#8: Matt Gudinski - Mushroom Group, Executive Director
The son of our Power 50 2018 #1, Matt Gudinski now sits next to his father at the helm of the biggest independent music and entertainment collective in Australia/NZ. Straight out of high school, Gudinski formed his own imprint, Illusive Sounds, with Adam Jankie in 2003 with Illusive Presents as the touring arm. Gudinski has held the Mushroom Group Executive Director position since 2013. In 2015, Gudinski launched Mushroom Group's first dedicated management arm, Role Model Artists, and acts as this company's director.
THE YEAR THAT WAS
As executive director, Gudinski is responsible for the business development, operations and strategy of Mushroom Group, which experienced its biggest year to date in 2018. Mushroom Group continues to grow its existing businesses while diversifying into new areas and expanding its operations in Australia/NZ, as well as globally, which Gudinski is primarily driving.
An event Gudinski developed and launched in 2016, RNB Fridays Live (and its NZ sister event Friday Jams Live) scaled up to stadiums and showgrounds in 2018, selling in excess of 200,000 tickets to become the country’s biggest touring music event. Gudinski's touring arm, Illusive Presents, continues to be massively successful, with over 600,000 tickets sold to Illusive-presented tours and events over the last 18 months.
Throughout the year, Gudinski also continued to develop and expand Mushroom’s talent management interests and created new, soon-to-be-announced management partnerships. Mushroom’s management interests now span 30-plus artists including Jack River, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Bliss N Eso, Fergus James and Tkay Maidza.
The collective of labels under Mushroom Group, which Gudinski established, continues to experience success. I OH YOU (established in partnership with Johann Ponniah) had a big year with album releases in 2018 thanks to DMA'S, Jack River, City Calm Down and DZ Deathrays. Fast-growing imprint Soothsayer is also becoming one of the country’s finest electronic labels with 2018 album releases from artists such as Willaris K and CC:DISCO!.
A new partnership between Mushroom Group and Underground Cinema was launched at the end of last year and will bring to life a number of classic films over the coming years. Dirty Dancing is the first film to be presented by Underground Cinema and will be experienced by over 20,000 people in Melbourne and Sydney across six nights in March 2019.
2018'S CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT?
"Breaking the Australia/NZ touring record with Ed Sheeran, and turning RNB Fridays Live into the biggest music touring series in Australia."