AU ABROAD

The State of Affairs - Latest Music Industry News: 29th January 2013

Festivals in Australia are going through many a-drama, as Rainbow Serpent Festival survives, while Peats Ridge dyes. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis continue to grip tighter on the upper echelons of the ARIA Charts, and all the news from the Tamworth Country Music Awards, all in this weeks State Of Affairs.

RAINBOW SERPENT RISES

Victoria’s renowned dance festival Rainbow Serpent has been saved from cancellation in a last-ditch appeal by organisers. The festival went ahead as planned last weekend.

After a last-minute pulling of the festival looked imminent last week, festival organisers have convinced the council and emergency service providers that the festival would have adequate medical and fire plans in place. The festival was granted the required Place Of Public Entertainment [POPE] license on the 21st.

The about face from the council comes after the Pyrenees Council Mayor Michael O’Connor said that he ‘couldn’t see’ council changing their mind. Had organisers not been able to salvage the situation today, the cancellation of the event and the financial damage that would have occurred could have ended the festival for good.

PEATS RIDGE FALLS

At the same time however organisers of the Peats Ridge Festival have come under scrutiny from the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance [MEAA] who claim that “hundreds” of artists and production crew members have not been paid for their work on the festival over New Years. The festival announced it was being wound up last week, with the announcement coming just minutes after key festival staff had been notified.

The festival, which regularly booked over 200 artists and performers as well as being notorious for it's environmentally aware approach, took place in New South Wales’ Glenworth Valley over New Years. The event had attempted to trade its way out of a financial hole incurred in 2007 when extreme weather forced its cancellation. In 2011 the organisers’ company went into receivership and a new entity was formed, under the same management, to helm the festival. Most of the existing suppliers and staff had stayed on under the new entity.

FRESHLY INKED: EMMA DEAN

Brisbane songstress Emma Dean has signed to independent American label Candyrat Records.

Through the deal she will release her EP White. The label deal covers the EP, but Dean plans to release two other digital EPs throughout the year in a type of "project-style" release schedule. The other releases will be called Red and Black.

Each of the releases has been recorded and co-produced with Dean’s long-time collaborator Ben Stewart, and the two will move to New York prior to White’s March/April release.

FRESHLY INKNED: THE POTBELLEEZ

Sydney EDM-pop outfit The Potbelleez have announced that they’ve signed a deal with Ministry Of Sound to release their new single Saved In A Bottle. Most well known for their track Don't Hold Back a few years ago, the band and label will look to break overseas after recording stints in various European countries.

FRESHLY INKED: THY ART IS MURDER

Sydney metal outfit Thy Art Is Murder have signed an international label deal with one of the world’s most recognisable and respected heavy metal labels Nuclear Blast

The deal, which covers all territories outside of Australia, New Zealand and Canada, will see the release of last year’s album Hate in Europe and the US this April. The band grew out of the Western Sydney metal/hardcore boom, which was fuelled by the rise of MySpace and subsequently the band – and their team – has built upon that original social media footprint.

OPPORTUNITIES: JIMMY LITTLE GRANT

In a bid to continue the legacy of Australia's first Aboriginal pop star, Warner Music Australia has announced the Jimmy Little Grant, which will be used to support managers of Indigenous artists with the aim to improve opportunities for Indigenous artists and their managers within the music industry. More information about those benefiting from the new annual $10,000 grant will be coming soon.

In the meantime you can visit the Jimmy Little Foundation here: http://www.jlf.org.au/

COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS NEWS

Wongan Hills country singer Chelsea Basham has won the Golden Guitar for Best New Talent of the Year at the Country Music Awards of Australia over the weekend. 22 year old Chelsea, who’s debut album, I Make My Own Sunshine, was released in August last year and has so far spawned three singles, also performed live at the Awards ceremony held in Tamworth. Other winners at the country's premier country festival included Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson who won a Golden Guitar for Best Group/Duo while Troy Casser-Daly scooped up a huge 4 Golden Guitars wining in the Album Of The Year (for Home), Male Artist Of The Year, APRA Song Of The Year (for the title track from the album Home) and Single Of The Year (for the single ‘Country Is').

WINNERS OF THE TELSTRA ROAD TO DISCOVERY

Continuing on with the country music extravaganza that we go through around about this time, Gena Rose Bruce, from Mitcham in Victoria and Melody Pool from Kurri Kurri in NSW, were announced as the overall winners of the Telstra Road to Discovery at the 10th Anniversary Final event as part of the Tamworth Country Music Festival on Tuesday night.

Both winners each receive a 12-month music industry mentorship package, which will elevate their careers to the next level.

The prize also includes the chance to perform in Nashville USA, professional recording and co-writing opportunities, domestic and international gigs and networking opportunities.

ARIA CHART NEWS

For the second consecutive week, Bruno Mars and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis hold down top spots on the ARIA Album and Singles Charts respectively. On the albums chart, Unorthodox Jukebox from Bruno Mars has now accrued three straight weeks at #1, the platinum album holding off a challenge from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with The Heist, which moves from #3 up to #2 this week. Ed Sheeran’s + bounces back from #5 to #3, accruing 64 weeks in the top 40 and now 26 weeks in the top 10. Other artists making headway this week include Of Monsters And Men, whose My Head Is An Animal enjoys a new peak of #6 this week, while New York rapper A$AP Rocky debuts at #7 with Long Live A$AP, the album already making it to #1 in the US and No. 7 in the UK.

In the ARIA Singles Chart, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis achieve the very rare feat of occupying positions No. 1 and No. 2, as ‘Thrift Shop’ moves back up a spot to No. 2, slotting in behind ‘Same Love’. The last time this occurred was Karise Eden’s week of numbers 1, 2, 3 and 5 in June 2012. The Lumineers are also enjoying a successful week, as ‘Ho Hey’ jumps from #3, and Perth’s Birds Of Tokyo land their first top 10 single as ‘Lanterns’ debuts at #5, eclipsing the #11 highpoint achieved by ‘Plans’ in 2010. Justin Timberlake also debuts in the chart within the top 10 with ‘Suit & Tie’ featuring Jay-Z debuting at #9, his eighth solo top 10 single in Australia.

If you have any media releases or news that could suit this column (i.e., music industry issues only - please) send them through to industry@theaureview.com