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Kendrick Lamar unveils mammoth worldwide tour

Kendrick Lamar has announced an extensive worldwide tour for 2022 which comprises arena shows in the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

The news comes after Lamar, one of the world’s most critically and commercially acclaimed rappers, released ‘Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers’, his fifth album and first in five years.

Lamar’s last album, ‘DAMN’, famously became the first non-jazz or classical recording to win the Pulitzer Prize and to win five Grammys.

The rapper’s newly announced tour, dubbed ‘The Big Steppers Tour’, will kick off in the US on 19 July and culminate in New Zealand on 16 December.

The worldwide run is promoted by Live Nation and sponsored by Amazon Music, Rotation and Cash App

Support comes from American rapper Baby Keem (all dates) and Tanna Leonne (select dates), both of which are signed to Lamar’s record label, pgLang.

The worldwide run is promoted by Live Nation and sponsored by Amazon Music, Rotation and Cash App – customers of which can bag the first tickets to the tour.

Lamar’s last headlining tour came in 2017 in support of DAMN, and similarly toured the US, Europe, Oceana and Asia.

According to Pollstar Boxoffice reports, the DAMN Tour grossed $41.4 million with 452,387 tickets sold in 36 shows in North America.

Lamar averaged 9,789 tickets per show and $790,018 gross, which this new run is expected to easily surpass.

See dates for The Big Steppers Tour below.

Tue Jul 19 – Oklahoma City, OK – Paycom Center

Thu Jul 21 – Austin, TX – Moody Center

Fri Jul 22 – Houston, TX – Toyota Center

Sat Jul 23 – Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center

Sun Jul 24 – Miami, FL – Rolling Loud

Wed Jul 27 – Tampa, FL – Amalie Arena

Fri Jul 29 – New Orleans, LA – Smoothie King Center

Sat Jul 30 – Atlanta, GA – State Farm Arena

Sun Jul 31 – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena

Tue Aug 02 – Charlotte, NC – Spectrum Center

Thu Aug 04 – Washington, DC – Capital One Arena

Fri Aug 05 – Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center

Sat Aug 06 – Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center

Sun Aug 07 – Long Island, NY – UBS Arena

Tue Aug 09 – Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center

Wed Aug 10 – Boston, MA – TD Garden

Fri Aug 12 – Toronto, ON – Scotiabank Arena

Sat Aug 13 – Toronto, ON Scotiabank Arena

Sun Aug 14 – Detroit, MI – Little Caesars Arena

Tue Aug 16 – Columbus, OH – Schottenstein Center

Thu Aug 18 – Milwaukee, WI – Fiserv Forum

Fri Aug 19 – Chicago, IL – United Center

Sat Aug 20 – St. Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center

Sun Aug 21 – Kansas City, MO – T-Mobile Center

Tue Aug 23 – Denver, CO – Ball Arena

Wed Aug 24 – Salt Lake City, UT – Vivint Smart Home Arena

Fri Aug 26 – Portland, OR – Moda Center

Sat Aug 27 – Seattle, WA – Climate Pledge Arena

Sun Aug 28 – Vancouver, BC – Rogers Arena

Tue Aug 30 – Sacramento, CA – Golden 1 Center

Wed Aug 31 – Oakland, CA – Oakland Arena

Thu Sep 01 – Oakland, CA – Oakland Arena

Tue Sep 06 – San Diego, CA – Viejas Arena at San Diego State University

Wed Sep 07 – Anaheim, CA – Honda Center

Fri Sep 09 – Las Vegas, NV – T-Mobile Arena

Sat Sep 10 – Phoenix, AZ – Footprint Center

Tue Sep 14 – Los Angeles, CA – Crypto.com Arena

Wed Sep 15 – Los Angeles, CA – Crypto.com Arena

Fri Oct 07 – Amsterdam, NL – Ziggo Dome

Mon Oct 10 – Prague, CZ – O2 Arena

Tue Oct 11 – Berlin, DE – Mercedes-Benz Arena

Thu Oct 13 – Hamburg, DE – Barclays Arena

Sat Oct 15 – Copenhagen, DK – Royal Arena

Mon Oct 17 – Stockholm, SE – Avicii Arena

Wed Oct 19 – Oslo, NO – Telenor Arena

Fri Oct 21 – Paris, FR – Accor Arena

Mon Oct 24 – Stuttgart, DE – Scheleyerhalle

Tue Oct 25 – Zurich, CH – Hallenstadion

Wed Oct 26 – Laussane, CH – Vaudoise Aréna

Fri Oct 28 – Antwerp, BE – Sportpaleis

Sun Oct 30 – Cologne, DE – Lanxess Arena

Mon Oct 31 – Frankfurt, DE – Festhalle

Wed Nov 02– Glasgow, UK – OVO Hydro

Thu Nov 03 – Leeds, UK – First Direct Arena

Fri Nov 04 – Newcastle, UK – Utilita Arena

Sat Nov 05 – Birmingham, UK – Utilita Arena

Mon Nov 07 – London, UK – The O2

Tue-Nov 08 – London, UK – The O2

Sun Nov 13 – Dublin, IE – 3Arena

Wed Nov 16 – Manchester, UK – AO Arena

Thu Dec 01 – Perth, AUS – RAC Arena

Sun Dec 04 – Melbourne, AUS – Rod Laver Arena

Thu Dec 08 – Sydney, AUS – Qudos Bank Arena

Mon Dec 12 – Brisbane, AUS – Entertainment Center

Fri Dec 16 – Auckland, NZ – Spark Arena

 


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Big Day Out festival founder Ken West dies at 64

Big Day Out festival founder and creator Ken West has died in his sleep at the age of 64.

With his business partner Viv Lees, West produced the renowned touring festival, which debuted in Sydney in 1992 and went on to expand to Melbourne, Gold Coast, Adelaide and Perth in Australia, as well as Auckland in New Zealand.

Most recently staged in 2014, the festival welcomed artists such as Nirvana, Kanye West, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Muse, Metallica, Hole, the Ramones, Pearl Jam and Rage Against the Machine.

“Ken was big and noisy in life”

“We bring unfortunate news that Ken West; a father, husband, mentor and most of all a legend, has passed away peacefully in his sleep on the morning of 7 April 2022,” says a statement from his family. “Our family would appreciate respect and privacy during this difficult time. Ken was big and noisy in life, but passed quietly and peacefully.”

West released an excerpt from his upcoming book in January this year to mark the 30th anniversary of the inaugural Big Day Out. Chapters of the book were released on his Kenfest website.

“I treat art as a living thing that constantly changes, he wrote on the site. “The people are the art as much as the artists are the people. I believe that the fact it is temporary makes it all the more important, not less.”

Veteran promoter Colleen Ironside described Ken as “A trailblazer and inspiration to so many people and the person who gave so many people and acts a chance… Another gone way too soon and a force in the industry whose vibe humor and talent will be greatly missed.”

West is survived by his wife Cathy and son Oliver.

 


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Oz Grand Prix sued for $8m over Robbie Williams gig

The Australian Grand Prix Corporation is being sued for more than $8 million for the last-minute cancellation of a performance by Robbie Williams at the 2020 Formula One event in Melbourne.

Williams was paid $1.94m to headline the first World Tour Melbourne concert event on 14 March, but his show was cancelled as fans queued to enter on 13 March.

World Touring Melbourne (WTM) says it was only informed of the cancellation during a teleconference with the Australian Grand Prix Corporation and local touring partner Dainty on that same day.

WTM is now seeking $7.594m for costs it incurred, another $1.128m in lost profits, and interest

The touring agency, part-owned by Hollywood actor Will Smith, is alleging the cancellation was a breach of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation’s obligations.

It is now seeking $7.594m for costs it incurred, another $1.128m in lost profits, and interest.

A writ filed in the Supreme Court last week lists venue hire, backstage catering of $32,500, production costs such as sound and lighting, publicity and legal fees among other costs. Williams’ talent fee was reported as $1.94m.

The $99 tickets to see the British star perform were refunded to fans.

Miley Cyrus, Pete Murray, Seb Fontaine and The Veronicas were also booked to perform.

 


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Michael Gudinski statue unveiled in Melbourne

A statue of the late Mushroom Group founder Michael Gudinski has been unveiled outside Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena, part of the Melbourne & Olympic Park precinct.

The life-size statue is in honour of the promoting legend’s contribution to Australia’s music, arts and entertainment industries, Melbourne & Olympic Park venues, and the state of Victoria.

The unveiling, which included speeches from Gudinski’s son, Mushroom Group CEO Matt Gudinski, Australian singer-songwriter Jimmy Barnes and Dan Andrews MP, premier of Victoria, formed part of the music company’s MG Day – a day-long celebration of Gudinski’s life and legacy.

“My family and I are humbled by this great tribute and recognition of my late father that acknowledges his contribution to the Australian music scene and the city of Melbourne and will stand as a permanent tribute to his legacy and importance to making the Australian music and entertainment landscape what it is today,” says Matt Gudinski.

The sculpture was created by Darien Pullen from local company Meridian Sculptures.

“To have a statue of Michael up here surrounded by the very venues that made Melbourne the home of everything to him seems perfect”

One of the best-known and most-loved figures in the concert business down under for five decades, Michael Gudinski died in his sleep at home in Melbourne last March aged 68.

The long-time ILMC member founded record label and music publisher Mushroom Group at the age of 20 in 1972. Mushroom went on to become Australia’s largest homegrown entertainment company, adding booking agency, merchandise, film/TV production and concert promotion services.

Frontier Touring, founded in 1979, remains Australia’s largest tour promoter, having worked with artists including Ed Sheeran, Kylie Minogue, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Paul McCartney and Foo Fighters. It merged with AEG Presents in 2019.

“To have a statue of Michael up here surrounded by the very venues that made Melbourne the home of everything to him seems perfect. From here he can hear the roar of the crowds from the MCG,” adds Barnes. “He can see and hear the punters leaving the Rod Laver Arena, or AAMI Park shouting about being at the best show they’ve ever seen. I think that would put a smile on his face. Especially if it was a Frontier show.”

Always Live, an initiative envisioned by the late Michael Gudinski to revitalise Victoria’s live music scene following the Covid shutdown, launched earlier this month.

 


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Mushroom, AEG unveil Frontier’s new leadership team

Australia and New Zealand’s leading concert promoter, Frontier Touring, has unveiled a new leadership structure for the company.

Frontier says that the new structure has been created to “ensure the legacy, mission, and culture of [the company] is preserved and nurtured” following the passing of its founder Michael Gudinski in March 2021.

The company’s new executive team will comprise four members of the current leadership team, all of whom are elevated to new roles within the company: Dion Brant as CEO, COO Susan Heymann, CMCO Reegan Stark, and CCO Andrew Spencer.

The executive team will report to the Frontier Touring Board, comprised of Jay Marciano (chairman and CEO, AEG Presents and COO, office of the chairman, AEG), Matt Gudinski (chairman and CEO, Mushroom Group) and Dion Brant (CEO, Frontier Touring).

In addition, Adam Wilkes moves to the role of chairman of the Frontier Board in conjunction with his position as president and CEO, AEG Presents Asia Pacific, which he has held since 2016.

“I know Dad’s legacy and the future of Frontier is in safe hands”

In 2019, Frontier (a subsidiary of Mushroom Group) entered into a strategic joint venture with AEG Presents.

Matt Gudinski says: “I couldn’t be happier announcing our new Frontier executive team. Mushroom Group is built on our great people, which is something we’ve always valued first and foremost.

“I’m thrilled that moving forward Frontier will be led by four incredibly dedicated, experienced, and strong leaders in Dion, Reegan, Susan, and Spence, working closely with myself, Adam, and the AEG Presents team.

“Frontier was founded on strong relationships, an artist-first approach and a never-ending passion for music and I know Dad’s legacy and the future of Frontier is in safe hands. There are exciting times ahead for the company.”

Marciano adds: “Michael Gudinski was a man of endless passion, energy, and creativity, with an innate sense for the business, and it was clear no one person could replace him. All of us who worked together on this new structure were bound by the same sense of duty: we’re committed to properly and thoroughly stewarding Michael’s vision for the future of Frontier.”

In the next 12 months, Frontier has shows planned with Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters, Billie Eilish, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, Justin Bieber, Midnight Oil, Paul Kelly, Tame Impala, Wallows, Courtney Barnett, Leon Bridges, Tyler, The Creator, The Killers, Robbie Williams, Lorde and more.

 


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Ed Sheeran announces Australia & NZ stadium tour

Ed Sheeran is returning to Australia and New Zealand for the first time in five years after announcing the latest leg of his + – = ÷ x (Mathematics) stadium tour.

Sheeran, who dedicated his track Visiting Hours to late Frontier Touring founder Michael Gudinski, will visit in early 2023, stopping off first in New Zealand for dates at Sky Stadium in Wellington (2 February) and Eden Park, Auckland (10 February).

The trek will then switch to Australia for nights at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane (17 February), Accor Stadium, Sydney (24 February), MCG Melbourne (2 March), the Oval in Adelaide (7 March) and Optus Stadium in Perth (12 March).

The announcement comes on the heels of Foo Fighters becoming the first major international music act to travel to Australia since the pandemic began. The US rock band performed a one-off concert at the GMHBA Stadium in Geelong, Victoria on 4 March to launch Always Live, an initiative envisioned by Gudinski to revitalise Victoria’s live music scene.

Sheeran sold more than one million tickets for his last tour of the region

Further gigs under the Always Live banner have since been announced including Nick Cave & Warren Ellis at Hanging Rock (25-26 November), Isaiah Firebrace at Girgarre Sound Shell, Echuca (4 December) and Tash Sultana at Ocean Sounds festival in Churchill Island (10 December).

Sheeran sold more than one million tickets for his last tour of the region in 2018, which formed part of his record-breaking ÷ (Divide) run from 2017-19. The global tour surpassed U2’s 360° as the highest-grossing ever, with a gross of US$776.2 million. It also set a new record for total attendance, at 8,796,567, according to Pollstar data.

The singer, who is represented by One Fiinix Live agent Jon Ollier outside North America, returns to the stage later this month, for a run of UK warm-up shows, playing intimate venues such as London’s 1,100-cap Electric Ballroom and the 600-cap Concorde 2 in Brighton. The Mathematics stadium tour will then kick off in Ireland at Dublin’s Croke Park on 23 April.

 


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Live Nation teams on new 1,800-cap Australia venue

Live Nation has teamed with Secret Sounds, Five Four Entertainment, and the team behind Brisbane’s Fortitude Music Hall and The Triffid venues to launch a new live music venue in Adelaide, Australia.

Set to open in August, the 1,800-capacity Hindley Street Music Hall will also include a separate street level nightclub and restaurant, and will act as a hub for domestic and international touring artists.

The AUS$6 million (€3.9m) project is a large-scale redevelopment of the previous HQ nightclub and will create at least 60 jobs.

Secret Sounds co-founder and co-CEO Paul Piticco says the soon to be announced official launch party will be “a celebration of South Australia’s finest musical acts, both past and present as the focal point of the night”.

“South Australia is the State of Art and I have long-admired the value that SA puts on culture and social infrastructure,” says Piticco. “Our plan is to build one of the best music halls right here on Hindley Street, and to also do our bit filling it with the greatest local and international talent.”

Secret Sounds is Australia’s largest festival promoter, organising events such as Splendour in the Grass, Falls Festival, Spin Off Festival and the new Harvest Rock Festival, and works on shows by with acts such as Mark Ronson, London Grammar, The Strokes, Gorillaz and Liam Gallagher.

“The venue will ensure the continued development of the city’s incredible live entertainment scene”

“I’m stoked to be bringing my experience and passion to a city I’ve always truly loved,” says venue director John Collins. “We’ve spent a lot of time on the design of the venue ensuring the relationship between the performer and the audience is the best it can be, and to create an incredibly intimate space where fans feel super close and connected to the artist. I want the Hindley St Music Hall to really contribute to Adelaide’s music culture and become an artist and fan-favourite for years to come.”

Live Nation already runs Australian venues including the Palais Theatre in Melbourne and Spark Arena in Auckland, and will assist the new site in attracting high calibre performers to South Australia.

“Hindley Street Music Hall will be a great new addition to our venues across Australia,” says Live Nation Asia Pacific president Roger Field. “The venue will ensure the continued development of the city’s incredible live entertainment scene and will attract amazing performances for local music fans to enjoy while also creating jobs for the local community.”

Five Four Entertainment, meanwhile, runs various large scale music festivals in South Australia, including Spin Off Festival and St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, and opened the 500-cap Lion Arts Factory in 2019.

“As a proud South Australian who has worked in the local music industry for more than 10 years, I am extremely excited to be part of this project,” says Five Four founder Craig Lock. “Having a venue of this size and quality will no doubt increase the calibre of artists willing to play in SA. Music fans should be really excited about this venue cementing Adelaide as part of global touring circuit.”

The venue is preparing to host confirmed artists including Honne and Pub Choir, with a slew of international and domestic acts yet to be announced.

 


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Foos confirm Oz/NZ tour after Always Live launch

Foo Fighters have confirmed a 2022 stadium tour of Australia and New Zealand after kicking off Always Live, an initiative envisioned by the late Michael Gudinski to revitalise Victoria’s live music scene.

Last Friday (4 March), the US band become the first international act to play a stadium show in Australia since the pandemic began, performing a sold-out, one-off concert to 30,000 fans at the GMHBA Stadium in Geelong, Victoria.

They have now announced their first headline tour of the region since 2018. Promoted by Frontier Touring, the rockers will visit Perth’s HBF Park (30 November), Aami Park, Melbourne (4 December), Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane (10 December), Accor Stadium, Sydney (12 December) in Australia.

They will then head to New Zealand for shows at Sky Stadium, Wellington (15 December) and Auckland’s Western Springs Stadium (17 December).

More events will be announced shortly for Always Live, a series of shows intended to bring music fans into Melbourne and regional Victoria and help to support local jobs and tourism businesses.

“Always Live was a passion project for my dad to ensure Victoria continued to be recognised as the music capital of Australia”

Gudinski, one of the best-known and most-loved figures in the concert business down under, passed away unexpectedly last year.

“Always Live was a passion project for my dad to ensure Victoria continued to be recognised as the music capital of Australia, and Melbourne as one of the leading music cities in the world,” said Gudinski’s son, Always Live chair Matt Gudinski.

“Dad worked tirelessly over many years to bring his vision and concept to life and to obtain the support of the Victorian government. The initiative has been in the works for a long time and has been impacted by Covid-19 leading to several postponements of its launch and delivery.

“I’m honoured to be part of now making it a reality at a time when the live music scene needs all the support it can get. The focus of this year’s instalment of Always Live is reinvigorating and reconnecting the state through the power of live music.”

Australia recently reopened its international border for the first time in nearly two years. The country imposed some of the world’s strictest travel bans after shutting itself off in March 2020 due to Covid.

 


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Gudinski’s ‘Always Live’ initiative set to launch

Always Live, an initiative envisioned by the late Michael Gudinski to revitalise Victoria’s live music scene, will launch with a concert from the Foo Fighters.

The US rock band will perform a one-off concert at the GMHBA Stadium in Geelong, Victoria, next Friday (4 March) with an audience of up to 25,000 fans.

The concert will see Foo Fighters become the first major international music act to travel to Australia since the pandemic began.

The show marks the launch of Always Live, a series of events intended to bring music fans into Melbourne and regional Victoria and help to support local jobs and tourism businesses.

Always Live chair and Michael Gudinski’s son, Matt Gudinski, says: “Always Live was a passion project for my dad to ensure Victoria continued to be recognised as the music capital of Australia, and Melbourne as one of the leading music cities in the world.”

“The focus of this year’s Always Live is reinvigorating and reconnecting the state through the power of live music”

“Dad worked tirelessly over many years to bring his vision and concept to life and to obtain the support of the Victorian government. The initiative has been in the works for a long time and has been impacted by Covid-19 leading to several postponements of its launch and delivery.

“I’m honoured to be part of now making it a reality at a time when the live music scene needs all the support it can get. The focus of this year’s instalment of Always Live is reinvigorating and reconnecting the state through the power of live music.”

Gudinski, one of the best-known and most-loved figures in the concert business down under, passed away unexpectedly last year.

An executive and promoter, Gudinski shaped the international careers of local music talent including Kylie Minogue and helped bring acts including The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and Ed Sheeran to Australia.

 


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Australia set for first int’l tour since pandemic

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is the latest act to be announced for Under the Southern Stars, Australia’s first concert series featuring international artists since the lockdown of March 2020.

Promoted by Andrew McManus’s One World Entertainment, Under the Southern Stars comprises 12 shows across Australia in March.

Joining Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is fellow American bands, Cheap Trick and Stone Temple Pilots, as well as British band Bush – all of which will act as rotating headliners across the tour. Other performers will include local acts Rose Tattoo and Electric Mary.

The tour, originally scheduled for March 2020, has been twice postponed due to coronavirus restrictions.

The promoter says it had to jump through “every regulatory hoop imaginable” before receiving the green light.

“UTSS2022 will without a doubt rock audiences to the core and give them what they’ve all craved since March 2020”

Australia recently reopened its international border for the first time in nearly two years. The country imposed some of the world’s strictest travel bans after shutting itself off in March 2020 due to Covid.

Under the Southern Stars is currently the only tour featuring international acts scheduled to take place in the coming months, after One World Entertainment was forced to postpone the Kiss ‘End of the Road’ tour until August/September 2022.

“To say we’re excited by finally being able to announce Black Rebel Motorcycle Club as a new addition and fourth high profile international rock band joining our already stellar line-up is an understatement!” says McManus.

Under the Southern Stars will without a doubt rock audiences to the core and give them what they’ve all craved since March 2020 – a line up that features the bands and the music they love – both Australian and international artists up in front of them in the flesh and playing their hits, live…it has been way too long!”

 


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