Michael Chugg Expands Label With U.S. Launch

Australian concert promoting great Michael Chugg is launching his record label in the United States. 

Chugg Music, which includes recording and artist management activities and is a division of Chugg Entertainment, will bow on Feb. 25 with distribution handled through Super D/Alliance. Digital distribution is through Sydney-based MGM.

The first release will be Sydney alternative rock group Lime Cordiale’s “Falling Up The Stairs”. Lime Cordiale relocated this week to L.A. to support the EP and they’ve recently signed to The Agency Group, with Val Wolfe and Crystal Moore on-board as responsible agents.

“We’ve built up a good team of people on the ground over there and with the success we’ve been having over here,” Chugg, chairman of Sydney-based Chugg Entertainment, tells Billboard. “So we felt we’d have a crack.” 

On the Lime Cordiale project, Chugg counts support from the likes of Adam Lewis at the boutique music marketing company Planetary Group and with A&R Worldwide founder Sat Bisla, and they’ve engaged PR firm Big Picture Media. Chugg’s business partner Matthew Lazarus-Hall, CEO of Chugg Entertaniment, is currently working  out of L.A.; he'll stay Stateside until the end of June focusing on the music company’s core business and developing its new activities. The label also has a representative in Toronto.

Chugg is one of the “big-four” concert promoters Down Under (the others are Michael Coppel, Paul Dainty and Michael Gudinski), having toured the likes of Radiohead, Coldplay and AC/DC in recent years. On the same day he announced Chugg Music would enter North America, his company confirmed it would tour Robbie Williams in Australia for the fourth time.

“Obviously we’ve got a lot of contacts in America,” notes Chugg. “We felt we could have a go and do it ourself. We’ve had a great reaction so far.”

Chugg Music’s fledgling Australian roster includes platinum-selling, ARIA Award nominated Brisbane group Sheppard, and rising indie-pop outfit The Griswolds, who are currently recording their first album in L.A. for Wind-Up Records. Chugg Music also represents Deep Sea Arcade, Hey Geronimo, Major Leagues, and recently-signed New Zealand folk-pop band Avalanche City.

The Chugg Music launch will kick-start festivities for the impresario’s latest career milestone -- his half century in showbiz. Next month marks 50 years since Chugg’s first foray into concert promotion, a career which began with a fundraising dance for the local Launceston Cycling Club.

The Tasmanian-born exec’s 50th anniversary party on March 13 will double as a Chugg Music Showcase, taking place at SXSW. Naturally, Lime Cordiale will perform.