With artists' fees in dollars and tickets sold in rubles, tours by international artists are fast becoming unaffordable as the latter continues to plunge
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The 'two Michaels' are back together, with Chuggi bringing Chugg Entertainment under the umbrella of Gudinski's Mushroom Group
By Jon Chapple on 26 Mar 2019
Exactly 20 years after parting ways, Australian promoters Michael Gudinski and Michael Chugg have announced a new joint venture between their respective companies, Frontier Touring and Chugg Entertainment.
Effective from 1 April, Chugg Entertainment and Frontier will co-promote all Chugg tours, with Frontier also joining Chugg Entertainment and Potts Entertainment as a partner in the successful CMC Rocks country music festival. CMC Rocks 2019 was held in Ipswich, Queensland, in mid-March, with a sell-out daily attendance of 24,000.
Gudinski and Chugg co-founded Frontier in 1979, and have remained friends since Chugg went independent in 1999. By joining forces with Frontier Touring (part of Gudinski’s Mushroom Group), the pair will “present a powerful, united and strategic promoting front that offers artists a first-class, professional and considered touring experience”, according to a joint statement.
While Chugg Entertainment gains “a world-class level of resources and opportunities that will allow a greater platform for business growth and development”, Frontier is keen to tap into Chugg’s specialised touring expertise, particularly its presence in country music.
Susan Heymann will continue as managing director of Chugg Entertainment, reporting to Gudinski and Chugg on all Frontier/Chugg Entertainment tours. Staff from the live division of Chugg Entertainment will additionally integrate with the Frontier team for Chugg/Frontier co-promotions.
“I’m excited to see what the Chugg Entertainment and Frontier Touring teams can accomplish together”
Says Gudinski: “Michael and I have been in and out of business together for almost half a century and we’ve both seen a lot change in that time. There’s no doubt that live touring in Australasia is undergoing its biggest transition ever, and we’re both equally passionate about ensuring we continue to set the bar for touring down under.
“Chuggi and Susan have built a great team that punches above their weight and I’m excited about what the Chugg and Frontier teams can achieve together.”
“Chugg Entertainment has had an incredible run of late, and it’s the perfect time for us to take this step to strengthen our place in the market and keep growing while the industry changes and evolves,” comments Chugg. “Michael and I share so much history and so many stories, it feels right for us to move forward into the future with Frontier Touring. We both love to wind it up and fight the good fight – we’re going to be louder and prouder together.”
“Frontier Touring has established itself as one of the most powerful promoters in the world and has a proven track record of delivering successful tours, time and again,” adds Heymann.
“With all that knowledge and experience, as well as the other music businesses in the Mushroom Group to lean on and collaborate with, I’m excited to see what the Chugg Entertainment and Frontier Touring teams can accomplish together.”