Chugg Entertainment and CMC Rocks are devastated to announce the sudden passing of Rob Potts, who died tragically in a motorcycle accident on the West Coast of Tasmania on Friday afternoon.
Rob Potts was a pioneer of the Country Music industry and single-handedly opened the door for the biggest international country music artists to find a welcoming home in Australia.
Spending many years in Nashville as both an artist manager, a festival director and successful concert promoter, he understood the artists and the industry better than anyone in this territory.
While the rest of the industry wasn’t paying attention to one of the biggest genres of music in the United States, he forged a new path. He brought country music artists to Australia to sell out major arena tours, when most of the local industry hadn’t heard their names and some of the artists themselves, couldn’t have pointed out Australia on a map.
In a career spanning more than 30 years, Rob was a booking agent to Lee Kernaghan, Tommy Emmanuel, James Blundell and Keith Urban. Most recently, he was managing Morgan Evans, who had signed to Warner Music in Nashville and is just at the start of a hugely successful international career.
As a concert promoter, in his partnership with Chugg Entertainment, Potts toured some of the biggest artists in the genre; Zac Brown Band, Brooks and Dunn, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Florida Georgia Line, Toby Keith, Jason Aldean, Dixie Chicks and many more. He was thrilled after many years of pursuing him, to be touring Luke Bryan and to have him headlining CMC Rocks QLD in March 2018.
Rob Potts was the only Australian to sit on the Country Music Association (CMA) Board in Nashville and was an integral and respected voice within the Nashville and broader US music industry. Just this year, CMA awarded Potts the Jo Walker Meador International Award, which recognised his achievements in advocating and supporting Country Music’s development outside of the United States of America.
The tragic news comes just weeks after CMC Rocks QLD sold out in record time; 18,000 tickets, its biggest line up and biggest event to date. It was an achievement that Rob Potts was so incredibly proud of, after eleven years of tirelessly working to build the event, starting in the Snowy Mountains to just a couple of thousand people, moving to the Hunter Valley in NSW and more recently finding it’s home in Willowbank, QLD.
His long-time business partner Michael Chugg said;
“I’m lost for words. I’m heartbroken. Rob came to me more than 35 years ago as a fellow Tasmanian with a passion for music, he wanted to do great things. He was without question, the most passionate supporter of country music in Australia. Rob was at the top of his game and all his dreams were coming true. The country music world and the global music industry has lost a pioneer. I have lost a great friend’.
Matthew Lazarus-Hall, CEO of CMC Rocks QLD added:
“It has been an honour and a privilege to have worked with Rob in delivering his dream of a sell-out country music festival in Australia. Rob’s passion and determination was never ending. The industry has lost a great man and I have lost one of my dearest friends.”
The Chugg Entertainment and CMC Rocks teams send our love and thoughts to our dear friend and Rob’s son, Jeremy Dylan, his ex-wife Sally, Rob’s extended family and the huge network of friends and associates all over the world.