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Michael Gudinski Unveils New Mushroom Group Structure Following 'Significant Growth'

Michael Gudinski
Photo credit: Mushroom Creative House

Michael Gudinski

Business is booming at Australia’s Mushroom Group. So says the company’s founder and chairman Michael Gudinski, who today (Nov. 1) unveiled a sweeping restructuring and a slew of internal promotions at his independent music juggernaut in response to “unprecedented growth” across its live and label businesses.

“Mushroom has seen significant growth in recent years across both the live and label businesses and this restructure is an incredibly exciting stage in our evolution,” comments Gudinski in a statement.

With effect from Monday (Nov. 4), Mushroom Group launches a dedicated live Marketing + Communications division. Seventeen-year company veteran Reegan Stark will oversee the new arm, which handles all marketing, PR and digital for Frontier Touring, Chugg Entertainment, CMC Rocks and other live partnerships, along with PR and digital communications for Mushroom Group company Illusive Presents.

Stark is promoted from director of Mushroom Promotions to chief marketing and communications officer, a new role overseeing the communications, marketing and digital divisions of Mushroom’s live businesses. 

Based at Mushroom's headquarters in south Melbourne, Stark reports to Gudinski and COO Dion Brant and joins the Mushroom live business senior executive team, working across new business development.

The new Marketing + Communications division completes the integration of the Frontier Touring Company and Chugg Entertainment teams, which came together on April 1, reuniting Michael Gudinski and Michael Chugg some 40 years after the legendary promoters founded the Frontier Touring Company, and 20 years since they went separate ways.

In the days after Chugg joined the fold, AEG Presents announced it had struck a joint venture with Frontier Touring.

As part of the newly-revamped structure, Mushroom Group’s expanding set of labels now has a dedicated in-house promotions, marketing and social media team to support its local and international roster. 

Mushroom’s head of radio & streaming Dan Baker is rewarded with a key promotion, rising to GM media & strategy for Mushroom Labels, with duties for developing the promotional and artist strategy across the label groups roster. Baker now oversees the Mushroom Labels’ local and international promotions teams, reporting to Mushroom Group executive director Matt Gudinski and Mushroom Labels COO Chris Maund.

Mushroom’s suite of labels is now seven strong: Liberation Records, Liberator Music, Ivy League Records, I OH YOU, Bloodlines, Soothsayer, 100s + 1000s. And its recorded business now operates across offices in five cities, including newly-opened premises in the U.S. and U.K.

Along with these changes, 15 Mushroom staff from across live, touring, marketing and communications take on new duties, while seven employees from its labels move into new roles.

“Our overriding principle at Mushroom is to be leaders and not followers and I believe these changes will allow us to consolidate both sides of our business.  I’m also very pleased to be promoting so many great staff from within and can’t wait to see them develop even further in their areas.”

“Watch this space, there is more to come,” enthuses Gudinski. “Exciting times.”

Created in 1979, Frontier Touring has become Australia's largest promoter, with $245 million in ticket sales reported to Billboard's 2018 Year-End Boxscore, and third globally behind AEG ($1.5 billion) and Live Nation ($3.7 billion).

Australia's vibrant live entertainment industry is worth well-over a billion dollars, according to research conducted by Live Performance Australia, and it’s coming off a record-breaking year. 

With summer approaching, don’t expect the live space to cool down anytime soon. The Rocket Man’s final tour Down Under is set to blast off later this month, a trek that will see Elton John play 40 dates across Australia and New Zealand.