Industry: Melbourne leads to Aussie charge to SXSW, Spilt Milk pill-testing gets canned, and radio still most listened to in Australia

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Industry: Melbourne leads to Aussie charge to SXSW, Spilt Milk pill-testing gets canned, and radio still most listened to in Australia


Seven of 19 Australian acts announced so far to showcase at South By Southwest next March in Austin, Texas, are from Melbourne. They are Stonefield, Fatai, Jade Imagine, Benji Lewis, Jess Ribeiro, RVG and Totally Mild. They’ll join thousands of others playing throughout Austin, hoping to catch the eye of international music execs.

Australia’s first pill-testing at a music festival –  Spilt Milk in Canberra in late November – has been scrapped. The ACT Government approved it, but the problem was that the festival was to be held on Federal land. Drug advocates and the ACT Greens claim the test was sabotaged by some Federal ministers.

Research company GfK’s second Australian Share of Audio study found Australians spend three hours and 20 minutes listening to audio content each day. Radio led with 65.3% of the time (two hours ten minutes) followed by people’s own music collection at 12.6% (25 minutes) down from 13%. Streaming services Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora were at 11% (22 minutes) up from 9.2%, online music videos (3.3%), podcasts (3.2%) and TV music channels (2.1%).

After seven years booking The Toff in Town, Emily Ulman has left, saying “It’s been an incredible time, and I feel extremely proud and utterly privileged to have worked for such amazing venue for so many years.” She continues to book The Gasometer.

Inertia Music CEO Colin Daniels will take on additional duties as Regional Managing Director for North America, Australia and Asia for parent company [PIAS] to build up business there.

Allegations of sexual misconduct in a period of three days have seen Real Estate co-founder Matt Mondanile leaving the band, Canada’s Alex Calder dropped by his label Captured Tracks a week before the release of his album, and Apple Music tearing up its deals with Harvey Weinstein’s company to make bio-series on Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Prince and Frank Sinatra.

A neon light transformer apparently caused the fire on the first floor of the Pawn & Co nightclub in Prahran. The blaze began at 3.45am when it was empty, and 28 fire-fighters brought it under control within half an hour.

Home House Nightclub in Geelong was forced to apologise after security staff stopped a patron from entering because he wore a Vote Yes sticker. When the spam hit the fan, the club blubbered it was not “discrimination” but a proactive effort to “avoid possible conflict among patrons.”

Tommy Emmanuel is holding a four-day guitar retreat in the Dandenong Ranges next August. It involves masterclasses, jam sessions and live sets, with the maestro joined by fellow axe-grinders Michael Fix, Simon Hosford and Richard Smith. “(We’ll) eat, sleep, drink guitar,” he says. More info at

Rising Melbourne-based producer Tyron Hapi’s new track ‘Anyway’ notched up 1.1 million Spotify streams in 13 days.

Melbourne tribal psychedelic outfit AlithiA’s singer John Rousvanis has to sit out their 29-date Oct/Nov European tour due to an injury. They’ve enlisted Marjana Semkina of Russian chamber-proggers iamthemorning for the run, with Norway’s Leprous and Iceland’s Agent Fresco.