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The Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR) opened applications to its inaugural Fast Track Fellowship on Thursday November 23. As part of the Victorian Government’s Music Works program, it allows two mid-level indie label employees or owners to work in an overseas label for two months between January and May 2018. Funding includes return flights, visas and insurance with financial support to cover accommodation, on ground transport, registration fees for industry events. Applications close Thursday November 30. Go to for guidelines.

Coldplay’s A Head Full Of Dreams tour is the third highest grossing tour of all time. From March 2016 and winding up last week in Argentina, it generated over US$523 million in ticket sales – selling 5.4 million in 76 cities and 31 countries including Australia. As of March 2017, the album sold five million copies worldwide. The Coldplay tour followed the $736 million generated by U2’s 2009-11 360 tour and The Rolling Stones’ A Bigger Bang tour, which made $558 million from 2005-07.

Victoria passed the Major Events Legislation Amendment (ticket scalping and other matters) Bill 2017 to cap resale tickets to 10% and add cultural events like theatre shows and concerts as major events (not just sporting ones). It also removes promoters having to apply for major event status nine months ahead and introduces ticketing officers as well as police to fine scalpers.

Melbourne hip hop label WVS will celebrate its first year by updating its YouTube channel, releasing a 12-track compilation featuring Lil Spacely, Travy P and Erik Sanders, and a Next Gen 2018 showcase at the Evelyn on Thursday January 25. It was set up by MC Miracle with Manu Crooks and Dopamine to highlight a more melodic side of hip hop.

Blind Date Records launched last Sunday with a number of releases and a showcase as part of Melbourne Music Week displaying its alt-country, folk, swamp-blues and soul-country styles. Performing were Sean McMahon, Greenville, Jeb Cardwell, James Ellis & the Jealous Guys with Lost Ragas, Tracy McNeil & the Goodlife and Freya Josephine Hollick.

The team behind The Hills Are Alive festival launched THAA Records with UNIFIED Music Group. A&R is headed by festival co-founder Aidan McLaren with assistance from Joe Miles. First two releases are from Batts and Lanks.

New dance label Teamwrk entered a deal with Universal Music Australia for global digital and physical distribution. It’s part of Luke Udorovic’s multi-division Lucky Entertainment with Jae Butt as head of A&R. Lucky attracted world attention from Melbourne’s bounce style and already runs Bourne Recordings with Will Sparks.

As part of Face The Music, the state government introduced a three-year scheme called Music Passport. Each year, a country is designated and delegates will speak on airplay, tour and networking opportunities for Australian acts. Germany is this year’s pick, see for sessions.

The 2018 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition is open, with a first prize of $50,000 from APRA AMCOS, Alberts and BMG. Since 2009 it’s boosted the careers of Megan Washington, Kimbra, The Preatures and Husky Gawenda, (allowing last year’s Melbourne-based winner Gretta Ray to go to America and work on new music) and raised $800,000 for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy. See