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Music showcase postponed after founder in surgery drama

9th February 2007, 6:00 WST



A four-day international music conference due to be launched in Perth in November has been postponed after British-based event founder and curator Anthony Wilson had emergency surgery to remove a kidney.
  
Mr Wilson, 56, remains in a critical condition and will require a long period of recuperation, forcing organisers to push the In the City AAA event back to next year.
  
Last October, Perth was named as the host city for the southern hemisphere version of the event, which is billed as the world’s premier new music convention and has discovered bands such as Oasis, Coldplay and Arctic Monkeys since starting in Manchester in 1992.
  
EventsCorp, a division of Tourism WA, agreed to provide $1.5 million to secure In the City AAA for three years, with an option for a further two years and first rights on three years after that.
  
EventsCorp executive director David van Ooran said the event was being postponed for a year and no contracts had been signed by any of the parties.
  
“Tony’s recovery is the most important factor,” he said. “Events-Corp has not yet paid any money to the event and the event holder’s intention is to simply push it back by a year when we all hope Tony’s health has improved.” The festival and conference was expected to greatly boost the profile of the local music industry and pump millions of dollars into the tourism and hospitality sectors.
  
The Perth-based organiser of In the City AAA, Peter Carroll, said Mr Wilson was “absolutely critical” to the inaugural event.

SIMON COLLINS
MUSIC EDITOR