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What matters more than where the Logies are held? Absolutely everything

In news that is certain to leave absolutely no reasonable member of the general public in any kind of suspense: the future of the annual Logies ceremony in Melbourne is now in doubt.

News emerged over the weekend that Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has made what seems like a rather sensible decision in declining to continue the state’s million-dollar sponsorship of the event to keep it in Melbourne.

Given that the Logies all happens behind closed doors and isn’t accessible to any member of the general public, Andrews has decided that the value of hosting the event is negligible, and not worth the outlay of taxpayer money.

Apart from the money pumped into Crown Melbourne, where the event has been held since 1997, it’s difficult to believe the money spent on the event generates much economic activity, nor has great cultural or tourism value. In terms of promotion for the state, there’s little more than a mention that the event is “live from Melbourne” at the start of the broadcast.

Victorian Major Events Minister John Eren said the Logies were not as valuable as other major events held in the state, including large scale arts events, like the National Gallery of Victoria’s recent van Gogh exhibition.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said that the Logies were a perfect fit for that city: “It’s a tacky industry coming to a tacky city.”

But that hasn’t stopped members of the TV industry mouthing off against Andrews and lambasting the move in furious and indignant ways.

Rhonda Burchmore, a regular of the Logies red carpet, is said to be “absolutely devastated“.

According to quadruple Gold Logie winner Bert Newton, the Logies “belong in Melbourne“, and to see the event move to another state would be like “losing the AFL Grand Final or the Melbourne Cup”. However, it’s worth noting that the general public can purchase tickets to both those events, and both achieve significantly better TV ratings than the Logies.

Another Gold Logie winner Karl Stefanovic went even further on Today yesterday morning, threatening to boycott the Logies should they move away from Melbourne. He labelled the move “disgusting” and “a joke of giant proportions”.

He said: “Kevin Andrews has lost the plot completely. For $1 million, the advertising Victoria gets is second to none. You may as well have the Ekka in Perth. You may as well have the Hamilton Island race week on Fitzroy Island.”

Stefanovic actually meant Daniel Andrews, not Kevin Andrews, who is a federal Liberal MP. But his rant continued, going on to say that he would not be attending the Logies until they’re held at Crown Melbourne, the casino and hotel owned by his close friend James Packer.

It’s true that this is a break with 20 years of tradition, that those who attend the habit may be reluctant to break. But it’s impossible to see how anybody, beyond the few hundred members of the TV industry who are invited each year, will be affected at all by the move.

The level of public whining from high profile TV stars over the last few days has been absolutely extraordinary.

Does somebody like Stefanovic really think Australians are invested in where the Logies are held, or is he just trying to throw his weight around to keep the event at his mate’s hotel, where he feels particularly comfortable?

Or do TV stars just not want to have to travel to the Gold Coast or somewhere regional for the ceremony? The Queensland tourism minister has in fact signalled that there will be a bid to hold the awards ceremony on the Gold Coast. The Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate then said that it would be a perfect fit: “it’s a tacky industry coming to a tacky city.”

On the other hand, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has said she may bid for the event to be held in either Western Sydney or regional NSW. She even said NSW knows how to “put on a good party“, although if the event ends up in Sydney’s CBD, high profile TV stars may find themselves contending with her government’s lockout laws.

The Logies have always been a bit of an embarrassment for Australia’s creative industries. The glitzy event is better known for the antics of drunken celebrities than as a celebration of cultural achievement.

The most prominent awards at the Logies are essentially popularity contests. The highest honour — the Gold Logie — is awarded to the most popular personality on Australian TV.

But the Andrews Government’s decision to cut funding to the event could also be reflective of the fact that commercial broadcast TV — which still dominates the majority of categories — is continuing to diminish in influence, and the public interest in the Logies looks set to wane.

16 responses to “What matters more than where the Logies are held? Absolutely everything

  1. Why not the sixty million or so wasted annually on the Grand Prix? One million saved is nothing next to that! And even it’s initial opponents mysteriously backtrack soon after they express their perfectly reasonable doubts about its value.

  2. I had no idea the Logies were subsidized by the Victorian government. Why? I thought TV Week sponsored it, which used to owned by Packer.
    Anyway, as it does not bring in tourists or money to Victoria, why should it be propped up? Let someone else have it please. It is all back slapping, and usually goes on forever. It is too boring to watch as far as I am concerned.

  3. I didn’t know the logies were held in Melbourne…. oh well, good bye logies. It would be better if they just shut down the logies altogether, but since Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate nailed it, QLD is welcome to it. It’s fun to see the tacky celebs coming out to defend their tacky awards…. people as shallow as a kitchen sink and famous for really not much at all…. maybe they will protest by not attending some event in Melbourne that they don’t have to pay to get in to……. And now I have wasted 3 minutes writing this…. and now I will forget that the logies ever existed and my day will improve exponentially.

  4. As someone who loathes Daniel Andrews for the way he managed to waste a billion dollars by NOT building a tunnel that most voters actually said they wanted in all the pre-election polls during 2014, I have to applaud him for clawing back a tiny amount of that dosh by getting rid of something that excited only a tiny proportion of the population

  5. The Logies – do they mean anything at all to people not in the television business?

    To me, the Logies programme is just an embarrassment of introspective idolatry, by a group who excel at self-adulation. All show, very little substance – but that’s the magic of Showbiz.

    That a state government would do something financially so sensible is the biggest shock; however an even more interesting question is why does something we are told is so iconic and popular require such a charitable piece of taxpayers’ largesse?

  6. That’s so funny!

    No, not John’s comment, I’ve got no idea about that.

    Daniel Andrews showing a decisive amount of rational thinking there. I wasn’t even aware they were in Melbourne, but then I’m not the sort to watch them.

  7. Tacky event for a tacky city sounds about right. Back in your box Karl. Trying to think of the city industry types would hate to host the Logies. Pt Hedland WA might be a contender.

  8. I have watched the Logies on the idiot box quite a few times and I thinks it a bit of fun for the evening but I don’t think that the government should be tossing away the tax dollars on the event
    Its a closed venue and its covered by most of the media outlets so let the folk that run the event put their hands in their back pocket or cunning bank account to fund it or sell it to Facebook they seem to be buying up many popular events
    I do enjoy watching it

  9. Shame Victorian Major Events does not consider Vision Australia’s Carols By Candlelight – an Australian Institution – which this year celebrates it’s 80th anniversary and is seen by over 3 million people around Australia important enough to sponsor in a big way.

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