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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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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 ‘Music From The Home Front’ returns

Frontier Touring has announced the second edition of Music from the Home Front, a special Anzac Day concert spearheaded by the late Australian industry icon, Michael Gudinski.

The second instalment will take place at Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne on Saturday 24 April, the eve of the national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand.

The Kid Laroi, Jimmy Barnes, Dean Lewis, Amy Shark, Tina Arena, Vance Joy, Lime Cordiale, Tash Sultana and You Am I are slated to perform.

Music from the Home Front was conceived by Gudinski, the late Barnes and Frontier Touring/Mushroom Group founder, to pay tribute to both the service people who were involved in the Gallipoli campaign (1915–16) of the First World War, as well as those who were “fighting on the Covid-19 front line”.

The inaugural Music from the Home Front was watched by over 1.4 million viewers on Anzac Day 2020.

“Music From The Home Front is a project [Michael Gudinski] was immensely proud of in 2020”

Matt Gudinski, the son of Michael and the newly elected CEO of Mushroom Group, told Billboard: “It’s incredibly fitting that Music From The Home Front, a project he was immensely proud of in 2020, was one of the events he was working on right up until his last day.

“That we can bring to life a broadcast concert version from his hometown of Melbourne, supporting the industry he loved, in a city he long promoted as the leading music capital of Australia, resonates deeply with all of us at Mushroom.”

Michael Gudinski passed away suddenly on 2 March 2021 at the age of 68.

Similar to last year, the concert will be broadcast live on television on Nine/9Now and on YouTube at 7:30 pm AEST. This year’s event is presented in partnership with the Victorian government.

Tickets for the Melbourne concert go on sale this Friday (16 April). For more information visit musicfromthehomefront.com.au and frontiertouring.com/homefront.

 


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Matt Gudinski named new Mushroom Group CEO

Australia’s Mushroom Group has appointed Matt Gudinski as its new CEO, effective immediately.

Gudinski, who most recently held the role of executive director, moves into the position following the sudden passing of his father, Frontier Touring/Mushroom Group founder Michael Gudinski, on 2 March.

Gudinski joined Mushroom Group in 2003, aged 17, and named as Michael’s successor ten years later, with the two working side by side at the helm of Mushroom – which, in addition to touring, includes record labels and artist services, publishing, merchandising, booking agencies, film and television production, talent management, venues, creative services and a brand agency – since then.

“This isn’t a role that I expected to assume yet, but I am determined to honour the great legacy my father left”

Frontier Touring, founded in 1979, seven years after Mushroom Group, 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.

“This isn’t a role that I expected to assume yet, but I am determined to honour the great legacy my father left,” says Gudinski.

“Mushroom Group is in its strongest position ever, and as we fast approach our 50th year I know that our incredibly talented Mushroom family will help me deliver the vision Dad and I had for the next 50 years of our business.”

 


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