Welcome to this week’s update
MEA Awards program
The MEA awards program appears to be struggling to make a comeback after COVID.
NSW is always the strongest state in the MEA awards program but this week’s presentation saw an underwhelming list of winners with many of the 37 award categories not contested. I’ve heard that the Victorian awards was similarly underrepresented.
Let’s hope the membership bounces back to support this program that has been running for over 30 years and has recognised many outstanding companies, people and events.
There are a total of 37 award categories up for grabs at the national conference next month.
This month marks two significant 50 year milestones
The 1973 Aquarius Festival in Nimbin marked the birth of the alternative festival industry and launched Johnny Allen’s career in event management.
I recommend this article by Heath Gilmore: Was Grandma tripping on acid at Aquarius? – SMH
The Aquarius Festival also marked the start of the Welcome to Country tradition at events
In interviewed Johnny Allen as part of my 2020 Podcast Project
In 1973 Roslyn McLeod started Tour Hosts – now Arinex. Ros and the current CEO Nicole Walker celebrated with clients and suppliers in Sydney last week
I also interviewed Ros as part of the 2020 Podcast Project
And there is a wonderful history of Tour Host / Arinex on their website
Drone shows as arts performances have become a growing trend globally. Today, they are a regular at international festivals, with a number of permanent drone shows starting to pop up. Most of them are splashy spectaculars, seasonal or indoor shows using on average a maximum of 200 to 600 drones.
The tipping factor here is largely the technology developed to support the delivery of Wintjiri Wiṟu, in particular a platform of homing boxes that cool and charge the 1000 drones in the quick inter-show period, to be able to offer two nightly shows at scale. They will drive cultural tourism over a five-year lease term.
Interesting conversation on ABC RN with Fiona Allen, CEO Opera Australia; Mitch Wilson, Australian Festival Association and Sophie Lampel, Co Artistic Director Essential Theatre on the costs of running live arts events. A number of music festivals have not come back after COVID shut them down. The guests pointed to production costs that have risen by up to 40%, labour shortages and unreliable airlines.