Ben's been involved in the music business since first performing on a stage when 8 years old in his home town of Innisfail. Much like his life that performance was full of mistakes, but he'd not change a thing regardless.
His formative years were spent on his family's cattle property in Far North Queensland tropical hinterlands and he finished formal schooling in Brisbane in the mid 80's. He learnt classical piano at the FNQ Conservatorium of Music and was involved in local musical theatre and opera performances throughout his youth. During this time he also had a brief stint as a child-actor performing the lead role in AB Facey's "A Fortunate Life" 1984 (PBL) which was televised as a mini-series on Channel 9. It was following this unique experience that he realised that music was his true passion and an enjoyment of the behind-the-scenes roles in production - as well.
After completing a BA in Film and Media (Griffith Univeristy - Qld) he commenced collaboration in several local bands and started to explore playing the live music scene in Brisbane and beyond. He's since performed as frontman and guitarist in various bands including 1990 Qld Rock Award winners Leather Zen, SA Best New Artist nominee Snapperhead 1997-2003, pre internet guitar pop extraordinaires The Kites 2003-2007, Ghost Chasers 2011-2013 (USA) and has performed solo on stages across Australia, UK, Germany, USA, Canada and Brazil. Support highlights include Suzi Quattro, Boom Crash Opera, Nick Barker and the Reptiles and Tex Perkins, along the way.
In 2001 he took a role as National Sales Manager with music technology importer Intelliware Australia P/L, where he held key product management roles, as part of a very successful sales team in establishing brands such as Sibelius, Rising Software, MOTU, Cakewalk, PG Music, Hosa Technology, Sonic Foundry, Applied Acoustic Systems and Primacoustic on the "must have" musical equipment map. He was deeply involved in developing licensing strategies that allowed students the ability to access, what was previously preventative due to significant cost, the best cutting edge music education and production software available. From 2005-2007 he then accepted a role with notation and eduation software developer Sibelius AU (AVID) as National Retail Sales Manager where he worked with retailers nationwide to onsell singular software licensing products. majority of the 90's working professionally in musical instrument retail stores he commenced mixing local originals and cover bands after relocating to Adelaide in 1994. He was a regular on-call sound guy at venues such as The Exeter, The Austral, The Gov, Crown & Sceptre, Crown & Anchor and toured much of country SA and the east coast of Australia doing FOH with legendary Adelaide celtic punk band Whiplash. He was a go-to FOH sound guy for several SA Folk Festivals and always enjoyed live production as a side gig to the doldrums of retail sales.
All the while he kept up his stage chops as lead Stage 1 backline tech during the glory years of WOMADELAIDE (1995-2007) where he enjoyed close workiong relationships with artists including Salif Keeta, Shooglenifty and Trilok Gurtu to name a modest few. In early 2007 he left Australia with his young family to live in Orange County, California where he was based for the next 7.5 years. He enjoyed Director of International Sales & Operations Manager roles with Hosa Technology, Zaolla Silverline and Da-Cappo Micro Microphones 2007-2011 selling into major US and international musical instrument retailers such as Best Buy, Guitar Centre, Sweetwater, Full Compass, SoundHouse, Thomann and a worldwide network of pro audio distributors. Wanting a change from cable sales and network admin responsibilities he decided to accept a 2-year stint as Røde Microphones and Event Electronics International Sales Manager while the company restructured and eventually closed it's Carpenteria, CA based operation in 2013.
Sweeney then decided to get his hands dirty again and follow his true passion, live production. He spent the next 12 months working with premier LA based production team Bigger Hammer where he gained crucial major event experience and skills working with artists as diverse as Britney Spears, Kanye West, Pearl Jam, Katy Perry, Demi Lovato, Tom Petty (RIP !!!), and many many more. He has literally rolled out the red carpet for the Golden Globes and placed Miriam Makeeba's slippers on her feet. He certainly has some stories in his memory chest.
In late 2014 he relocated back to Adelaide for family reasons and started his own small community focussed production and backline company Music City Hire. It was during the next 3.5 years that he started to collaborate with Jono & Beth Adey (Adelaide Backline) and reconnecting with his local network of industry peers. During this time he also obtained key operational certifications and further experience including backline/stage tech, MR truck, forklift and telehandler licenses plus advanced first aid and fire fighting accreditations while a core crew member of Adelaide Fringe Festival. Ben also freelances as a FOH audio operator, stage hand and tour manager and often assists other local AV companies, schools and community groups in their corporate, music or theatrical events.
Jono approached Ben in early 2018 to see if he would be interested in taking over the assets and clients of Adelaide Backline. Ben's good mate and fellow band member Peter Spooner got wind and wanted in. Adelaide Backline & Production Hire was born with a greater array of equipment and services, and the rest as they say...well Ben likes to say "I make shit happen". He does indeed!