18 November 2015

Capital: Canberra
Population: 23 million

Australia is known for many things: the distinguished Sydney Opera House, kangaroos and koalas, The Great Barrier Reef and of course, an outpour of outstanding electronic music talent. Dozens of revered DJs and producers have hailed from the ‘Land Down Under’ like Flume, NERVO, Knife Party, Anna Lunoe and plenty more. Though Australia is often likened to the West, the massive continent is undoubtedly part of the Asia-Pacific region and a market that cannot be ignored.

The country is home to a handful of major cities like Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth that lend themselves as hubs for music culture to thrive. Both in nightlife and in festival culture, Australia has consistently remained at the brink of showcasing the next big thing in electronic music, right alongside Europe and America. In fact, electronic music has been so widely received in Australia that over saturation of the market – a problem the Western territories also face – is a very real concern for the region.

Major Festivals:

Stereosonic (Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne)
Big Day Out (Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Perth)
Future Music Festival (Cancelled in 2015)
Defqon.1 (Sydney)
Lost Paradise (Sydney)
Subsonic (Monkerai)
Strawberry Fields (Melbourne)

Major Nightclubs:

Marquee (Sydney)
The Ivy (Sydney)
The Greenwood (Sydney)
Home (Sydney)
Family (Brisbane)
Elsewhere (Brisbane)
Sugar (Adelaide)
New Guemica (Melbourne)
Brown Alley (Melbourne)

Australian Talents:

Knife Party
Anna Lunoe
Chet Faker
Thomas Jack
Peking Duk

Major challenges and limitations:

Oversaturation in the festival market
Synthetic drugs
Harsh crackdown and regulation implementation for venues

Though Australia’s electronic music scene has managed to skyrocket much like other Western regions, the country is already beginning to see issues arise for some of the most major local brands. Due to oversaturation, former dominating festival brands like Future Music Festival have had to cancel all future editions and similarly, the country’s traveling festival Stereosonic has also announced a major downscale for 2015. Though the music itself remains extremely popular, it seems as though the festival brands are not seeing the same revenue results.

Additionally, the country has seen officials of the region tighten their belts in terms of venue regulations for electronic music events. Curfews, lockouts and even limitations on alcohol consumption have seeped into the nightlife culture in Australia, pushing fans away from the thriving music culture. Surprisingly, drugs are not the priority issue, though in more recent headlines, the country has seen a spike in synthetic drugs, which have been proven to be extremely dangerous – more so than regular recreational drugs.

Despite many looming challenges, Australian clubs do continue to bring in famous global talents and successfully sell out clubs and tickets every weekend. In comparison to most other Asia-Pacific regions, Australia is a massive presence with at least five major cities representing and demonstrating a strong presence on the global scale of electronic music. Australia also continues to nurture and output leading talents in electronic music that tend to offer a unique twist on “electronic music,” making Australia a consistent and undeniably valuable asset for the international industry.

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