About Us

Symbiotic is Australia’s premium trance events and touring company.  It’s focus is delivering fans some of the world’s biggest event brands, as well as cutting-edge, original shows leading the way in event design. The touring division compliments the event department, with some of the world’s most loved acts touring with Symbiotic such as Cosmic Gate, MaRLo, Armin van Buuren, Paul van Dyk and more.  With a wealth of experience between the Symbiotic team, the Australian trance community will be invigorated by upcoming announcements. 

Janette Bishara
Co-Director of Symbiotic

Janette’s passion in all things trance is showcased in her ability to develop world class brands and concepts such as Atlantis. Symbiotic is the 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 eight 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.


Richie McNeill

Co- Director of Symbiotic | Special Ops | CEO

Richard McNeill (aka Richie Rich) is well known as one of Australia’s most successful promoters and past DJs. He is acknowledged as a forerunner of the electronic music scene in Melbourne as well as being a prominent DJ figure in the seminal years of Australian dance music since 1990 and is Australia’s longest running electronic music promoter throwing shows since he was 19 years of age.

His DJ’ing took into across Europe, ASIA and the USA with regular appearances on Australia’s largest electronic events and early festivals such as the Big Day Out.

Richie has explored numerous avenues of the music scene over his career. Managing Mushroom’s ‘MDS’ Distribution Dance Department (aka “DanceNet”) for 4 years from late 1991, he developed it into the leading dance importer and distributor in Australia. Prior to this, Richie established Hardware which was well known for organising new and innovative events and festivals around Australia. 

Richie supported the local industry and showcased international talent to thousands of fellow music lovers over the years being one of the first touring agents bringing in acts to Australia from Germany, the UK, Belgium and Detroit. 

In the late 90s Richie was a long-time radio presenter on KissFM, with one of the most popular shows every Monday night playing the latest techno and rounding up the weekend’s events. He owned two record stores in Melbourne (Hardware Records) and Adelaide (Red Light District), ran his Azwan Transmissions record label and publishing company (in partnership with Mushroom) for 8 years and was a founder and brains behind the creation of Australia’s most cherished festivals and events including the legendary Apollo Festival, Two Tribes, the Hardware series of raves, Belfast, TransAtlantic, Welcome NYE, Creamfields Australia, the Stereosonic juggernaut. This all culminated in winning inthemix’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.

In 2002, Richie worked with Paul Currie as Music Supervisor on the music film “One Perfect Day”. This involved selecting much electronic music for the score, and working with acts like Robert Smith (The Cure), Orbital, Lisa Gerrard, Paul van Dyk, David Hobson and Josh Abrahams on original scoring for the film. It is here Richie met Jim Stynes through Paul and did some work with Reach Youth on youth days talking to large auditoriums of young year 11 and 12 students taking about following your passion, dreams and the journey ahead.

An outspoken but fair promoter, Richie championed change and policy development from being a committee member of the development of the maiden version of the Victorian Government’s “Code Of Conduct for Running Safer Dance Events” to agitating for fairness in the music distribution and licensing system for events with OneMusic and APRA.

After splitting with Future Entertainment in 2006, Two Tribes was no more (they continued the dates calling it Future Music Festival). Richie took 12 months off to plan the next stage and teamed up with long-time friends Peter Raff, Simon Coyle, Frank Cotela and Dror Erez to start Stereosonic in 2007. Stereosonic became and to this day is still the biggest electronic festival in Australian history, one year topping almost 70,000 people in Sydney alone.

In 2016, Richie took a short hiatus to focus on family life welcoming the arrival of his third child, after the sale of Totem Onelove Group to global company SFX Entertainment in 2015. This well-earned pause in his ever-evolving career re-inspired Richie to return to work for SFX owned Beatport on their consumer Streaming Platform, and as SFX Head Of Asia / Special Ops to bring structure to its rollout of events to the Australasian precinct. In 2016 after SFX entered into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Richie decided to rejuvenate Hardware and invigorate some fresh energy into the dance music industry in Australia which had become stale and a wild wild west after the demise of so many festivals. This also created work and a platform for many past employees he had developed long-time friendships with, what he calls the Hardware family.

Pure Music Co was formed in 2016 with good friends Carl Cox and Eric Powel which now produces the largest and only national electronic techno showcase in Australia, in April every year. IN 2019 Symbiotic Events was set up with business partner and former assistant, Janette Bishara which runs Australia’s largest trance-based events including Dreamstate, Marlo’s Altitude, Transmission and mega acts Above and Beyond and Armin van Buuren to name a few. These events range from 2,000 to 20,000 people.

In 2019 after a false start in 2018, his latest festival project Festival X was finally launched with ex-Stereosonic partner Frank Cotela from Onelove and long-time mentor and Apollo partner, Michael Coppel and Live Nation Australasia. In only 4 cities including New Zealand it hit over 100,000 patrons first year and is on the way to a new chapter in Australian history.

In 2021 on December 31 NYE, it’s the 30th anniversary since the first ever Hardware rave, Hardware 1 which was held at the Mercantile Rowing Club on the banks of the Yarra River in the city of Melbourne raising funds for his dads charity “Try Youth and Community Services”. Previously in 1990 it had only been running club nights. 2021 will celebrate 30 years of promoting electronic music events in Australia and with a huge book project “True Faith: 30 Years Of Hardware Tales from The Dancefloor”, a True Faith radio series/podcast and potential video series/movie on the history of Melbourne electronic raves since 1989.

With charity work in his blood, Richie and his father setup the Hardware Foundation in 2019. The foundation is setup to assist various charities across Australia that assist families and young Australians in need.

MEDIA LINKS / INTERVEWS

EMC 2013: Going Global : The Richie McNeill Story

Why Stereosonic Boss Richie McNeill Quit The Business

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