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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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Live Nation consolidates Asia-Pacific division

Live Nation has announced the appointment of a number of senior leadership roles intended to unify its Asia-Pacific division.

Roger Field, currently CEO of Live Nation Australia and New Zealand, has been named president of Live Nation Asia Pacific, with Mark Kneebone taking on the new role of managing director of Live Nation New Zealand and Kei Ikuta promoted to president of Live Nation Japan.

Paul Antonio, currently president of Asia and the Middle East, moves to the new role of chief operating officer of Live Nation EMEA, reporting to John Reid, president of Live Nation EMEA.

Field (pictured) joined the company in 2010 to set up Live Nation Australia alongside Luke Hede (currently vice-president of touring). Following Live Nation’s acquisition of Michael Coppel Presents in 2012, Field has led the growth of the Australian and New Zealand businesses, initially as COO and then CEO from 2017.

In his new role, Field will oversee all of Live Nation’s businesses across the Asia-Pacific region, reporting to Live Nation Asia Pacific chairman Alan Ridgeway. Michael Coppel will continue as chairman of Live Nation Australia.

Serving as co-head of promotions for Australia and New Zealand since 2018, Kneebone’s new role will see him oversee all Live Nation’s businesses in NZ, reporting to Field. Stuart Clumpas retires from his role as chairman of LN New Zealand, but will continue as a consultant for the company, as well as a shareholder in Spark Arena.

“The cohesion of a true Asian-Pacific organisation presents significant opportunities for growth”

In Japan, Kei Ikuta takes over from John Boyle, who had served as president since January 2018 and is now moving back to work with Live Nation in Los Angeles. Under Boyle’s leadership, Live Nation’s profile and scale has grown significantly, launching Download in 2019, being appointed international booker for new Tokyo Olympic venue Ariake Arena and growing the company’s show count and market share. Ikuta, who joined the company earlier this year from Japanese promoter Udo Artists, will report to Field.

Commenting on the new hires, Ridgeway says: “The appointment of these roles provides us with the opportunity to further align our Australian, New Zealand and Asian businesses.

“Roger comes to the role with an impressive record of success and is in a great position to lead our growth strategy as he leverages our resources across the whole region. I wish Roger, Mark and Kei all the best in their new roles in taking our businesses forward in this new era, and thank Paul, Stuart and John for their hard work and dedication in establishing our presence in Asia, New Zealand and Japan.”

“I want to thank Alan for giving me the opportunity to lead the talented teams across the division,” adds Field. “The cohesion of a true Asian-Pacific organisation presents significant opportunities for growth, not only for our business but for the professional development of our people and relationships.

‘New Zealand continues to prove itself as a market that leads the way in the return to live and Mark is a proven leader who has played a critical role in our overall success. This appointment further solidifies our commitment to NZ and will affirm the market as a significant player in the global live industry.”


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Australian biz unites for safe reopening strategy

The Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF), a new initiative that aims to to ensure fans can return safely to live events when restrictions on mass gatherings are lifted, has been formed by Australia’s biggest live entertainment companies.

LEIF’s mission is to “support the COVIDSafe reactivation of events with live audiences across Australia” when restrictions are eased in July, according to the body. (COVIDSafe is Australia’s coronavirus contact-tracing app.) “LEIF will put in place a comprehensive, flexible, all-of-industry reopening and risk-management strategy that meets the needs of the public, governments, sporting bodies, venues, performers and industry, with safety at its core.”

LEIF comprises all major Australian live businesses, including promoters Live Nation, TEG, Frontier Touring, Chugg Entertainment and AEG; agency WME; venues Melbourne Cricket Ground, Sydney Cricket Ground, Marvel Stadium, Melbourne Olympic Parks and Adelaide Oval; venue operators ASM Global, Venues West and Venues Live; musical producer Michael Cassel Group; and associations Live Performance Australia, Venue Management Association and Australian Festivals Association.

Led by an executive committee headed by former Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland, the forum says will work in conjunction with governments, sporting bodies, venues and audiences to “build confidence in the industry’s preparedness to operate safely, flexibly and sustainably and explore how industry can be supported by governments during its gradual return”.

“I am proud that we stand united to work together”

LEIF will develop measures regarding cleaning and sanitisation, crowd management, physical distancing plans, health monitoring and contact tracing, with the objective of restarting an industry responsible for more than 175,000 Australian jobs. The objective is to safely restart an industry which supports over 175,000 Australian jobs and feeds other sectors hit hard by COVID-19 such as tourism, transport and hospitality.

“This pandemic has brought our industry to a complete standstill. The thousands of cancelled sporting events, concerts, festivals, theatre, family and comedy shows, and all the associated revenues related to them, can never be replaced,” comments Sutherland.

“Our industry was the first to close during Covid-19 and it will be one of the last to fully reopen. The cultural, creative and sports industries supports the livelihoods of around 175,000 Australians, many of whom are casual or part time. The industry also contributes an estimated $150 billion to the Australian economy. Our live events have a huge economic flow on effect: we support jobs in airlines and other transport companies, hotels, pubs, restaurants and retail establishments of all sizes all over Australia.

“We need a clear roadmap to get our industry back to work, while playing a bigger role in the post-Covid-19 economic recovery of our nation. We are committed to working with all states and territories, especially with their chief medical and health officers. We will develop COVIDSafe best practices and a world-leading response to revive our industry, get people back to work and bring fans back together throughout Australia through the unbeatable power of live events.”

“We must put aside our natural competitive instincts so we can all bring large-scale live events back to the Australian people”

“Our industry has to work together at this challenging time. We must put aside our natural competitive instincts so we can all bring large-scale live events back to the Australian people safely,” says Geoff Jones, CEO of TEG. “We want to work closely with the federal, state and territory governments to create solutions that get our industry up and running again and help get the many thousands of people who support our industry back to work. We want to bring fans back and jobs back, safely.”

Roger Field, CEO of Live Nation Australasia – who also serves on the executive committee alongside Sutherland and Jones – adds: “Live events and mass gatherings are not solely for recreational purposes – they play a crucial part in the fabric of Australian life.

“Just as sport plays an important role in promoting healthy behaviours, so too do music and the performing arts. The positive impact culture brings to society is not only seen both psychologically and in social wellbeing, but in the fact that the live events industry contributes hundreds of thousands of jobs, which flows on and effects the whole economy.

“I am proud that we stand united to work together to make the return to events a reality and for the people of Australia to enjoy the power of live once again.”


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65k tickets sold in under 5 hours for TEG benefit

All general admission tickets for TEG Dainty and TEG Live’s upcoming bushfire benefit concert have sold out, as the promoters record an “overwhelming demand” for the Queen- and Alice Cooper-fronted event.

According to a statement from organisers, over 65,000 tickets had been sold for Fire Fight Australia, a nine-hour concert raising funds to provide relief from the Australian wildfires, within five hours of release.

The promoters state they are now working together with Sydney’s 83,500-capacity ANZ Stadium, where the event is taking place from 1 p.m. on Sunday 16 February, to push sales over the 70,000 mark.

All profits from concert ticket will be donated to rural and regional fire services, the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery programme and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Bushfire Appeal.

Queen and Adam Lambert, Alice Cooper, Olivia Newton-John, Peking Duk, John Farnham and Hilltop Hoods are among acts performing at the event

Queen and Adam Lambert, who are performing a sold-out show at the stadium the previous night, will appear alongside Alice Cooper, Olivia Newton-John, Peking Duk, John Farnham and Hilltop Hoods at the event, which is hosted by Australian comedian Celeste Barber, the initiator of a AU$50 million (US$34.5m) Facebook fundraising drive for bushfire relief.

Fire Fight Australia is one of a number of benefit concerts taking place in Australia in aid of bushfire relief. Details of Sound Relief 2020, a concert organised by leading Australian promoters Chugg Entertainment, Frontier Touring, Live Nation Australia, Secret Sounds and IMC Music HQ, will be released soon.

Live Nation’s Australian businesses – Live Nation Australia and New Zealand, Secret Sounds, Ticketmaster Australia and Moshtix – today (13 January) pledged $500,000 to bushfire relief.

A limited number of tickets for the TEG event are still available via the Ticketek website. Tickets are priced at AU$70 ($48), $85 ($59) and $100 ($69). Fans can make an additional donation to bushfire relief here.


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Australian live community rallies for wildfire relief

The live music community is showing its support for those affected by the Australian bushfires, as a multitude of benefit concerts crop up around the country and major artists pledge money to bushfire relief.

According to Australia’s Rural Fire Service, more than 8 million hectares of land has been burned since the bushfires began in September, with over half of the damage occurring in New South Wales alone.

A number of high-profile artists, as well as members of the wider entertainment world, have donated money to fire services in the country, including a US$1 million pledge by Elton John, A$750,000 (US$514,534) from Metallica, US$500,000 from Pink, A$500,000 (US$342,568) from Kylie Minogue and US$100,000 from Australian DJ Flume.

Many artists are also taking to the stage in order to do their bit for bushfire relief, as a growing number of benefit concerts pop up across Australia. Here, IQ provides a round up some of the biggest charity events…


Sound Relief

When: TBA
Where: TBA

First staged in 2009 in aid of the Victorian bushfires and Queensland floods, the Sound Relief benefit is returning to Melbourne and Sydney this year in response to the current wildfire crisis.

“In response to the devastating bushfires currently sweeping across the country, the Australian Music Community will band together once again under the unified banner of Sound Relief 2020,” reads a post on the Sound Relief Facebook page.

A collaborative music industry effort, a number of promoters including Frontier Touring, Chugg Entertainment, Live Nation Australia and New Zealand, IMC Music HQ and Secret Sounds will be involved in organising the event.

Artists including Coldplay, Taylor Swift and Kings of Leon performed at the 2009 event. Details about the line-up, locations and date of this year’s benefit will be released in due course.

“The Australian Music Community will band together once again under the unified banner of Sound Relief 2020”

Fire Fight Australia

When: Sunday 16 February
Where: ANZ Stadium, Sydney, NSW

As previously reported in IQ, Australasian powerhouse promoters TEG Dainty and TEG Live are hosting a charity concert at the 83,500-capacity ANZ Stadium. The promoters promise a “major musical event” featuring “globally renowned artists”.

The line-up has yet to be announced for the event, although speculation – to be taken, as ever, with a pinch of salt – are circulating as to whether Queen and Adam Lambert will top the bill, given they are playing a TEG-promoted show at the stadium the day before.

More information about the event will become available here in the coming weeks.

The promoters promise a “major musical event” featuring “globally renowned artists”

Out of Bounds

When: Saturday 18 January
Where: Campbelltown Athletics Centre, Sydney, NSW

Leading Australian promoter Frontier Touring, together with fellow Mushroom Group company I Oh You, is offering discounted Fire Relief tickets to the inaugural Out of Bounds festival.

The event, which will take place across two stages at the 8,000-capacity athletics centre, will feature performances from Australian hip-hop artist Illy, local alternative-rock band the Rubens and Brisbane singer and rapper Mallrat.

In response to the bushfire crisis, festival organisers introduced a special ticket offer, with AUD$10 ($7) of a new $69 ($47) ticket going directly to the Red Cross Bushfire Emergency Appeal.

Fire Relief tickets for the festival are available here.

“Our hearts go out to the families who have lost loved ones and the communities across Australia suffering”

Down to Earth

When: Wednesday 26 February
Where: Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne, Victoria

Promoted by Handsome Tours in conjunction with Mirror Music Group, Lemon Tree Music, Arts Centre Melbourne and OneMusic Australia, Down to Earth is raising funds for the Australian Red Cross and the NSW Wildlife Information Rescue and Emergency Service (Wires), as well as other organisations focusing on long term solutions to the bushfire emergency.

Australian acts Angus and Julia Stone, Briggs, Gangs of Youths, Jack River, Ruby Fields and Tash Sultana will perform at the event, which will be held at the 10,000-capacity Sidney Myer Music Bowl.

“Collectively, our hearts go out to the families who have lost loved ones, the firies who have put their lives on the line and continue to, and the communities across Australia suffering,” reads a collective statement from artists.

“We hope to give you the greatest thing we can in this time of great need – our voices and our songs.”

Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. on Thursday 10 a.m. (AEDT) January local time, available here.

“We hope that throwing this Raise ‘Em Up show provides people another way to support their [the charities’] critical work”

Raise ‘Em Up

When: Saturday 25 January
Where: The Tivoli, Brisbane, Queensland

The Tivoli, a 1,600-capacity music venue and theatre in Brisbane, will host artists including Megan Washington, Matt Corby and the Kit String Triangle in an effort to raise AUD$100,000 ($68,568) for bushfire relief.

Dave Sleswick, co-owner and creative director of the venue says all ticket, bar and merchandise profits from the evening will be shared between the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal and Wires.

“Both Wires and the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal are hugely worthy causes and we hope that throwing this Raise ‘Em Up show provides people another way to support their critical work,” comments Sleswick.

Tickets go on sale on 9 January at 9 a.m. (AEST), available here.

“A gig like this is the least we can do for all the communities that have suffered and fought these fires”

Fire Aid

When: Friday 31 January
Where: Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth, Western Australia

Artists from Western Australia are banding together in solidarity with the worse-affected eastern part of the country. John Butler Trio, the Waifs, San Cisco and Stella Donnelly are performing at the 400-capacity Freemantle Arts Centre in Perth to raise money for the NSW Rural Fire Service, the Victorian Bushfire Appeal and Wires.

“A gig like this is the least we can do for all the communities that have suffered and fought these fires,” comments John Butler. “Our hearts and prayers go out to all those that have fallen victim to this national disaster and hopefully gigs like this can make even smallest of meaningful difference.”

Tickets go on sale on Thursday 9 January at 9 a.m. (AWST). Tickets cost AUD$96.90 ($67), with a live recording of the event available for AUD$20 ($14).

“As much as raising funds, this FireAid2020 concert is about community spirit”


When: Friday 24 January
Where: Bong Bong Picnic Racecourse, Bowral, NSW

John Waters, Daryl Braithwaite, Leo Sayer and Megan Washington are among artists performing at a similarly named event in New South Wales, which will be hosted by Australian television presenter and actress Julia Zemiro.

“All of us want to do something; but I realised I had the power of public recognition and that I had a lot of friends in the music and entertainment industry with a lot more of that power than me, and the idea of FireAid2020 ‘The Concert’ was born,” says Waters in a statement.

“As much as raising funds, this FireAid2020 concert is about community spirit; about unconditional love for each other; about fire-in-the-belly action. Rock On Australia!”

Tickets for FireAid2020 are available here for AUD$65 ($45).

“There has been a lot of devastation in Australia lately that is very saddening to witness”

Tones and I Bushfire Benefit Concert

When: Tuesday 28 January
Where: 170 Russell, Melbourne, Victoria

As reported by IQ yesterday, Australian singer Tones and I will be performing a charity concert at the 1,050-capacity 170 Russell in Melbourne, with proceeds going to the Australian Red Cross, Country Fire Authority and the NSW Rural Fire Service.

Tones and I, real name Toni Watson, will be supported by Adelaide singer Adrian Eagle, with more acts yet to be announced.

“There has been a lot of devastation in Australia lately that is very saddening to witness,” the singer, who calls recent events in the country “apocalyptic”, writes in an Instagram post. “We are in this together.”

Tickets for the concert, which went on sale yesterday, have now sold out. Fans can make a charity donation here.

Photo: J.E.T. 603/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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NSW music festival regulations rejected

The New South Wales (NSW) Legislative Council has rejected regulations put forward by the NSW Government that imposed stricter licensing laws on music festivals.

The rejection means that festivals formerly placed in the government’s ‘higher risk’ category, and were most affected by the regulations, can revert back to their previous licensing laws.

NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian implemented the regulations, which placed more responsibility on festival organisers to ensure the safety of patrons and incurred many additional licensing and security costs, following a string of drug-related deaths at music festivals in the region.

The regulations were criticised by industry bodies including the Australian Music Festivals Association, Live Performance Australia, Apra Amcos and Music NSW, as well as leading industry figures such as Byron Bluesfest founder Peter Noble and Live Nation Australia chairman Michael Coppel.

“The government can now sit down with the industry for some constructive consultation on ways to improve patron safety at music festivals, including steps to reduce drug-related harm,” comments Evelyn Richardson, chief executive of Live Performance Australia.

“From the outset, we have repeatedly expressed our strong desire to work collaboratively with government on our shared commitment to safer festivals.

“Genuine collaboration with industry representatives who have decades of experience in running safe and successful festivals is the best way to promote the safety of festival patrons, while also ensuring NSW continues to enjoy the economic and cultural benefits from a dynamic and diverse music festival industry.”

“The government can now sit down with the industry for some constructive consultation on ways to improve patron safety at music festivals”

The government now has two months to propose a new set of regulations. Representatives from the Australian Labor party stated that they would support a regime that did not publish an ‘extreme risk’ list of festivals, that followed existing NSW Health guidelines for festival organisers and that ensured all medical providers at festivals are registered.

Politicians also urged the ‘immediate establishment’ of a regulatory roundtable, at which live music industry associations could consult with local councils.

“The opposition does not move to disallow these regulations lightly, but we simply believe that these regulations do not do the job as required to regulate music festivals and to keep kids safe across NSW,” stated shadow minister for roads, music and the night-time economy John Graham, speaking at the debate.

The minister also commented that no politicians met with the festivals at the time of implementing the regulations and that “no consultative body existed, or exists today”, adding that there is “no other industry that government would work with in that way.”

According to Labor minister Penny Sharpe, the “impact on venues and festivals” was not “accounted for” in the regulations. The minster urged the government to learn from its mistakes, referencing the recently scrapped Sydney lock-out laws.

As well as Byron Bay Bluesfest, other NSW festivals include Defqon.1, Days Like This, Transmission, Electric Gardens and Rolling Loud.


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Australia’s new Festival X to debut this year

Festival X, the new Australian touring festival co-founded by Richie McNeill’s Hardware, ex-Stereosonic promoter Onelove and Live Nation Australasia, is set to launch in three cities this November.

The festival, announced last August but ultimately postponed until 2019, fills a slot left in the Australian festival calendar by dance music event Stereosonic, co-founded by McNeill and Onelove’s Frank Cotela, which at its peak could shift nearly 300,000 tickets across five shows.

In its first year, Festival X will visit open-air venues in Brisbane (RNA Showgrounds, 29 November), Sydney (Sydney Showgrounds, 30 November) and Melbourne (Melbourne Showgrounds, 1 December), “showcasing the best artists from across the world and within Australia to fans right across the Eastern seaboard”.

Headliners are Calvin Harris, Armin van Buuren and Lil Pump, with other performers including Steve Aoki, Blueface and Alison Wonderland.

Hardware Corp founder McNeill comments: “As they say, good things come to those who wait. We’re super excited to be working with Onelove again and the Live Nation team to put together an incredible mix of music in the electronic, pop and urban realms. There are so many amazing artists right now and some amazing creatives we have been working with.

“Something very special is happening here and we’re super-excited about it.”

Adds Cotela: “As we kick off the summer festival season in Australia once more, we hope to create an event that showcases entertainment on the scale we’re known internationally for, with massive artists, epic event production and a focus firmly on fun.

“We’re super excited to be working with Onelove again and the Live Nation team”

“Australia’s most successful electronic music promoters teaming up with the world’s largest touring company can only mean a great day for everyone. Festival X is looking ‘xtra-large’ and we can’t wait.”

Festival X represents McNeill and Cotela’s first collaboration with a major multinational since Totem Onelove Group, owned by the now-defunct SFX Entertainment, was placed into bankruptcy in May 2016. At the time, Onelove was owed US$10.7 million by SFX.

Stereosonic was effectively axed in 2015, after the 2016 edition of the festival was put on indefinite hiatus following SFX’s bankruptcy.

The new festival is organised by Onelove Music Group, a separate entity not connected with SFX.

Formed as a collaboration between industry leaders and teams behind some of Australia’s leading festivals,

Roger Field, CEO of Live Nation Australasia, says: “Festival X is set to wow Australian fans with the best local and international talent, while showcasing a new and exciting festival experience. X is the ultimate pre-summer party fans have been waiting for and deserve. Australia, get ready…”


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LN launches accessibility initiative in Australasia

Live Nation and Ticketmaster have partnered with Get Skilled Access, a consultancy co-founded by three-time Paralympic gold medallist Dylan Alcott, to improve accessibility across its venues and companies in Australia and Zealand.

The partnership also aims to bring together the wider Australasian industry to “create a more inclusive and accessible experience for fans with disabilities”, according to Live Nation. It has already seen Get Skilled Access provide accessibility training to 150 Live Nation employees in Australia and New Zealand, as well as consult on accessibility for Live Nation’s stadium tours, including the upcoming U2 Joshua Tree 2019 tour.

Ticketmaster, meanwhile, is testing an enhanced online booking experience on its website and app to give disabled customers more flexibility and choice of tickets.

In a joint statement, Roger Field, CEO of Live Nation Australasia, and Maria O’Connor, managing director of Ticketmaster Australia and New Zealand, say: “Every fan has the right to equal access of live entertainment. We’re delighted to be working closely with Dylan Alcott and Get Skilled Access to make sure that real change happens. It is essential that the industry comes together to achieve this, and now is the time for us all to find solutions.”

“It’s Get Skilled Access’s and my mission to help people understand disability by driving organisations to be more inclusive,” comments Alcott. “With my passions being sport and music, it’s a game-changer to work with Live Nation and Ticketmaster to make live more accessible and inclusive for all.

“now is the time for us all to find solutions”

“If we can start by getting more fans with accessibility needs to events, not only we will change people’s lives through the power of live, but we will improve the industry overall.”

The partnership kicked off with a joint address by Alcott and his Get Skilled Access co-founder, Nick Morris, to 400 venue industry professionals at the recent Venue Management Association Asia-Pacific Congress.

“Thanks to Live Nation and Ticketmaster, the tools and safe conversation that was presented to us in that one hour was the most beneficial conversation I have had at a conference in years,” says Bernie Haldane, deputy director and head of programming and presenter services at Auckland Live.

In the UK, Live Nation and Ticketmaster are members of the Ticketing Without Barriers Coalition, which aims to improve the ticket-buying experience for disabled and deaf audiences.


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LN Australasia appoints new brand partnership president

Live Nation has announced the appointment of Greg Segal to president of brand and partnerships for Australia and New Zealand.

Segal takes on the newly created position after serving as managing director of Sydney agency mixitup, which he founded in 2006.

Since Live Nation acquired a majority stake in mixitup in 2013, Segal has been responsible for the creation and leadership of the current brand partner programme, forming partnerships with Optus, Amex Air New Zealand, Spark NZ, Virgin Australia and more.

“Since we originally partnered with Greg in 2013, he has developed world-class brand partnerships for the Australian and New Zealand markets,” says Alan Ridgeway, chairman of Live Nation Asia Pacific. “We welcome working more closely with Greg to build on both existing and new brand partnerships in his new role with Live Nation.”

Russell Wallach, LiveNation’s global president of sponsorship and media, adds: “Greg has a proven track record of creating ground-breaking brand partnerships and this opportunity will see him leading a team of specialists in Australia and New Zealand to craft end-to-end solutions for leading brands in music and entertainment.”

“Greg [Segal] has a proven track record of creating ground-breaking brand partnerships”

Segal, who will be based in Sydney and report to Ridgeway and Wallach, says, “Over the last few years we have built a great team and a fantastic group of brand partners. I am excited to be able to continue to work with the team to deliver unforgettable live experiences to music fans across Australia and New Zealand”.

2018 was a record year for Live Nation Australia with high-profile tours including Pink, Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and Shania Twain. This year brings Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Fleetwood Mac, Maroon 5, Metallica, Childish Gambino and Post Malone and more to the country.

Live Nation, the world’s largest concert promoter, has had a presence in Australia since 2012, when it acquired Michael Coppel Presents (MCP). MCP was later rebranded Live Nation Australia with Coppel as chief executive (he became chairman in March 2017, handing over the CEO reins to Roger Field).

Once mainly ran by independents, the touring landscape in Australia recently lost its last major indie promoter, as Michael Gudinski’s Frontier Touring joined forced with global concert conglomerate AEG Presents. Gudinski had merged with fellow Australian promoter Michael Chugg’s Chugg Entertainment in April.

Another leading independent promoter down under, Paul Dainty of the Dainty Group, sold his business to TEG, the parent company of leading ticketing platform Ticketek, in 2016.


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FastForward returns to Sydney for 2019 conference

FastForward Sydney is returning for its second edition this year, as the forward-looking music industry conference explores topics including the power of live music, eco-friendly touring and the future of music festivals.

The second outing of FastForward Sydney takes place from Thursday 11 to Friday 12 April in the Aerial UTS Function Centre at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

The Sydney edition is the third leg of the FastForward conference series. Media Insight Consulting chief executive Chris Carey founded the flagship Amsterdam event in 2016, adding a London-based conference in 2017, before expanding into the Australasian market last year.

The conference consists of a series of keynotes, panel discussions, mini-keynote presentations and networking opportunities.

Keynote talks this year come from Heidi Lenffer of Australian alternative rock group Cloud Control, who will discuss solutions for greener touring, and Genevieve O’Neil of In Chorus, who will present ideas on how to accelerate the process towards diversity and inclusion in the music industry.

The Sydney edition is the third leg of the FastForward conference series

Australian singer-songwriter Emma Donovan will also appear in a keynote talk, joining journalist Rod Yates in conversation.

Mini-keynote sessions include Live Nation Australasia’s Michelle Lucia, who will present on the power of the live industry for artists, brands and fans, and Rachel Maria Cox of Australian promotions and events agency Sad Grrrls Club, who will speak about their experience running a gender diverse agency and record label.

Panels include ‘Are Niches the Future of Music Festivals’ and ‘Key Trends in the Global Music Industry’. A discussion on how the music industry may influence government policy features representatives from Music New South Wales, Australian music rights organisation APRA AMCOS and the New South Wales shadow minister for music, John Graham.

Last minute conference tickets are available on the FastForward Sydney website for AU$285.


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