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Big-Name Promoter is Recognised

Tuesday 14 March 2006 @ 16:27 - GMT

After bringing the likes of Elton, FrankSinatra, Liza Minnelli and Madonna to Australia, a music veteran has himself become a star, the AAP has observed.

Michael Chugg, who founded the Sydney-based Chugg Entertainment, became the first Australian to be voted the world's best promoter at the 18th annual International Live Music Conference (ILMC) in London.

"Australia's very hot right now, there's definitely a vibe there," Michael said.

"I'm really humbled by this award from a group of my peers I respect immensely."

More than 2,500 industry professionals attending the ILMC voted him the 2006 Promoter's Promoter. Many had worked with him over the past 40 years.

This is the first year non-Europeans were included in the honours.

It gives credibility," he said of the award.

"This is now the major music industry convention in the world.

"It is the heart and soul of the industry."

Michael got his start in the business by running dance parties in Tasmania before moving to Melbourne to work at the Consolidated Rock Agency.

He went on to co-found the Frontier Touring Company with Michael Gudinski, working there for 25 years.

In 2000, he opened Chugg Entertainment and has brought many of the world's biggest  acts to Australia.

Over the years he has been named International Promoter of the Year in 1997 by Performance magazine, and Promoter of the Year in 2000 by Pollstar.

In Billboard magazine last year, his company was polled as the world's fifth biggest promoter and was the only Australian outfit to make the list.

Michael said that the area was as popular a destination for touring artists as anywhere in the world.

"We have as many tours, international and Australian, on the road as they have in the UK," he said.

"We have a lot of acts coming through."

While album sales were on the decline, Michael said the live music sector was thriving.

"Right now the live music industry has never been healthier, I can honestly say that," he said.

His upcoming tours include Coldplay and Martha Wainwright.

He is rumoured to be close to finalising Robbie Williams' next tour and this week has met with agents for other big name acts.

But all Michael would say was, ''We are talking to a few people.''