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Aussie expat gregory constantine makes the forbes 30 under 30 list


IF YOU’VE got the back-to-work blues, you might want to stop reading now.

Gregory Constantine has just been named as one of the worlds brightest young innovators and gamechangers, making the Forbes 30 Under 30 list along with fellow Australians Margot Robbie and Jessica Hart.

Hes living it up in New York while running Smirnoffs global music strategy and cultural partnerships division, kicking goals with projects centred on the brands message of inclusivity.

But whats even more envy-inducing is how much fun the 27-year-old from Sydneys Earlwood has managed to have while climbing the career ladder.

The music-obsessed youngster has worked with big names including Snoop Dogg, Calvin Harris and Skrillex, having scored an internship with touring and events company Fuzzy while studying at the University of Sydney.

Fetching coffee and helping out around the office turned into a fulltime job booking artists for concerts and festivals such as Field Day, Parklife, Harbourlife and Shore Thing.

I got to know and understand the festival business from the inside out, which really helped me in the long run, Mr Constantine told news.com.au.

I started as a touring intern, literally doing anything that an intern would do in any office job but working on the touring side of the business, dealing with artists, helping put together artist packages and club tour runs, working on-site during the festivals, building up the artist riders.

A rider is the industry term for the list of dressing room requirements that performers demand as part of their contracts.

Some entertainers are known for their highly specific and diva-like requests, with artists like Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Van Halen and Kanye West having reportedly demanded items including imported Versace towels, ornate French lamps, a mannequin with puffy pink pubic hair, mini Babybel cheeses, Haribo gummies and M&Ms with the brown ones taken out.

There were definitely some strange things coming up on rider requests, and probably a few that I shouldnt mention! Mr Constantine said, declining to name names.

But he said most artists were understanding when he explained that it would not be possible to track down a specific brand of chewing gum or fried chicken not available in Australia.

The most satisfying moment, he said, was when an emerging artist hed booked for a festival went on to achieve superstardom.

ARIA award winner Flume had just won Triple J Unearthed when he was booked to play the small stage at Field Day in 2012. Two years later, he was the headline act.

Standing on the main stage with him and seeing 25,000 fans enjoying that was pretty amazing, Mr Constantine said.

It was goosebumps on the arms and hairs standing up ... To see that progression to where hes at today in his career was something pretty amazing.

After finishing his Media and Communications degree in 2012, Mr Constantine flew to Los Angeles on a J-1 visa, taking some time to travel and get a bit of a feel for the music while freelancing as a tour manager.

Then I was offered a number of different jobs with a few different companies, and ended up eventually saying yes to working with Smirnoff, he said.

His current role centres on promoting the brands message of inclusivity through projects like the Smirnoff Sound Collective artist mentorship program, and hosting a #lovewins fundraiser at Orlandos Pulse nightclub after the September mass shooting in which 49 people were killed.

Everything we do as a brand is centred around inclusivity, we use music as a way to move the world to be more inclusive, he said.

We have a voice within music because Smirnoff is a brand thats kind of synonymous with music around the world.

Working for a big multinational was a big learning curve after cutting his teeth in a small Australian company, he said.

And while he couldnt have predicted where his career would end up, going after his area of passion had paid off.

To be in New York where he had once hoped to attend music school using his degree in the entertainment industry was a dream.

It all just kind of tied in and shaped together ... It was kind of just an evolution rather than saying this is something Ive always wanted to do.

Aussies pay the price for bad habits




AUSTRALIA has been ranked the third most expensive country in the world to buy drugs, alcohol and cigarettes, according to the Bloomberg Vice Index.

The same basket of goods tobacco, alcohol, amphetamine, cannabis, cocaine and opioids will cost you just $US41.40 in Laos and a staggering $US1,441.50 in Japan.

The index compares the cost of the basket of goods as a share of average weekly income, with the US used as a benchmark. In the US, the goods cost almost $US400, or about one third of the average weekly income.

In Australia, the six items will cost $US984.20, followed closely by New Zealand at $US980.50. Crisis-hit Venezuela technically tops the list due to rampant inflation, with a bottle of beer, a packet of cigarettes and a gram of cocaine now costing 17 times the weekly wage.

The tiny European country of Luxembourg is listed as the most affordable country, with the basket costing $US259.30, or just 12.7 per cent of the $US2035 weekly income.

In terms of absolute costs, Congo, Honduras and Laos are the cheapest places to score. Many of the cheapest countries are close to the source, such as the Golden Triangle opium-producing region in Asia.

Its all about distribution costs, Peter Reuter, professor in the School of Public Policy and the Department of Criminology at the University of Maryland, told Bloomberg. Being closer to the producer lowers costs.

The index uses Bloomberg research, the United Nations annual World Drug Report and data from the World Health Organisation. While the prices for alcohol and tobacco reflect local taxes, law enforcement policies are key to determining drug prices.

Illegal drugs prices will of course have a premium that reflects local zeal for enforcement, Philip J. Cook, professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, told Bloomberg. The same can be said for the heavily taxed legal commodities, since the street price may be dominated by smuggled goods.