ABOUT

Hardware, has been synonymous with the electronic music scene in Australia for over 25 years. An innovative force when the company was established by Richie McNeill in 1990, Hardware returns to the dance music world for its third incarnation in 2016. The company’s ethos is simple; deliver memorable music events and tours for people who love dance music.

HISTORY

Richie McNeill, aka DJ Richie Rich, established Hardware based in Melbourne in 1990 with the intention of delivering hedonistic techno and trance events to the dance community. Featuring a roster of the world’s best in electronic music – Cosmic Baby, Sven Vath, Jeff Mills, Adam Beyer, Richie Hawtin, Oliver Lieb, CJ Bolland, Ian Pooley, Paul van Dyk, Cari Lekebusch, Sasha, Autechre, Deep Dish, Marco Carola, Laurent Garnier, Kid Paul and many many more – the events were a huge success. Dance music fans reveled in the chance to experience such a high calibre of acts on their shores and quickly become followers of Hardware.

In the latter half of the 90’s and early 2000’s, Hardware experienced a huge period of growth that would help define the Australian electronic scene for years to come. In 1998, Hardware, alongside ‘Michael Coppel presents’, launched the country’s first electronic music festival, ‘Apollo’, featuring Daft Punk, Basement Jaxx, Speedy J, Fluke, DJ Sneak, and Jeff Mills, among many esteemed artists. A year later, Hardware partnered with fellow Melbourne promoter, Future Entertainment, to launch the highly revered ‘Two Tribes’ festival. Winning countless awards in its eight-year history, including ‘Best National Festival’, ‘Two Tribes’ remains one of the most defining festivals in Australian dance music history.

From here Hardware left the March Two Tribes period, which became Future Music Festival, to invite the Onelove team to create a new music festival under Totem Onelove Group. It was here that Stereosonic was established.  Artists including Carl Cox, Major Lazer, Ricardo Villalobos, Jeff Mills, Calvin Harris, Marco Carola, Armin Van Buuren, Miss Kittin, The Hacker and more featured on a Stereosonic lineup over the festivals nearly ten year duration.  Delivering a variety of music genres to fans over a single day format, the festival grew to signify the start of summer for many Australians.

Re-emerging in 2016, lead by Richie McNeill and Damien Kease, Hardware returns with a reinvigorated sense of purpose.

Hardware has launched several new events in Australia that focus on delivering artists from a number of genres to music enthusiasts across the country including Festival X, Tell No Tales, Babylon Festival and PURE. Events with musical and creative passion. With similar purpose, the touring arm of Hardware will be working with club promoters across Australia to bring a diverse range of artists to Australia and Asia.

OUR TEAM

Richie McNeill

Director of Hardware | Special Ops | CEO

Richard McNeill, aka Richie Rich, is well known as one of Australia’s most successful promoters. He is acknowledged as a forerunner of the music scene in Melbourne as well as being a prominent DJ figure in the seminal years of the Australian dance music scene.

Richie has explored numerous avenues of the music scene over his career. Managing Mushroom’s ‘MDS’ distribution dance branch for 5 years, he developed it into the leading dance importer and distributer in Australia. Prior to, and whilst at Mushroom, Richie established Hardware which was well known for organising new and innovate events and festivals around Australia. Richie supported the local industry and showcased international talent to thousands of fellow music lovers over the years. He owned two record stores in Melbourne and Adelaide, ran his Azwan Transmissions record label for 10 years and was one of the main brains behind the creation of Australia’s most cherished festivals and events including Apollo 98, Two Tribes, The Hardware series, Belfast, TransAtlantic, Welcome NYE, Creamfields Australia and the Stereosonic juggernaut. This all culminated to winning inthemix’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.

As a businessman, he saw some lucrative years with the massive rise of Stereosonic, which lead to the sale of Totem Onelove to SFX Entertainment in 2013. Richie then decided to take a short hiatus and focus on family life for a few years. This well-earned pause in his always evolving career inspired Richie to resurrect Hardware and invigorated fresh energy to bring quality new events to the dance music industry in Australia.

Damien Kease

Director of Touring | COO

With early involvement in promoting events, Damien began working for Richie McNeill in 2003 on the seminal ‘Two Tribes’ festival. Since then he has amassed a wealth of experience across the festival and event industry and his knowledge spans across many business aspects; from accounting and administration right through to tour management, event curation, ticketing solutions and event logistics.  Damien spent six years as General Manager at Totem Onelove, overseeing some of Australia’s largest and most respected events. Now, with over a decade of events under his belt he is back at Hardware to develop new concepts, ideas and foster his main passion – music. Damien heads the touring department, where his attention to detail reinforces his commitment to delivering a quality experience for artists.

Saskia Prichard

Marketing Manager

A determination to follow her passion for music and event marketing has ensured Saskia has established herself with a steadfast attitude within the industry. Her experience working on small to large scale events and tours is growing.  With a love for working in a fast paced marketing environment, Saskia’s knowledge on emerging marketing trends in the industry is unparalleled.

 

Janette Bishara

Symbiotic Director

Janette’s passion in all things trance is showcased in her ability to develop world class brands and concepts such as Atlantis. Symbiotic is a new daughter company to Hardware in the global space of Trance. Janette heads up this department as Director and partner, taking it to new heights from stadium tours of artists to new events throughout the year. Creativity, passion and the music is what drives her. With over seven years experience producing events such as Armin Only, A State Of Trance, ABGT150, Above and Beyond Acoustic at the Sydney Opera House and more, expect plenty of new things on the horizon including Asia with Symbiotic.

Lisa Banias

Symbiotic Touring & Events Manager

Lisa works closely with Janette on all things Symbiotic, with a background in journalism and psychology; Lisa got a taste for events whilst travelling the world and attending music festivals.  Her passion and devotion to dance music (with Trance as a main love) is what launched her into an event promotional role, which in turn lead her to join the team at Symbiotic in 2016. Lisa was thrown into the deep end very shortly after she began at Symbiotic. Since then her experience working on large scale arena events, small club shows and tour management, plus her all round ability and positive attitude makes her an asset to the team.

 

 

Kyle Hand

Agent | Promoter

Kyle Hand has established himself as a driving force behind some of Melbourne’s best events. Setting the standard at parties like Lockdown Jail Rave, Tomorrow Never Comes and Reconnect, he has spent a busy ten years at the forefront of the industry. An obsession with dance music from a young age propelled Kyle towards a career as a promoter, with a focus on events that continue to push boundaries and raise the bar. Kyle was recently enlisted as Hardware’s newest recruit, bringing a breadth of industry knowledge and fearless innovation that are a force to be reckoned with. As a shapeshifting agent and promoter, he is looking forward to launching a fresh series of parties with some groundbreaking acts and talent that know no limits.

Harriet Page

Touring Coordinator

With a long standing passion for events, Harriet has made a name for herself as someone who is dedicated and always striving, to build relationships and skills within the entertainment industry. She holds a Bachelor of Entertainment & has freelanced across Melbourne, growing skills across many different roles before starting at Hardware as a Touring Assistant. Her exceptional work has since seen her grow within the company to Touring Coordinator. Her experience brings an attention to detail and an enthusiasm that ensures the smooth running of every tour she works on.