Rob Potts, the late concert promoter, manager and country music champion, will receive the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music, one of the highest accolades in Australia’s music industry.
The award, named after pioneering independent record producer and Albert Productions founder Ted Albert, will be presented at the 2019 APRA Music Awards, to be held April 30 at Melbourne Town Hall.
In a decades-long career, Potts was booking agent to the likes of Keith Urban, Tommy Emmanuel, Lee Kernaghan and James Blundell, and guided the career of Warner Music Nashville signing Morgan Evans. Prior to his death in 2017 in a motorcycle accident, Potts launched FANGATE Music, a joint label with Sony Music Entertainment Australia as a vehicle for developing emerging local and international country acts.
As a concert promoter and CEO of Entertainment Edge, Potts toured some of the biggest names in U.S. country music across Australia, from Zac Brown Band, to Brooks & Dunn, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Florida Georgia Line, Toby Keith, Jason Aldean, Dixie Chicks and many more. In 2009, Potts brought a pre-superstar Taylor Swift to Australia for her first shows in the territory.
Through his long running partnership with Michael Chugg’s Chugg Entertainment, Potts established the CMC Rocks festival brand across the CMC Rocks The Snowys, CMC Rocks The Hunter and now CMC Rocks QLD festivals, the latter of which launched in 2008.
The most recent CMC Rocks, held at Willowbank across four days in March 2019, was headlined by Luke Combs, Thomas Rhett and Florida Georgia Line and was the biggest edition yet, playing host to capacity of 24,000 country fans each day.
Speaking on Potts’ posthumous honor, Michael Chugg said his good friend and fellow Tasmanian “is a shining example of everything that is wonderful about our industry.” Chugg added, “For many, many years he led the battle to break Australian country music in Nashville and became a Board member of the CMA, Country Music Association of America. Many of us are saddened every day that Rob is not with us to see all his hard work come to fruition; Keith Urban, Tommy Emmanuel and Morgan Evans are just three of the acts he championed.”
The Ted Albert Award is decided by the APRA board of writer and publisher directors. Previous recipients include Chugg, Paul Kelly, Michael Gudinski, Denis Handlin, the late Slim Dusty, The Seekers, Lindy Morrison of the Go-Betweens, Fifa Riccobono and last year’s winner Midnight Oil.