Rob Potts, a world-renowned Aussie country music promoter and executive, has passed away, aged 65, following a road accident in Tasmania yesterday.
As Music Row reports, Potts passed away yesterday following a motorcycle accident on Tasmania’s West Coast. A report from News.com.au notes that the accident occurred after Potts’ vehicle hit a patch of gravel and lost control near Tullah.
One of the most prominent figures in Australian country music, Rob Potts was known to most thanks to his role as the co-founder of the CMC Rocks brand of festivals. With Chugg Entertainment, the CMC Rock brand spawned a huge number of successful festivals, including CMC Rocks The Snowys, CMC Rocks The Hunter, and CMC Rocks QLD, the latter of which becoming Australia’s first sold-out country music festival.
Rob Potts had also been credited with establishing a newfound popularity of country music in Australia. Having spent years in Nashville as a promoter, manager, and festival directior, and through his Rob Potts Entertainment Edge company, Potts had been responsible for bringing some of the genre’s most prominent musicians out to Australia.
Just a matter of days ago, Potts’ Fangate Music label had announced they were teaming up with Sony Music Australia to partner with Dreamlined Entertainment. The new partnership was set to see Fangate Music and Sony Music Australia work more closely with famed country music producer Keith Stegall, helping to promote closer ties between the Australian and American country music scenes.
Additionally, Rob served as a member of the Country Music Association (CMA) board, and was a chairman of both the CMA International Committee and Australian CMA Advisory Group. Potts also dedicated a large amount of his time to serving as the manager of up-and-coming Aussie country star Morgan Evans.
CMA CEO Sarah Trahern released a statement in regards to the news of Rob Potts’ untimely death, stating: “The CMA Board and staff as well as the country music community were devastated at the news of Rob’s passing.”
“He was a key driver of our international expansion for the past years and waived the country flag proudly in Australia. On a personal note, my husband Wayne and I have lost a vibrant friend. Rob lived life to its fullest,” she said.
Michael Chugg, a long-time business partner of Potts’, also shared his shock at the news of Rob’s death. “I’m lost for words. I’m heartbroken,” Chugg said. “Rob came to me more than 35 years ago as a fellow Tasmanian with a passion for music, he wanted to do great things. He was without question, the most passionate supporter of country music in Australia.”
“Rob was at the top of his game and all his dreams were coming true. The country music world and the global music industry has lost a pioneer. I have lost a great friend’.”
Potts is survived by his son, Jeremy Dylan, and ex-wife Sally.