‘Heart of Australian music ripped out’: Michael Gudinski dies aged 68

Above all, though, he was a high-profile advocate for Australian music. Gudinski worked tirelessly during the pandemic to make the case for support of the live music industry. He partnered with the Victorian state government on a number of initiatives designed to create opportunities for musicians to play live, either virtually or in person, in the face of the shutdowns that devastated the sector in 2020.

Music promoter Michael Gudinski had died suddenly at 68. Credit:Simon Schluter

On Anzac Day 2020, the Mushroom-curated Music From the Home Front screened nationally on Nine (owner of this masthead). Featuring performances from more than 50 Australian and New Zealand artists, it reached more than 2 million viewers across two screenings. A spin-off album topped the ARIA charts, with all proceeds going to music industry charity Support Act.

In partnership with the government, Mushroom created the streamed performance and chat format The State of Music, and in July the Mushroom-curated TV series The Sound debuted on the ABC. In January 2021, Mushroom and the Victorian government once again joined forces to take live music back to the regions in the Sounds Better Together concert series.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said Gudinski was “a wonderful Victorian, a great Australian, a very good friend of mine. And so, to his kids, and everybody who loved him, and by extension everybody who loves the fact that we are the live music capital of our nation, we send our love and support. And we think of him kindly and fondly.