Perth is poised to host a southern hemisphere version of the In The City international music festival — an event billed as the world’s premier new music convention which has helped unearth bands such as Oasis and Coldplay.
The West Australian understands that Tourism Minister Sheila McHale will announce on Saturday that Perth has won the right to host an annual southern hemisphere event, called In The City AAA, for three years. The first of the four-day events is scheduled for November next year.
It is understood that EventsCorp, a division of Tourism WA, has agreed to provide about $1.5 million over three years to secure the event, with the balance of the funding for the festival to come from sponsorship and conference registration fees.
The event could help put Perth on the international music map and provide a multi-million-dollar fillip for the Perth tourism and hospitality industries.
Saturday’s official announcement has been timed to coincide with the opening of the 2006 In The City convention in the British city of Manchester, where the festival started in 1992.
The Manchester events have attracted about 500 unsigned bands, 2000 industry professionals and 100,000 fans each year.
According to the In The City website, the event is “rightly regarded by the global music industry as the premier new music event in the world”.
During the day, In The City festivals feature international music industry leaders “debating the present and plotting the future”.
By night, city streets and hotels are packed as hundreds of new bands take part in what the website describes as “the biggest city-based music festival in Europe”.
Since 1992, acts who have played at the festivals have included Oasis, Coldplay, Radiohead, The Chemical Brothers, Foo Fighters, Elastica, The Darkness and Orson. The only cities outside Manchester to host In The City have been Dublin, Glasgow, Liverpool, Salford and New York.
Perth’s success in winning the event is being attributed to local band manager Pete Carroll, who has close connections with In The City director Anthony Wilson. Rosco Stewart from Westlink Multimedia is also thought to have been instrumental.
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