Melbourne’s Forum Theatre Set For $70m Redevelopment

Following the controversial application to raze the Palace in favour of a luxury tenement project, another of Melbourne’s iconic music theatres – The Forum – is undergoing a $70 million facelift, though this one appears to be a more harmonious project. The Forum Theatre’s owners, The Marriner family (who also possess the Princess and Comedy theatres) have sought State Government permission to refurbish the National Trust-listed venue as part of an ambitious application to erect a 32-storey boutique hotel and office complex behind the Flinders Street building.

The $70m refurbishment is aimed at restoring the 84-year-old site’s exteriors and interiors to preserve and secure the 1,500 capacity venue’s future as a live music venue as well as a key player in the annual Melbourne Comedy and Film festivals. The office and hotel bock plans are “designed to respect the Forum and will provide a curtain backdrop wall framing that building,” said a representative of Clement-Stone Town Planners, who filed the planning application on behalf of the Marriner family.

Melbourne Heritage Action have welcomed any restoration to the Forum, but were reserving acceptance until they could properly scrutinise the 32-storey building plans, which are in violation of the area’s height restrictions. The final application decision falls to Victoria’s Planning Minister Matthew Guy. (via The Age)

Wagons To Host New Cooking Show

Henry Wagons, titular singer-songwriter of Melbourne band Wagons, is set to add ‘TV host’ to CV, joining celebrity chef Colin Magee (of Everyday Gourmet fame) in co-hosting a new cooking series. Keepers Of The Flame – The Ultimate BBQ will on the Ten Network this month, screening on Sundays at 4.30pm for three weeks in the lead-up to Australia Day. “It could not have been more fun!” says Wagons of recording Keepers Of The Flame. “I got to hang around BBQs, eat and talk about food, all the whilte being able to sawn around in front of multiple cameras!”

Sydney Gets New Live Music Venue

A new live music venue is opening in Sydney in 2014, with The Imperial Hotel converting its basement space into The Roller Den. The 550-capacity bandroom is licensed until 8am and will showcase live music and host music club nights, including the hip hop themed Knowledge and indie Common People nights. Managed by entertainment group Kingdom Sounds, The Roller Den will officially open its doors on Friday 7th March with a gig from The Snowdroppers. The news (and basement stylings) follow shortly after the addition of The Factory Floor to the Sydney live music scene and the unknown live music status of legendary pub, The Annandale Hotel, which cancelled all future gigs due to renovations last month.

Justin Bieber’s New Album Is A Sales Flop

Canadian pop star Justin Bieber unceremoniously gifted his millions of followers on Twitter with the Christmas Eve announcement of his retirement, just a day after releasing his new album Journals. But the ‘Beliebers’ may not care, if the sales of Journals is anything go by. The record debuted at #35 on the ARIA Albums Chart in its opening week before plummeting to #50 in its second week, shifting only 1,045 copies, to a total tally of 5,653 units – a disastrous result for one of the music world’s most recognisable young stars, especially considering his recent tour of Australia. Bieber’s management have since rescinded his ‘retirement’, while the singer is reportedly working in the studio with Kid Cudi on new material. (via Noise 11)

My Echo Signs With 123 Agency

Melbourne’s 123 Agency has expanded their artist roster with the addition of rock quartet My Echo. Since forming in 2011, the band have played shows with the likes of Bodyjar, Kisschasy, King Cannons and Trial Kennedy. My Echo will be joining Kingswood and Calling All Cars for three dates on their co-headline Life’s A Beach tour, and will work on new material in 2014 to follow on from their debut EP, The New Approach.

Warner Settles $11.5M Court Case Over Digital Music Downloads

Warner Music Group has sought to bring a court case from 2012 against them to a pricey conclusion: an $11.5 million settlement. The figure would cover sales from Jan. 1st 2009 to Dec. 31st, 2012 amongst artists claiming they weren’t paid proper royalites from digital music downloads. The dispute is over the major label’s poor definition of ‘digital downloads’ – such as mp3s and ringtones – in artist contracts, an ongoing classification issue that’s affected artists as new digital frontiers emerge, from paid downloads to subscription and ad-supported streaming music services. The $11.5m would go towards potentially thousands of WMG artists that opt-in to a new contract that would see a 5% royalty increase (to at least 10% but not more than 14%), but according to the same settlement, these artists generated a whopping $381 million in digital sales during the same three year period. (via Digital Music News)

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine