The Newcastle Exhibition and Convention Centre has come under fire for having a genre bias when it comes to booking talent at their establishment, according members from both the Unified Music Group and Select Music.
The Amity Affliction’s management and booking team have levelled their disappointment at the Newcastle Exhibition and Convention Centre, after an originally confirmed show at the venue was pulled off the table, due to preconceptions of crowd behaviour and safety claims.
Unified Artist Manager Caleb Williams tells TIO that NEX’s behaviour has judged an entire genre of music fan with this move, despite The Amity Affliction having performed there with no issues in the past.
“It’s disappointing to not be allowed to play a venue the band’s had a great history at over the years,” he said.
“The crowd has always been great and there have never been any serious issues during the band’s shows there. It’s a pity that such a great venue has decide to cast a huge net over an entire genre of music.”
The Amity Affliction – ‘All My Friends Are Dead’
According to Select Music’s Stephen Wade, the planned Amity Affliction show was cancelled following NEX’s issues with another high tier Australian heavy band.
“We deal with the venue booker and he actually confirmed the show with us,” he explained.
“After it went to venue management, [he] had to come back and cancel it as the venue had issues with a previous Parkway Drive performance, and decided Amity would be too high risk a show.
“On further inspection, there was no actual big issue at Parkway’s show, but a large amount of smaller issues that I wasn’t privy to.”
Parkway Drive – ‘Shadow Boxing’
The Newcastle Exhibition and Convention Centre, which is set to host the likes of Amy Shark and Kasey Chambers in coming weeks, is one of the premier venues in Newcastle, with a capacity of up to 2,400 people.
The prominence of the venue in this part of the country makes NEX a crucial spot for high profile bands like The Amity Affliction to connect with their fans outside the metro city stops. From a management and booking perspective, the logic in what a live music venue has been established to do, is clear.
“If you are a live music venue then you book live music; the genre is irrelevant.” Wade said.
“That’s the purpose of being a live venue music for hire. Excluding a particular genre based on preconceptions of how the crowd will or won’t react is an overreaction and an insult to everyone involved.”
“Heavy music fans in Australia are some of the best behaved fans from any genre and I am constantly told that from venues.” Unified’s Caleb Williams added.
“They’re so passionate about the bands and music they like. They’re generally very respectful.”
The Amity Affliction – ‘I Bring The Weather With Me (VANS Warped Tour)’
This month, The Amity Affliction played some of the east coast’s largest venues in support of their latest ARIA #1 winning album Misery, including Brisbane’s Riverstage, Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion and Melbourne Arena.
To see out the rest of the year, the band will be on a massive world tour, taking in shows throughout Japan, North America, Europe and the UK.
The Industry Observer has reached out to the venue for comment.