Beloved Australian musical exports The Cat Empire have today announced that the original 20-year line-up of the band will play their final shows together in December 2021, with Felix Riebl and Ollie McGill moving forward as members of the next iteration of the Band.
During a career that has seen close to 1,500 joyous live shows played across the planet over the past two decades, The Cat Empire have achieved truly global success and created a fiercely independent, self-sustaining musical empire in the process.
While today’s announcement will undoubtedly sadden long-time supporters of the band, news that The Cat Empire will continue in the hands of founding members Felix and Ollie offers assurance that faithful audiences in far-flung corners of the globe will once again experience the life-affirming party that is one of the band’s renowned live shows.
Australian audiences will have the chance to farewell the original line-up of The Cat Empire with huge final shows planned for December in WA, QLD and VIC, including a global virtual concert on Thursday Dec 18.
The continuing members of The Cat Empire have exciting new music planned for 2022 and look forward to the next 20 years “as a re-imagined, vibrant, cross-cultural, and joyful collective of musicians and artists.”
After 20 incredible years of touring and making music together, we have made the decision to disband, and to make way for a new incarnation of The Cat Empire to come to life fronted by Felix and Ollie.
Will (Drums), Ryan (Bass-departed the band March 2021), Harry (Vox/Trumpet), Jamshid Dj Jumps (Decks/Percussion), and our Manager Correne will all be celebrating final moments with The Cat Empire in December 2021.
At this juncture, Felix (Front-man/Percussion) and Ollie (Keys) will take the band forward into its next global chapter as a re-imagined, vibrant, cross-cultural, and joyful collective of musicians and artists.
The Cat Empire began as a musical jazz project in Melbourne, Australia in 2001, and took on a life of its own, so much bigger than any of us could have even dreamed or imagined. As we look back on the past two decades, we are so proud of what we achieved; from the (almost 1500) live shows and festivals we have played around the world, to the seven studio albums which resulted in global chart success, as well as our cherished independence, and more importantly the interpersonal experiences we amassed and grew from. We directed our own musical adventure and created our own opportunities along the way.
We’ve played Letterman and Leno, Bonnaroo and SummerStage NYC, opened the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, performed at Bluesfest 15 times, Falls Festival 11, Woodford Folk 10, Winnipeg Folk Festival 8 times, and Blues Balls (Switzerland) and Adelaide Fringe 7 times each. More than half of our live audience lives in Europe. We hold the record for the most shows played in a row at Edinburgh Festival (16), and in 2019 we played Glastonbury twice!
We cherish our global audience who took us into their hearts, homes, venues and festivals, returning over and over to sing and dance with us. As we toured the world, our fanbase grew and so did we. The enthusiasm of our audience has sustained us through tough times and has kept us making and delivering music for all these years. We’ve met babies named after us, heard heart-warming and heart-wrenching stories about what our music has meant to people, and we’ve seen hundreds of tattoos of our logo on various body parts! We are forever indebted to every one of the lovely faces in the crowd at each of our shows, for the joy you showered back at us over two decades.
On Thursday December 16 we will celebrate the past 20 years of The Cat Empire in a unique final VIC performance with the original band line-up at The Sidney Myer Music Bowl in our hometown of Melbourne. This all-ages event featuring songs and special guests from our entire career will be broadcast to the world as an epic virtual concert for fans everywhere to enjoy.
Queenslanders will have the chance to see the original line-up one last time at Sandstone Point Hotel on Sunday December 5 (18+), and Western Australian audiences will be treated to the show on Saturday December 11 at Red Hill Auditorium.
Tickets for the WA, QLD and VIC shows, as well as tickets to attend the virtual final concert of the original line-up will go on sale at 10am on Tuesday September 21. (If Covid restrictions prevent any of these shows going ahead, shows will be re-scheduled and/or refunds offered).
To mark this milestone moment of change in The Cat Empire’s career, The Adelphia Sessions – a hybrid of select tracks from The Sun (2002) and Live @ Adelphia (2001) will be released from the archives In October.
Due to huge demand for its return, the album Cities (2006) will be made available to stream through your favourite digital platform in November.
We will also share two more brand new songs in October following on from the July release of Going To Live and Great Beauty and August release of The Scream and Coming To Meet You.
In the meantime, deepest thanks for sharing this journey with us, for your devotion, for playing our music, sharing it with your friends and family, carrying it around the world in your backpacks, allowing it to be the soundtrack to your big life moments, for attending our shows, and for making it all so worthwhile and enriching.
We have so much to celebrate. We leave each other with full hearts, healthy relationships, and a deep respect for each other and the musical journey we have shared together, and with the world. We firmly believe The Cat Empire has an enduring mission to continue to bring great music, exemplary musicianship, and joyful moments to the world. The spirit of the band will flow through to the next chapter as Felix and Ollie and many guest musicians grow The Cat Empire into a global collective with new and exciting music set for release in 2022.
Best Wishes from The Cat Empire
The Cat Empire Original Line-Up Final Shows
Sunday December 5, 2021 – Sandstone Point Hotel QLD (18+)
Saturday December 11, 2021 – Red Hill Auditorium WA (under 18’s permitted with a guardian)
Thursday December 16, 2021 – Sidney Myer Music Bowl VIC (all ages)
Saturday, December 18, 2021 – Virtual Concert of the Sidney Myer Music Bowl Melbourne Final VIC Show
Tickets for the final show of the original line-up in WA, QLD and VIC, and for the virtual concert will go on sale on Tuesday September 21 at 10.00am local time in each state.
Visit www.thecatempire.com for ticketing details.