the night premiering new land rights single ‘Gadigal Land’ with First Nation artists Kaleena Briggs, Bunna Lawrie and Dan Sultan.

The July 29 West Australian song of the year awards in Perth, reached 5,000 viewers from streamed on social media pages of organizer WAM, rights group APRA AMCOS, Nannup Music Festival and of various artists.

Three-time winner Carla Geneve’s ‘2001’, named after Stanley Kubrick‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey, cited by her as a childhood pop culture escapism, took the song and rock categories.

Morris Calls For Government Support To Raise Australian Music’s Global Profile

Jenny Morris

The federal and state governments must do more to increase music exports from A$195 million ($139.7 million) to A$7 billion ($5 billion) singer songwriter Jenny Morris said in an Aug. 5 speech to the National Press Club in Canberra. Morris is also chair of rights group AORA AMCOS.

“While most of our larger trading partners celebrate and support their creative industries with healthy local content quotas and investment, ours have been traded away, and capped in our US free trade agreement,” Morris said.

She suggested a dedicated governmental music export policy, songwriting skills taught at school, protecting cultural infrastructure like live music venues and incentivizing music production and performance across all media platforms.

She also recommended more appreciation of music’s economic value. “The federal and state governments have invested heavily in our screen industry, and we have globally recognized food and wine industries. 

“The contemporary Australian music industry is yet to achieve its potential. We need a clear vision. And I think that vision should be for Australia to become a net exporter of music.”

A panel discussion followed with artist manager John Watson, singer songwriter Gordi and rapper L-FRESH The Lion, and a performance by singer Ngaiire.

Watson’s clients include Midnight Oil, Cold Chisel, Missy Higgins and Silverchair, said the biz needs government aid now more than ever.

“The house is on fire,” he said. “The reality is that, unless and until there is some certainty around the return to live performance, that’s a large chunk of most musician’s lives, so we’ll continue to struggle.”

‘Don’t Be That Guy’ – Aussie Biz Launches Anti-Sexual Assault Tool

Don’t be that guy
The surfacing in recent weeks of sexual harassment and assaults in the Australian music industry generated a campaign for safer workspaces. 

Posts by musician Jaguar Jonze and stylist Michelle Pitiris of their experiences, led to others coming forward. These included 51 complaints about a single photographer, who quit the biz.

The Music Industry Collaborative Commitment is set up as a resource – for instance, via screenshots or posters hung on the wall – for use before setting up meetings as writing or recording sessions, photo-shoots and rehearsals. It was compiled after community and specialist consultation, including reps covering ability, POC, First Nations, LGBTQI, Trans*, womxn and age.

Campaign co-founder, Sydney artist manager Mick Walsh, said of its tagline Don’t Be That Guy, “We’ve made a conscious decision to use the word ‘guy’ in this context. This is largely a men’s issue, and we’d be remiss not to acknowledge that.”

Fellow co-founder Poppy Reid is managing editor of The Brag Media (whose titles include Rolling Stone Australia and The Industry Observer) and was part of the meNOmore Open Letter campaign set up post-MeToo#.

Reid noted: “This is inclusive and it’s backed by our music industry community. We’re all aware change is needed. We’re all aware change is coming. I just hope this plays a part in that.”

American Express Injects $1m Into Biz Via Fund

American Express will inject a further A$1 million ($716, 468) into the Australian music industry as part of its Music Backers program. It offers grants between A$2,000 ($1,432) to A$50,000 ($35, 823) for artists and businesses with fresh ideas. 

Applications for the latest round end late November. But Amex research found that while nine in ten punters “believe the music industry is an important contributor to the national economy and a key part of Australian culture,” fewer than a third are “willing to spend more, or travel farther, to support the local industry through the pandemic.” 

As a result, its judging panel of industry execs funded a number of initiatives working to keep live music in front of fans during the lockdowns. These were weekly livestreamed festival Isol-Aid, Dinosaur City Records and interview shows Isolation Hour and Tambo Talk.

One of the judges, Live Nation CEO Roger Field, observed, “The way the sector has rallied together during these challenging times has been encouraging to see, with many changing the way they do business in order to service and entertain their communities.”

Live Nation Pushes Rod Stewart Back To 2022

Live Nation rescheduled Rod Stewart’s 12-date Australia and New Zealand The Hits! from October and November 2020 to the southern autumn of 2022. 

Six of the Aussie shows were in vineyards as part of Roundhouse Entertainment’s A Day On The Green series, with two in Napier in New Zealand.

The new dates are Sandalford Estate, Perth (March 12), Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne (March 15 and 16), Mt Duneed Estate, Geelong, (March 19), Roche Estate, Hunter Valley (March 26), Centennial Vineyards, Bowral (March 27), Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney (March 30),  Sirromet Wines, Mount Cotton (April 2 & 3), Forsythe Barr Stadium, Dunedin (April 6) and Mission Estate, Napier (April 9 and 10).

Ticket Scammer Gets 5-Year Prison Stretch

A 35-year old with a gambling addiction who scammed Ed Sheeran fans in 2018 of A$2,100 ($1,504) worth of non-existent tickets, was jailed for 5-and-a-half years in Brisbane District Court. 

Ho Man Stephen Yeung also fleeced A$157,768 ($113,037) from buy-now pay-later service Oxipay and A$50,000 ($35, 824) from a man he met on an online forum for Lotus car enthusiasts.