Country Music Association honours Rob Potts with exchange program

Nashville-based Country Music Association has honoured the late Australian country music promoter Rob Potts with an international exchange program.

Set to begin in 2020, it will select two recipients, one from the US, and the other from Australia/New Zealand.

The program will last four weeks, and is industry-based, giving the recipient a mentor and access to work experience in marketing/digital, media/PR, booking agency, management, records labels, publishing/PRO, live events/stage production, radio, video production and recording studio.

The Rob Potts International Exchange Program is open only to a full-time college/university student or emerging industry professional between the ages of 18 and 25.

The US recipient’s program will take place in Australia, while the Australia/New Zealand student will go to Nashville – with costs covered by the exchange program.

Applications close on Sunday, June 30 and can be submitted here. The successful applicant will be advised in late 2019.

Potts was a bridge between the country music scenes in Australia and the US, spending a lot of time in the US and serving on the CMA board.

His contacts helped his company Rob Potts Entertainment Edge and partner Michael Chugg Entertainment bring US superstars to Australia, and also open doors for Australians in the US.

“We are honoured to celebrate the legacy of Rob and his contribution to the country music industry through this exchange program and are looking forward to impacting the next generation of music industry professionals through this international program,” said CMA chief executive Sarah Trahern.

“I still expect to see him in the crowd at CMA Fest.

“Rob was a tireless advocate for country music and we are delighted to engage a new generation of the industry in his honour.”

Potts son, Jeremy Dylan, who now runs his father’s company thanked the CMA, saying, “The dream my father pursued for three decades was to build a bridge between country music in Australia and in Nashville, behind the scenes as much as on stage.

“This program will honour his legacy and further expand the global exchange of people and ideas that has made country music a truly international genre.”

The sentiment was echoed by Matthew Lazarus Hall, CEO of the CMC Rocks festival and CMA board member, who said that global country music fans, artists and the industry “will forever be indebted to Rob his immeasurable and unwavering dedication to developing country music, both in Australia and across the globe.

“While always heavily involved in the detail, Rob never took his eye off the big picture, using his passion and expertise to bridge the gap between Australia and Nashville, and steering his efforts towards lasting growth and long-term development to build the country music profile and advocate for emerging artists.”

Jeremy Dylan