Australia's summer season should be another hot one for concert goers, if recent artist announcements is anything to go by.
Eminem has added a third date to his brief stadium tour this December. Lil Wayne will join Slim Shady on stage and play some arenas to himself, the Pogues will visit these shores for the first time since 1989, and the likes of Roger Daltrey, Earth Wind & Fire and My Morning Jacket will be Bluesfest draw-cards. And that's just a sample of the line-ups announced this week.
Don't miss the 8th Annual Billboard Touring Conference & Awards November 9-10 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. Now in its 8th year, the conference features innovative programming to inform, educate and provide a forum for industry promoters, agents, managers, venues, sponsors, merchandisers, ticketing companies and touring-related businesses and more.
Australia's live biz has been sizzling in recent years. There's a number of factors behind the action. The economy is holding up well, the Australian dollar is solid and clearly there's no shortage of banner names now making their way Down Under during the northern winter. The heath of the live sector was underscored in a study published by APRA/AMCOS published mid-year, which found live music now generates $1.21 billion Australian ($1.23 billion) annually, a figure that has been climbing.
Talk to the big promoters and they'll tell you the market should slow-down in the next few seasons. On the face of the recent activity, the slow down won't happy in 2011-2012. Certainly, all-eyes will be on how quickly tickets fly for marquee events, and whether any tours of festivals lose out badly.
One artist who is having an impact - for better or worse -- on the buzzing live scene is Janet Jackson, who cancelled less than an hour out from her Sunday night concert at the Sydney Opera House.
According to Paul Dainty, the promoter of Jackson's Australia dates, doctors have ordered the singer to undertake vocal rest for the next two days, which means she can complete the 3rd and final show of her Australian tour on Tuesday night at the Opera House.
Fans learned of the cancellation by way of an email sent just after 7.30pm on Sunday, less than an hour before she was due on stage. The Sunday night show won't be re-scheduled.
Dainty had added dates to her Australian tour after "tickets in Sydney were snapped up as soon as they went on sale," the promoter said back in August.
It's the second time Jackson has disappointed her Australian fans at short notice. On Oct. 24, Jackson abruptly left Australia mid-tour to return to the U.S. to "support her family," while the murder trial of her brother Michael was in full swing. Three dates in Melbourne were affected.
Odd Future have a cloudy future in New Zealand, where the hot hip hop collective's controversial lyrics have got them in trouble with authorities.
The Auckland City Council has apparently blocked the group from performing at the New Zealand leg of the Big Day Out on January 20 in response to complaints about the group's homophobic and misogynistic lyrics.
The New Zealand about-face broke on the Gay NZ website. According to the report, Wellington man Calum Bennachie led the crusade, arguing that "lyrics such as those played by Odd Future increase the societal discourse against lgbt people, a discourse that encourages bullying and violence".
Bennachie took up his concerns with the Auckland Council, which owns Mt Smart Stadium, the venue for New Zealand's only BDO stop. The council subsequently withdrew their invite for Odd Future to play.
Big Day Out promoter Ken West has served it up to the council, who he says jumped the gun, leaking that Odd Future will no longer be appearing at the Auckland Big Day Out due to lobbyist groups." West has confirmed he's in discussions with Odd Future and sats there will be a solo show for Auckland's Odd Future fans.
The BDO is entering its 20th anniversary series, with Kanye West, Soundgarden, Kasabian and My Chemical Romance among the first batch of artists announced for the 2012 line-up.
Though Odd Future won't play Big Day Out in New Zealand, the ban won't have any effect in Australia where the act will play the remaining five festival dates. The last time Odd Future played in Australia was for the VIVID Live program at the Sydney Opera House in May and June, an event funded by government cash.
With summer officially arriving next month in Australia, music fans are being told to keep an eye out for unscrupulous ticket sellers.
Trade body Live Performance Australia has taken the unusual step of publicly denouncing one such unauthorized agent, Ticketfinders.com.au. On behalf of the live music sector, LPA issued a "public warning" in The Weekend Australian newspaper in which Ticketfinder's rogue status as a "ticket scalper" was brought to light.
The warning has gone out, but the Ticketfinders website is still online. At deadline, the website was prominently advertising or appealing-for hot tickets to shows for Elton John, Dolly Parton, Meat Loaf, Roger Waters, Eminem and many others.
There won't be any members of Australia's famed rock heritage enshrined into the country's Hall of Fame this year. Pop superstar Kylie Minogue and children's entertainers The Wiggles are to be inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.
In a break from tradition, the Hall of Fame won't be standalone event this time. Instead, the two honorees will be inducted during the Nov. 27 ARIA Awards in Sydney, which will be televised that night on the Nine Network's digital channel, GO.
It's not the first time Kylie and the Wiggles have shared the spotlight together. In 2009, they collaborated on a cover of the Maytal's ska classic, "Monkey Man."