Poster, Kylie Minogue, 'Fever', paper, made and used by Festival Mushroom Records, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2001
This poster has significance as an illustration of Festival Records' efforts to promote artists who recorded for Mushroom Records.
When Michael Gudinski and Ray Evans established Mushroom Records in 1972 they needed to team up with a record manufacturer. They approached Festival Records because it had the best distribution network in the country. The two companies formed a fruitful relationship and for the next 25 years Mushroom's records were made and distributed by Festival. Gudinski discovered and recorded the artists, Festival handled manufacturing and distribution and the two worked together on promotion and marketing. Together Mushroom and Festival released most major Australian acts throughout the 1970s. With the cream of Australia's recording artists, Mushroom became Festival's de facto A&R department. Over three decades Mushroom Records remained a major force and Michael Gudinski became Australia's top music entrepreneur.
Gudinski's biggest coup came in 1987 when Kylie Minogue, star of the TV soap 'Neighbours', decided to make her recording debut for Mushroom. She soared to the top of the charts in Australia, the UK and Asia with a hit version of Little Eva's 'The Locomotion'. With 'Neighbours' huge in Britain, Kylie was soon a megastar, paving the way for Mushroom to set up a British operation. Kylie teamed up with English hitmakers Stock Aitken Waterman. With 19 hit songs between 1987 and 1991 she became Australia's biggest ever pop success in the UK. In the 1990s her danceable records and sophisticated, sexy image resulted in a massive gay following. She had established her credibility as an enduring international performer and put paid to her critics. By 1999 she had sold over 15 million albums worldwide but there was much more to come. Kylie won Best Female Artist and Best Australian Pop Release for 'Light Years' at the 2001 ARIA awards. She embarked on a sold out Australian tour and later that year 'Can't Get You out of My Head' became one of her biggest hits ever. The 'Fever' album (2001) sold 120,000 copies in Australia in its first week of release.
As an Australian record company, Festival Records was for over 50 years a significant force in the music recording industry. It financed, recorded, manufactured, promoted, marketed, distributed and published a huge range of local and overseas music, from classical to popular, under an equally vast number of labels. Although a major record company, it was independent of the five multinational companies that dominated the industry worldwide.
Festival Records manufactured vinyl discs in Sydney for 40 years. At the height of production in the 1980s Festival's factory was buzzing with 26 record presses pumping out 25,000 records per day. In addition there was a cassette duplicating plant, an art department, a printing department for album covers, plus a huge warehouse for packing and distribution.
Festival Records provided a home to a vast array of musical styles and many independent labels, not readily identified with the Festival brand. For over fifty years its existence as a major independe
Festival Records kept publicity material and promotional items relating to its recording artists. This poster remained in Festival Records' collection until donated to the Museum. It was displayed in the Museum's exhibition 'Spinning Around: 50 Years of Festival Records', from 2001 to 2003.