We were saddened to hear of the passing of Robert Stigwood in early January at the age of 81. South Australian born Stigwood rose to fame as an ebullient and successful promoter, manager and entrepreneur. He managed the Bee Gees, whom he steered to global success, along with Eric Clapton and Cream, and produced musicals including Grease and Jesus Christ Superstar.
Stigwood’s memory lives on in his home state through the Robert Stigwood Fellowships, which commenced in 2014. The Fellowships, awarded annually, provide intensive and personalised development for South Australian music professionals to assist them develop global careers. The program is designed to address the particular situation for industry professionals in South Australia and places an emphasis on industry conferences, songwriting and production workshops, mentoring from music industry professionals and strategically tailored funding.
Dan Crannitch, who manages the program, tells us that Wonderlick Management’s Stu MacQueen “proposed the idea of naming the program in honour of one of his true music heroes, and we all felt Robert Stigwood’s multifaceted and amorphous approach to the music industry was particularly
fitting in the modern music business.” In 2014 Stigwood was inducted into the SA Hall of Fame and was reportedly very emotional about this honour being bestowed upon him.
The Fellowship was an outcome of the Adelaide residency by UK music luminary Martin Elbourne whose detailed 2013 report The Future of Live Music in South Australia has provided a blueprint for the city’s music development.
Crannitch reports the program has been “hugely beneficial for the South Australian music industry.” With a string of outcomes for supported artists and professionals including dozens of sold out shows, festival and support slots, record and booking agent signings, and several million Sound Cloud and YouTube views. You can view the 2015 Fellows here.