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Australia to host first arena concerts since March

TEG, Live Nation and the government of New South Wales (NSW) have announced plans for The Greatest Southern Nights, Australia’s first arena shows since the shutdown of the concert business in March.

Taking place as part of Great Summer Nights, the state-backed 1,000-show concert series running in NSW throughout this month, the Greatest Southern Nights shows will play to more than 12,000 fans at Qudos Bank Arena (21,000-cap.) over two nights in a seated, ‘Covid-safe’ setting.

Ocean Alley will headline the first gig, on Saturday 28 November, joined by Jack River, Ruby Fields and Jack Botts, with Bernard Fanning and Matt Corby, supported by Merci, Mercy, playing the second on Saturday 5 December. For each, co-promoters TEG Live and Live Nation will welcome more than 6,000 fans to the Sydney venue.

Geoff Jones, CEO of TEG and a key figure in the pan-industry Live Entertainment Industry Fund (LEIF), comments: “These shows are vital for our industry because they will show that we can stage big live concerts safely and that Australians cannot wait to get out and share great live entertainment experiences with their friends and family.

“We have seen the successful and safe return of large crowds to major live sport, and it is time for live music to make a return at scale at a world-class venue, Qudos Bank Arena, which we will operate in a reduced, Covid-safe capacity for these shows.”

Tickets for the Ocean Alley show cost A$91.60 (€56), while the Bernard Fanning-Matt Corby date is priced at $99.90 (€60). The shows go on sale at 10am local time Monday and Tuesday, respectively, via TEG’s Ticketek platform.

“After eight long months of zero arena shows, these concerts will see great musicians bring thousands of fans back together”

“After eight long months of zero arena shows, these concerts will see great musicians bring thousands of fans back together,” comments Roger Field, president of Live Nation Asia Pacific, who also serves on the LEIF executive committee. “Not only will these two wonderful nights of entertainment deliver significant employment but they are sure to inject a vital economic boost to our industry and the economy.”

The shows are supported by New South Wales’s tourism agency, Destination NSW. The state’s minister for jobs, investment, tourism and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres, says: “NSW has led Australia in reigniting the live music industry through Great Southern Nights, and now we are excited to announce these landmark concerts that will be the hottest tickets in the country.

“The NSW government is proud to be getting artists, roadies, venues, hospitality staff and tourism businesses back to work and we hope this heralds the safe return of major indoor arena events.”

Arena shows have already returned to neighbouring New Zealand, where Live Nation recently promoted a headline tour by local star Benee. At press time, Australia had just 12 new cases of coronavirus today (6 November), while NZ had one.

“I’m so happy to be part of the reopening of the live music scene in NSW,” adds Bernard Fanning. “It’s a great opportunity to get people safely together again, but just as importantly to give the music industry workers whose lives have been so upended by Covid a chance to get back to doing what they do best.”


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Green Music Australia calls for plastic-free July

Some of the biggest names in Australian music, including Paul Kelly, Killing Heidi and Powderfinger frontman Bernard Fanning, have pledged their support for Green Music Australia, which is campaigning for a phase-out of disposable plastic water bottles at venues and festivals.

As the Australian nonprofit gears up for Plastic Free July, an international campaign that urges people “to choose to refuse single-use plastic during July”, it is announcing 31 new Bring Your Own Bottle (#BYOBottle) artist ‘ambassadors’ who have committed to banning disposable plastic bottles at their shows, including asking for ‘green’ drinks riders free of plastic and encouraging the implementation of tap-water stations.

To become an ambassador, artists first need to copy the below text into their riders:

We travel with our own reusable water bottles in order to cut down on the unnecessary waste and environmental damage caused by disposable bottles. Please ensure that jugs or refilling stations with cold and room-temperature water are made available for us to use.We encourage you to consider phasing out disposable water bottles across your business and providing free water refilling stations to punters, staff and artists. Green Music Australia is happy to help: [email protected]

Other ambassadors include Missy Higgins, Ball Park Music and All Our Exes Live in Texas, reports Music Feeds.

Says Green Music Australia’s executive director, Tim Hollo: “It’s fantastic to see so many people getting behind this vision of a clean, green music scene. Throw-away bottles kill wildlife, contribute to global warming and leach toxins into our air and water. Let’s junk them and junk the throw-away culture with them.”

Other Green Music Australia campaigns include Amped Up, which provided assistance and advice to venues seeking to be more energy efficient, and Rock the Reef, an event which aimed to raise awareness of the need for protecting the Great Barrier Reef.


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