Festival Records Pty. Ltd. was formed in Australia in 1952 and operated
until it merged with Mushroom Records to become Festival Mushroom Records (commonly known as FMR)
in 1998. It was owned by Rupert Murdoch's companies.
Festival Records NZ Ltd., which was a different company, with some
shared shareholding (in NZ it was 51% owned by cinema chain, Kerridge
Odeon), for most of it's existence, was formed in the mid 1950s as a
subsidiary of G.A. Wooller & Co Ltd, and changed it's name to Festival
Records NZ Ltd. in 1966, when Festival Records Pty Ltd and Kerridge
Odeon bought out Wooller.
Kerridge Odeon was bought out by Rupert Murdoch's Newscorp in the mid
nineties when it became, like Festival Records Pty. Ltd., a part of
Festival Mushroom Records
Festival Records Pty. Ltd. operated in Australia and Festival Records NZ
Ltd. in New Zealand. Another branch was set up in London.
Another wing of the company, was Festival Records Retail Marketing Ltd
("FRRM"). This "sub-label" was operational from about 1982 through to
the late 80s, possibly even into the 90s. They were involved in
distribution/promotion of records assigned by Festival Records for TV &
media advertising and related marketing, as well as wholesale terms to
Although releases on FRRM has a different cat# sequence to that of
Festival Records, the former's releases were routinely added and
featured on the same page as those of the latter's releases on Discogs.
This practice continued until a release that bore different cat#s for
Festival Records and FRRM was
added to Discogs. There is now discussion that FRRM should not be
considered a label in its own right, and should therefore be re-merged
with the entries of Festival Records.
On Discogs all the Festival cat#s have been standardised. Some appeared
with hyphens in them and some didn't. With Discogs lacking a cat#
sorting system, it was standardised so it would sort correctly.
The oldest Festival releases in the database are the CFR series. CFR
12-### denotes 12" LP, CFR 10-### denotes 10" LP.
Next came the series starting with (S)FK for 7" and (S)FL ###,###
for LPs. The S was used to denote the stereo version, and the version
with out the S was in mono. There was also a series of LPs licenced from
A&M, (S)AML ###,###.
Eventually the S and F were dropped, in the 1970s, becoming K ####
for 7" and L ##,### for LPs. The comma was soon dropped from the L
series also. When 12" singles were introduced the series for them was X
#####. For cassettes it was C ###### and for CDs D
#####. Some promo vinyls were released with cat# starting with
Also on the label of vinyl, was a number starting with MX or SMX, and
this will almost definitely be in the run-off groove. This is the record
pressing matrix number (different number on each side).
Most releases licenced from other labels will also have the original
cat# that it was released under, which will appear in brackets under
the Festival cat#
Festival Records Retail Marketing Ltd releases were prefixed with RM. So
therefore RML ##### for LPs, RMD ##### for CDs, and RMC
##### for cassettes.
Note: Some labels were only released in Australia, and some, only in NZ
Note that some releases bear a standard cat# associated with the label
and an additional Festival cat#, however some only have a Festival
Many releases made/manufactured/marketed/distributed/licensed by the
Festival companies are mislabeled as Festival Records (Label) releases. Since Festival
licensed labels rather than individual records there is a move to
develop sub labels to cover these, such as Island / Festival, A&M /
Different pressings by the Festival Record companies are grouped
together, and often the "Australia & New Zealand" country option is used
on these releases. This is usually incorrect.
For vinyl, regardless of what is said on the label, which was often just
template, each country pressed in their own territory, so it's safe to
assume that any record pressed in Australia is a an Australian releases
and any record pressed in NZ is an NZ release. The companies rarely
The same is often true for compact discs. Festival NZ even at times
pressing CDs in Australia at different plants to it's Australian sister,
although from the early 90s onwards largely pressing in NZ.