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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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Michael Gudinski to receive state funeral

Victoria, the home state of Michael Gudinski, will hold a state funeral for the late promoter, its premier has announced.

Gudinski, the Frontier Touring founder known as the ‘father of the Australian music industry’, passed away suddenly on Monday (1 March). Bruce Springsteen, Kyle Minogue, Live Nation, TEG and his longtime friend and business partner, Michael Chugg, were among those to pay tribute.

Daniel Andrews, premier of Victoria, told press yesterday Gudinski’s widow, Sue, had agreed to a state funeral for her late husband.

“I think we will be able to come together in an iconic venue and celebrate his life”

“I went and saw Sue last night and offered her and the family a state funeral for an amazing Victorian,” he told local media. Gudinski was born and raised in Caulfield, a suburb of state capital Melbourne.

The funeral, said Andrews, “will be a celebration of his life”, with the details finalised in the coming days.

“It’s got to be Covid-safe, of course,” he added, “but I think we will be able to come together in an iconic venue and celebrate his life and the mark that he made and the legacy he leaves.”

 


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“An extraordinary legacy”: Michael Gudinski passes aged 68

Frontier Touring founder Michael Gudinski, for five decades one of the best-known and most-loved figures in the concert business down under, has passed away. He was 68.

The sudden passing of Gudinski – who died in his sleep at his home in Melbourne last night (1 March) – sent a shockwave through the industry in Australia and beyond, with colleagues, artists, business rivals and parliamentarians sending their condolences and appreciation for a man Jimmy Barnes describes as “the heart of Australian music”.

Born Vale Michael Solomon Gudinski to Russian-Jewish parents in 1952, Gudinski 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.

In addition to touring some of the world’s leading artists and releasing, via the Mushroom Group labels, some of Australia’s favourite albums, Gudinski – a long-time ILMC member and frequent contributor to IQ – recently won praise for his assistance to the industry during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement, Mushroom Group says, “with the music industry severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Michael conceptualised and developed Music from the Home Front, The Sound and the State of Music, platforms designed to showcase and support contemporary Australian music in an incredibly difficult time. It speaks to the man he was that of his countless illustrious career achievements these projects, that supported the industry he loved, were ones he was particularly proud of.

“I’ve toured the world for the last 50 years and never met a better promoter”

Frontier is also part of the pan-industry Live Entertainment Industry Forum, which has worked with government to get Australia back to live music safely.

Frontier Touring co-founder Michael Chugg, whose on-and-off business relationship with Gudinski culminated in his rejoining Mushroom Group in 2019, describes the passing of his friend as “shattering”.

“I spoke to him at 9 o’clock last night – we were giving each other a hard time over making sure the [Chugg music artist] Sheppard album got to number one this week,” he tells Sydney radio station 2GB. “It’s just so shocking; I got the call early this morning. […] I first met him when he was a 16-year-old sitting at a desk at an agency in Melbourne, and we were friends, buddies and opponents ever since.

“It’s just one of the worst days of my life.”

Barnes, who performed at Music from the Home Front, is among the artists to pay tribute to Gudinski’s achievements. “He was there for everyone that needed him,” he says. “The music business turned, grew and moved forward in Australia because of Michael. He was a force of nature, a giant of a man. His boundless enthusiasm breathed life into our music scene.”

“My friend Michael Gudinski was first, last and always a music man,” wrote another, Bruce Springsteen, on social media. “I’ve toured the world for the last 50 years and never met a better promoter.

“The music business turned, grew and moved forward in Australia because of Michael”

“Michael always spoke with a deep rumbling voice, and the words would spill out so fast that half the time I needed an interpreter. But I could hear him clear as a bell when he would say, ‘Bruce, I’ve got you covered’. And he always did. He was loud, always in motion, intentionally (and unintentionally) hilarious and deeply soulful.

“He will be remembered by artists, including this one, from all over the world every time they step foot on Australian soil. My deepest condolences to his wife and partner Sue, and to the whole Gudinski family, of which he was so proud.”

Gudinski, added Minogue, was “one of a kind and forever family to me. My heart is broken and I can’t believe he’s gone. Irreplaceable and unforgettable, I’ll always love you, ‘the Big G’.”

Rival promoters also sent their condolences: TEG extended its “deepest sympathies to the Gudinski family at this very difficult time, as well as to everyone at Mushroom and Frontier Touring”. “Michael was a larger-than-life character whose legacy in Australian music is undeniable,” the Sydney-based company adds.

Live Nation Australia said Gudinski leaves an “extraordinary legacy” in live music:

“When he started in show business in his teens, Australian music was a cottage industry. He was instrumental in turning it into a powerhouse”

“I’m not sure we ever agreed on anything, except maybe Ed Sheeran,” tweeted actor and musician Russell Crowe. “It still didn’t stop us from being mates for 30 years. I’m going to miss him deeply.”

Gudinski is survived by his wife Sue, his son Matt and Matt’s partner Cara, and his daughter Kate, her husband Andrew and their children, Nina-Rose and Lulu, as well as the extended “Mushroom family”.

“You simply cannot tell the story of Australian music without Michael Gudinski squarely in the centre of it,” says Tony Burke MP, Australia’s shadow minister for the arts. “For nearly 50 years, he was a passionate and relentless advocate for the local music industry and the artists that make it great.

“When he started in show business in his teens, Australian music was a cottage industry. He was instrumental in turning it into a powerhouse, earning him the title ‘the father of the Australian music industry’.

“From Mushroom Records to Frontier Touring, he was a brilliant, pioneering businessman – but he never lost his passion for the music itself.”

 


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Michael Chugg: “We’re all saying let’s look at 2022”

IQ editor Gordon Masson sits down for a Zoom chat with veteran Australian promoter Michael Chugg to discuss his decision to branch out into recorded music, the return of international touring, the domestic situation in Australia and, of course, the long-term impact of Covid…

IQ: What’s been keeping you busy during the last few months?
MC: The label and management side of my business is doing very well. We’re having lots of success with the albums and doing a lot of streaming events – we’ve done about 80 or 90 streaming events with our acts now. Lime Cordiale just had a No.1 album and eight nominations for the ARIA Awards; Sheppard have just played the Aussie Rules grand final in Brisbane last weekend, which was very exciting. I’ve also been helping Gudinski with a lot of his streaming shows, as well as series two of The Sound, which is a rock and music television show that he is involved with and got onto ABC – that starts again next week and I’ve been helping him with that.

We’re about to sign a big deal with a young artist called Mia Rodriguez, who is definitely worth checking out on YouTube. Chugg Entertainment is now part of the Mushroom empire, which I could not have done at a better time really. But Chugg Music is my own thing. I’ve always been involved with Australian music, but I started Chugg Music eight years ago with Sheppard and with Lime Cordiale, and it’s just built from there. My partner in it is Andrew Stone and I’ve got a team of people who work on it. And at least it’s given me something to focus on or I’d be going fucking stir crazy without it.

“Chugg Music has given me something to focus on…I’d be going fucking stir crazy without it”

You opened a Chugg Music office in Bangkok earlier this month. Would that have been possible had you still been full on with promoting concerts this year?
I’ve been dabbling in Asia since around 89 when I did a gig with Bon Jovi. But not having any live touring, I’ve had a lot of time to look at things and then a friend of mine who had been running a music business in Bangkok for BEC-TERO rang me up one day to say he was out of a gig, so I asked him if he could do some work there for me because Sheppard have had a couple of hits up there.

So he started to work on it and then started to see what else we were doing – getting enquiries from Japan about Lime Cordiale stuff, for instance. So after five months we could see there was a business and we decided to open up properly with a Chugg Music office. Gudinski and I have both tried over the years to do things in Asia – we’ve both done quite a few shows up there – we had Laneway [festival] in Singapore for a few years, for instance – and it’s not the easiest market. But there has been a lot of interest recently in the Australian acts, through streaming and things like that, so why not give it a go?

It looks like international touring could be a bit stagnant, to say the least…
Yeah, well ten days ago I got a call from Canberra, from one of the advisors there, and they told us that the borders will not open until 2022. That’s in general – the mainstream – but they’re still trying to do the tennis in January. There won’t be any audiences though.

The Melbourne Cup, on 3 November, our big horse race, won’t have any crowds. But for the tennis in January, they are going to start letting people into the country – and the Indian cricket team is coming in a few weeks’ time. They will be playing cricket and nobody will be there, except maybe in Brisbane and Adelaide, where they’re starting to have limited audiences. There were 30,000 people at the Aussie Rules grand final in Brisbane, but now it’s gone back to 5,000 people for anything else.

I can’t see any touring here until 2022. A friend of mine who works for the premier of New South Wales also told me that’s what they’re talking about.

“When it all comes back and we get to a decent level, there should be quite a bit of Australian touring”

While that remains the situation, is this the greatest opportunity you might have to develop domestic talent?
It’s definitely a good time. Domestic talent here develops anyway, but obviously we’re looking to see what we can do with the acts we can work with. However, it’s also harmed the local acts. If we had not gone into lockdown, Lime Cordiale would be playing 10,000-capacity arenas right now. When it all comes back and we get to a decent level, there should be quite a bit of Australian touring.

We could do a tour now and go play to 30%-capped theatres and things like that, or go play small outdoor shows, but you can’t get into any of the fucking places. At the moment, the borders between Queensland and New South Wales, and New South Wales and Victoria, and South Australia and Victoria are all closed, so you can’t do a national tour right now.

A couple of my bands have played small, 5,000–6,000-capacity festivals in Darwin lately, and there are very few restrictions on audiences in Perth, but nobody can get there, so that’s really only an option for local acts, and that’s it.

But there are some positives. So if it keeps going the way that it is, maybe by Christmas all the internal border restrictions might come down and we can start thinking more seriously about shows.

But we have not announced Laneway – we moved the dates to March, but we haven’t announced because we can’t. If we were to put it up now and there was an outbreak of Covid some- where and they closed things again in January, then we’d lose a heap of money.

Do you think the model for live music needs to be revised on the back of Covid?
They’re planning a big outdoor show for 12,000 people in Adelaide for New Year’s Day with local Australian acts – but at the moment they can’t use Melbourne acts – and the Covid restrictions that have been laid down mean everybody has to be seated. The restrictions are not going to break the bank, but obviously all the toilets and the bars and all the social distancing measures are going to cost money.

We could nearly go ahead with CMC Rocks, our big country festival in Queensland in March. We get about 20,000 people and 11,000 or 12,000 of those camp, but as things stand, if you want to have a campsite, people have got to be 15 metres apart, so you’re fucked, you can’t do it.

“The Live Nation global touring concept might become a thing of the past”

Do you think the spirit of cooperation between rival companies will continue after Covid is gone?
Good fucking question. Look, there has always been a bit of an unwritten code down here. Yes, there’s always squabbling, fighting over tours and artists, but it was an agreement that worked. The Live Nation global touring concept might become a thing of the past. Before all that started, if you had an act, nobody else would go and bid against you. That was pretty much how it was down here.

If Michael Coppel had an act, I would not go after it. The only reason I would, is if the act decided they didn’t want to go with him any more. But the Live Nation thing came along where they were buying acts for the world and for a while Gudinski and ourselves managed to hold on to acts, but then, with the likes of Coldplay and another couple of acts, they would just throw another US$20–30m at them, saying that if they want this money, they’ve got to get rid of Chugg or Gudinski or they’re not going to get the world tour.

I don’t think that situation will be quite as severe as it could have been, and I also think a lot of acts who did those sort of deals, in reflection, probably won’t do them again, because you go from having relationships in 40 or 50 countries with people you’ve worked with for 10 or 15 years or whatever, and all of a sudden they are no longer involved. I know that a lot of the acts who went down that route have regretted it.

“In all the conversations we’re having with agents – and the same with Gudinski – we’re all saying let’s look at early 2022”

When do you think we will see the next Chugg-promoted concert?
I’d love to tell you it will be before June next year, but I doubt it will be before January 2022. We’ve had a couple of the big Australian acts ask us if we’d like to do their tours, but as I said earlier, to go ahead and put something on sale right now would be inviting drama.

We had a couple of postponed Elton John shows that we were going to do in January 2021 and they’ve now been rescheduled until January 2023. But in all the conversations we’re having with agents – and the same with Gudinski – we’re all saying let’s look at early 2022.

One of our big current affair shows on TV did a thing about the companies that supply the coffee machines and barista set-ups for the big shows and conferences: country-wide they were doing about 150 a week and sometimes as many as 100 a day. And they reported they had done four in the past nine months.

People who build exhibitions have not built a single one in nine months. Factories that live on the conference and theatre shows have been idle – there’s no work and everybody is fucked. It’s terrible, but I’ve got to say how great Michael Gudinski has been – everybody is still on the payroll and everyone is still getting paid.

 


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Frontier announces Anzac Day Covid-19 concert

Frontier Touring has announced Music from the Home Front, a special Anzac Day concert featuring some of Australia and New Zealand’s biggest musical stars performing live from their homes.

Taking place this Saturday night (25 April) at 7.30pm in Australia and 9.30pm in New Zealand, Music from the Home Front will be broadcast live on television, on Nine/9Now and Three/ThreeNow, respectively. Performers include Jimmy Barnes, Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, Ben Lee, Delta Gooodrem, Vance Joy and the Rubens.

The event was conceived by Barnes and Frontier Touring/Mushroom Group founder Michael Gudinski, who explains: “Music From The Home Front is about uniting Australian and New Zealanders through the power of music in a time that we all need a bit of hope and happiness.”

Originally a day to commemorate the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac)’s involvement in the Gallipoli campaign (1915–16) of the First World War, Anzac Day now serves as a national day of remembrance in both countries, honouring all Australian and NZ servicemen and women past and present.

“Music From The Home Front is about uniting Australian and New Zealanders through the power of music”

Unlike other coronavirus relief concerts such as One World: Together at Home, Frontier says Music from the Home Front is “not a charity fundraiser”, rather “an opportunity for our nations to be united by music and celebrate the things that bring us together”.

“On an Anzac Day like no other, the Australian and New Zealand music community will join together to pay its respects and celebrate the mateship between two great neighbouring nations,” reads a statement from organisers. “While recognising and acknowledging the Anzac message, we also turn our attention to those that are currently fighting on the Covid-19 front line and say, ‘Thank you’.”

Nine’s head of content production and development, Adrian Swift, comments: “Music from the Home Front is a salute from Australia and New Zealand’s music communities to everyone serving our nations under lockdown. From the military this Anzac Day to all those on the frontline fighting Covid-19 and those working to keep food delivered, shelves stacked and streets cleaned.”

A full provisional line-up is pictured below, with more names set to be announced in the coming days:

Music from the Home Front line-up

 


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End of the indies: Frontier announces JV with AEG

AEG Presents, the world’s second-largest concert business, has joined forces with Frontier Touring, the leading promoter in Australasia, announcing a strategic joint venture that will see the two companies merge their operations in Australia and New Zealand.

The partnership, which follows Frontier’s recent merger with Michael Chugg’s Chugg Entertainment, combines “Frontier Touring’s broad regional expertise with AEG Presents’ extensive resources, and will continue to grow both companies’ presence throughout the Asia-Pacific region”, according to a joint statement.

After Live Nation, US-based AEG Presents (formerly AEG Live) is the #2 concert/festival promoter globally, according to Pollstar, with Frontier placing seventh, with nearly 2.3 million tickets sold, in 2018. The two companies have co-promoted a number of tours in Australia and New Zealand since 2007, including the Rolling Stones, Leonard Cohen, Taylor Swift’s Red and 1989 tours, Celine Dion, Justin Bieber, Rodriguez and Shawn Mendes.

According to the Wall Street Journal, AEG has acquired a 50% stake in Frontier Touring, part of Michael Gudinski’s Mushroom Group of companies.

Gudinski, who co-founded Frontier with Chugg in 1979, comments: “Frontier Touring has been fiercely independent since its inception in 1979, and there is no doubt that we’ve batted well above the average on a global level in recent years. AEG Presents has had a successful track record of partnering with independent promoters and allowing them to keep their entrepreneurial roots while also supporting their growth. This next step is about ensuring that Frontier, AEG and our joint-venture partners, Illusive Presents [led by Gudinski’s son, Matt] and Chugg Entertainment, raise the bar in the Australasian live market higher than ever before.”

Of the six Australian companies in the 2018 top 100 promoters list, just two are now independent

Frontier’s joint ventures with Illusive Presents and Chugg Entertainment will continue under the new arrangement (including Chugg’s stake in country music festival CMC Rocks, which will come under under the Frontier-AEG JV), which takes effect on 1 July. The deal does not, however, include the other 24 Mushroom Group companies.

“As demand for live entertainment continues to grow across Australia and New Zealand, we are incredibly excited to be working with a global entity like AEG Presents and the opportunities that it can bring to our business,” continues Gudinski. “AEG is known for its iconic assets, including the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, BST Hyde Park Festival, Stagecoach Country Music Festival, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival [and] such venues as Staples Center and the O2, among others.”

Frontier’s 2018 included tours by Paul McCartney, Celine Dion, Foo Fighters, the Killers, Harry Styles, Sam Smith, Rise Against and Ed Sheeran, the last of which became Australasia’s biggest-ever tour.

Jay Marciano, chairman and CEO of AEG Presents, says: “Frontier Touring and AEG Presents share a passion and commitment to delivering the best music experiences to artists and fans alike. Michael has built an incredibly respected organisation with a proven track record of success and we are pleased that he chose to partner with us.

“We look forward to working closely with him and his talented team to further grow the Frontier Touring brand.”

AEG’s partial acquisition of Frontier Touring, following Frontier’s merger with Chugg Entertainment, marks the end of an era in Australia, one of the last remaining major touring markets not controlled by multinational corporate entities.

“We are incredibly excited to be working with a global entity like AEG Presents and the opportunities that it can bring to our business”

Of the six Australian companies which placed on Pollstar’s 2018 top 100 promoters list, just two are now independent: 70th-placed Adrian Bohm Presents, which largely promotes comedy tours, and 93rd-placed Bluesfest Touring, the touring arm of Peter Noble’s Byron Bay Bluesfest. (Chugg was placed 47th.)

According to IQ’s 2018 Australasian market report, “the concert landscape of the Great Southern Land is still dominated by the ‘big four’” – Chugg, Gudinski, Michael Coppel and and Paul Dainty – with Live Nation “never far from the mind” of Australia’s indie promoters.

Live Nation, the world’s largest concert promoter, has had a presence in Australia since 2012, when it acquired Michael Coppel Presents (MCP), at that time the second-biggest promoter in Australia. 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).

Paul Dainty, meanwhile – whose Dainty Group company, along with Frontier, Chugg Entertainment and Live Nation/MCP, formerly dominated international touring in Australia – sold up in 2016, joining TEG, the parent company of leading ticketing platform Ticketek, that July. As IQ noted at the time, that deal created “an integrated live entertainment business (a “one-stop shop”, said TEG) to rival Live Nation Australia”.

Sydney-based TEG has since expanded into Asia, and has been linked with European ticketing/concert giant CTS Eventim, as well as several Chinese buyers.

 


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Frontier Touring and Chugg Entertainment join forces

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.”

 


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“I’ve never seen a tour like Ed’s”: Divide smashes records

The Australasian leg of Ed Sheeran’s massive ÷ world tour, due to kick off tonight at the 60,000-seat Optus Stadium in Perth, Western Australia, has surpassed one million ticket sales, promoter Frontier Touring has revealed.

The ÷ (Divide) tour, which began in Italy in March 2017, is entering its sixth leg (of nine), after having already visited Europe, Latin America, North America and Asia. Passing the 1m mark for the 18-date Australia/New Zealand trek puts Sheeran ahead of Dire Straits for the most tickets sold (in Mark Knopfler and co’s case, 950,000) on one tour of the continent – a record unbroken since 1986.

In addition to breaking the record for highest ticket sales, the seven-city stadium tour holds the venue record for most number of shows on one tour (Optus Stadium, Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane and Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin); the venue record for highest cumulative attendance on one tour (Optus Stadium, ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Etihad Stadium, Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, Suncorp Stadium and Forsyth Barr Stadium); and the venue record for highest attendance for a single show (Optus Stadium, Suncorp Stadium, Mt Smart Stadium and Forsyth Barr Stadium).

“He’s smashed this one out of the park”

“Frontier has toured some of the biggest names in music, including Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones, but I’ve never seen a tour like Ed’s,” says Frontier Touring’s Michael Gudinski. “To sell one million tickets is simply phenomenal.

“Frontier has toured Ed from the beginning – from small theatres through to multiple stadiums – and his outstanding work ethic, talent, passion and dedication to his fans has produced this incredible result. He is truly gifted. Since I’ve got to know Ed I’ve discovered his fondness for breaking records and I can absolutely say he’s smashed this one out of the park and I’m very proud Frontier Touring has been a big part of it.”

Sales for the British leg were equally successful, with promoters DHP Family, AEG Presents and Kilimanjaro Live shifting more than 1m tickets to 19 UK shows this summer.

 


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