PLEASE NOTE: This label should only be used for releases on the Festival Records label, ie, displaying the Festival Records logo. For releases on international labels (eg. Island Records, A&M Records, etc.) that were distributed by either Festival Records Pty. Ltd. or Festival Records (NZ) Ltd., please use the appropriate label pages, not this one.
Festival Records Pty. Ltd. was formed in Australia in 1952. It was a primarily a record distribution company representing overseas labels such as Atlantic, Chrysalis, Island, A&M Records, and Virgin. In effect it created de-facto joint venture partnerships with many of the labels it represented and licensed labels rather than acts.
Festival Records Pty. Ltd. also distributed many independent Australian labels over the years.
In New Zealand, the Festival labels were distributed by G.A. Wooller & Co. Ltd from 1952 until 1966. In 1966 Festival Records (NZ) Ltd. was created as a joint partnership between Festival Records (Pty.) Ltd and NZ cinema chain Kerridge Odeon. It operated as a standalone independent entity, albeit one with a close operating relationship, to the Australian entity, until 1999.
In 1999 Rupert Murdoch's Newscorp bought out its partners in NZ and amalgamated Festival Records (NZ) Ltd, Festival Records Pty Ltd, Mushroom Records Pty Ltd and Mushroom Distribution Services (MDS) as Festival Mushroom Records.
In 2012 the new owners, Warner Music Group, revived Festival Records as a reissue label.
For the "Festival" location where such things as the tags 'Recorded At' or 'Mastered At' apply either for recordings on this label or for recordings that credit either of the respective Festival companies (Festival Records Pty. Ltd or Festival Records (NZ) Ltd.), please use Festival Studios. For publishing credits ("Published By"), please use Festival Music Publishing.
From 1961 the Festival companies introduced a fairly rigid cataloguing system:
Each licensed label had a letter, these included AM (A&M), A (Atlantic), D (Decca), I (Island), LY (Liberty) and so on. Festival branded releases used F. This sat to the left of the format letter. These were K (single), X (EP, later 12"), C (Cassette from the late 1960s) and L (Long player). D was introduced for CDs in the 1980s. To the left of the label code was an S if it was stereo. To the right of the letters were numbers. Singles had numbers under 10,000. EPs and 12" singles were between 10001 and 20000. All others were in sequences above that. Until the end of 1972 stereo LPs had a 9 before the numerical sequence, mono did not. Thus SAML-932,101 was a stereo LP from A&M. AML-32,101 was the mono version.
In 1973 the system was simplified. Mono was largely gone so the S and the 9 were removed so that SAML932,101 would become AML-32101 (the commas were also dropped). Singles were still AMK-3055 etc. In late 1973 the label code was also dropped so all LPs were L (that AML-32101 was now L32101), cassettes were C, EPs and 12"s just X, and singles K (that single would be K-3055). With one major exception (RML - Festival Retail Marketing) that was the system that survived until 1999.
Other known Festival Records Pty. Ltd related companies:
- Festival Manufacturing Pty. Ltd.
- Festival Records Retail Marketing (applies across both territories of Australia & New Zealand)
- Festival Records (NZ) Ltd. NZ company as above.
- Festival Records Retail Marketing Division (Australian-specific company)
- Festival Records Retail Marketing Ltd. (NZ-specific company)
- Festival Records International Ltd. (UK-based, international division of the Festival Records Pty. Ltd. parent company)
- Festival Art (the in-house art department, it's common ANV used is Festival Art Dept. & it is an artist-entry, not a label-entry a2413812)