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The Cat Empire Announce Dissolution of Original Lineup

After 20 years, the original lineup of The Cat Empire is calling it quits, but not without a run of live shows to celebrate.


Australian music stalwarts The Cat Empire have announced that the original 20-year line-up of the band will play their final shows together in December 2021.

The band isn’t calling it quits altogether, members Felix Riebl and Ollie McGwill will lead the charge on the next iteration of Cat Empire, who – over two decades – have played close to 1,500 live shows across the world.

“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,” the band wrote in a statement. “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.”

Fans will have one last chance to bid The Cat Empire adieu, with a run of shows set to take place in Western Australia, Queensland, and Victoria in December, and a global virtual presentation of their Victorian show on Thursday, December 18th.

“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,” the band continued. “As we look back on the past two decades, we are so proud of what we achieved.

“We directed our own musical adventure and created our own opportunities along the way.”

On Thursday, December 16th the band will play a hometown farewell at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne. The all-ages event will see the band tear through a career-spanning setlist, with appearances from special guests entwined in the band’s DNA.

The band will take to the Sandstone Point Hotel in Queensland on Sunday, December 5th, and Red Hill Auditorium in Perth on Saturday, December 11th.

“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,” The Cat Empire wrote. “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.”

Tickets for the final show of the original line-up in WA, QLD, and VIC, and the virtual concert will go on sale on Tuesday, September 21st at 10am local time in each state.

The Cat Empire Original Line-Up Final Shows

Sunday, December 5th
Sandstone Point Hotel, Sandstone Point, QLD (18+)

Saturday, December 11th
Red Hill Auditorium, Red Hill, WA

Thursday, December 16th
Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne, VIC (All Ages)

Saturday, December 18th
Virtual screening of the Sidney Myer Music Bowl performance

Visit The Cat Empire website for full ticketing details.