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TEG raises over AU$9.5m for bushfire relief

Sunday’s Fire Fight Australia charity concert has raised almost AU$10 million (US$6.7m) for bushfire relief, with promoters TEG Dainty and TEG Live expecting more donations to come.

The mammoth nine-and-a-half-hour benefit concert took place at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium on 16 February, with an audience of 75,000 watching performances from Queen and Adam Lambert, Alice Cooper, Michael Bublé, 5 Seconds of Summer and Peking Duk, among others.

The concert was broadcast live across Australia, thanks to a partnership between TEG and television networks Foxtel and Seven Network. Highlights of the show will be broadcast worldwide in the coming days with a call to action to donate.

The AU$9.5 m ($6.4m) raised so far will go to rural and regional fire services, Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery, RSPCA Bushfire Appeal and the BizRebuild programme.

“What a day and what a night it has been,” comments TEG CEO Geoff Jones. “Our huge thanks are owed to the 23 artists and bands and to the many companies and people who donated their time and services to make Fire Fight Australia happen.

“It has been an enormous effort from the music industry to pull this concert together in five weeks and we are just so proud of what has been achieved through our collective effort.”

“It has been an enormous effort from the music industry to pull this concert together in five weeks”

“We are overjoyed at the response from all of the fans here tonight at ANZ Stadium in Sydney and around the world,” adds TEG Dainty CEO Paul Dainty. “From the first conversation with Queen’s manager, Jim Beach, the band’s immediate response to support this amazing event was what set everything in motion.

“We want to give a special shout out to Celeste Barber for hosting this historic event, she has been one of the greatest supporters and we thank her.

“People can continue to donate and purchase the official Fire Fight Australia T-Shirt online with 100% of proceeds going to the fundraising efforts.”

A full breakdown of the final amounts raised will be made available in due course. TEG intends to keep donations open until mid May, when international broadcasts end. Accounting firm Deloitte will provide a post-event report detailing revenues, expenses and confirmation of the final donations to the various charities.

Jones, Dainty and TEG Live CEO Tim McGregor wrote in IQ ahead of Fire Fight Australia this weekend, describing how the star-studded event came to be. Read TEG’s journey to Fire Fight Australia here.

Fire Fight Australia: The journey so far


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Fire Fight Australia: The journey so far

Geoff Jones, Paul Dainty and Tim McGregor write for IQ in advance of TEG’s mammoth Fire Fight Australia benefit concert this weekend.

This Sunday the Australian music industry will come together to present its response to the worst bushfire season in living memory – and it promises to be something pretty special.

FIRE FIGHT AUSTRALIA is a nine-and-a-half-hour benefit stadium concert in Sydney featuring a cavalcade of leading international and local acts performing in in front of 75,000 fans, with millions more watching on TV across Australia, New Zealand, the US and the UK.

We hope to raise many millions to aid rural and regional Australia’s short, medium and long-term recovery through the generosity of fans who have bought tickets, merchandise, food and drink and have donated through firefightaustralia.com.

The concert has come together in five short weeks thanks to the creativity and collaborative spirit of our industry’s people. This is the story of how we did it but first, a bit about why.

We are sure you have read about the recent devastation Down Under, caused by sustained drought and intense heat that sparked terrifying wildfires.

Dozens of lives have been lost, thousands of homes and businesses destroyed, thousands of people evacuated, countless animals killed and more than 46 million acres of Australia’s bushland razed. Sydney and Melbourne dwellers had daily reminders of our fellow Aussies’ plight just miles away, in the form of choking smog.

Many of TEG’s staff and their families and friends were affected personally by the bushfires and, like so many others, we were keen to do our bit. In late November, with the bushfire season still in its early throes, we spied the opportunity.

The concert has come together in five short weeks thanks to the creativity and collaborative spirit of our industry’s people

Geoff and Paul had spoken about the idea of a Live Aid-style bushfire benefit. It would feature the very same band who had stolen the show at Wembley in 1985, a little group from England called Queen (now Queen + Adam Lambert).

On Saturday 15th February, Queen + Adam Lambert would be playing ANZ Stadium in Sydney’s Olympic Park as part of their global Rhapsody Tour, promoted by TEG Dainty. They were back to the top of their game and big as ever in the wake of the hit movie Bohemian Rhapsody.

On paper, it seemed we had the infrastructure, the iconic act, and the opportunity – in tragic circumstances – to create something special that could galvanise many other acts to join the bill and make a difference.

Paul made a call to the band’s manager Jim Beach and, to our immense gratitude, they were supportive from the word go. The same was true of Michael Bublé and Alice Cooper, who were also due to be in Australia with TEG Dainty and TEG Live respectively at that time.

It was an ambitious deadline and it would be a massive challenge to add to our non-stop day jobs. But at our final meeting before the holidays TEG’s senior leadership team roared in approval. By Christmas Eve we had snapped up the firefightaustralia.com domain name.

First thing Sunday morning on 5 January, Geoff, Paul and TEG Live managing director Tim McGregor hit the phones to start filling out the bill. The response from the acts and the labels was incredible.

ANZ Stadium made a generous offer to provide us the venue for free the day after Queen + Adam Lambert’s full concert. Our own venue, the Qudos Bank Arena next door could operate as a production staging point and host artist dressing rooms.

We had the infrastructure, the iconic act, and the opportunity – in tragic circumstances – to create something special

On Monday 6 January we appointed a project leader – the highly capable Jared Wright – and together we put together a project leadership team of 13 including executives and staff from TEG Dainty, TEG Live, TEG Corporate and Ticketek, with a total team of more than 25 working around the clock on top of their day jobs.

With the idea now becoming a reality, we felt confident enough to send out a “save the date” media release on Tuesday 7 January and start doing radio, TV and press.

Our message was simple: we wanted to raise as much money as possible towards bushfire relief to help those affected – and to raise spirits in the process through the unifying power of live music. Our ethos: to be inclusive and to communicate clearly with all stakeholder groups.

By the Friday, we had secured most of the 23 wonderful acts that would perform (you can read the full line-up here) and – in another coup – our host, the writer, actor and comedian Celeste Barber, whose record-breaking online appeal had just raised more than AU$50 million (US$34m) towards bushfire relief and won global acclaim.

To determine FIRE FIGHT AUSTRALIA’s recipient organisations and charities we undertook extensive due diligence. All concert ticket profits would go to rural and regional fire services in affected states, the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund and the RSPCA Bushfire Appeal, with the BizRebuild program added later.

At 1pm on 13 January, we went on sale. Tickets were priced at top price of $100. By close of business, we had all but sold out. We were stunned by the fans’ generosity and desire to be involved.

We were inundated with offers from global and local media companies to televise and stream the event. That created an opportunity for a live telecast to raise more money and to allow music fans everywhere to see the concert.

Our message was simple: we wanted to raise as much money as possible towards bushfire relief – and to raise spirits in the process through the unifying power of live music

We settled on one of the leading local free to air television networks, Seven, and the leading subscription television service Foxtel, which also set up global distribution. All donations made through the broadcasts would go to the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal’s Fire Fight Fund.

And that’s when the real hard work began…

As anyone who works in live entertainment will know, we have spared you a million details about what it has really taken to make FIRE FIGHT AUSTRALIA happen – and we want to acknowledge Jared Wright and the TEG FIRE FIGHT Team for the long nights and weekends it has taken, and the challenges ahead to deliver the show on the day.

TEG’s thanks are owed to so many who moved so fast to make the event possible, including (deep breath): the 23 artists and bands who gave it their all; the 1,400 workers on the day, including production crew, stagehands, riggers, audio, lighting, video and backline personnel, stage managers, volunteers; the suppliers and drivers of 35 trucks; the providers of numerous hotel rooms and suites; and the 23 media and marketing companies, 22 production companies, eight catering and food and beverage companies and seven car companies that donated staff, products and services.

Shout outs too to NSW Transport for waiving public transport costs for ticket holders, to Cotton On for creating and supplying FIRE FIGHT AUSTRALIA T-Shirts, to Fetch TV for buying tickets for 1000 rural fire fighters to attend the event, to Gildan Brands for supplying those firies with specially designed FIRE FIGHT T-shirts, to those we were not able to accommodate and all those we have not had space to mention.

Just like the generosity and resourcefulness of the live music and entertainment industry, the list goes on and on.

Now, on with the show!

 


Geoff Jones is CEO of TEG, Paul Dainty is CEO of TEG Dainty and Tim McGregor is CEO of TEG Live

 

Eminem breaks attendance record at the MCG

Eminem performed to a record-breaking 80,708 fans at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) last night, surpassing the stadium’s attendance record, established by the 2009 Sound Relief concert (80,518) at the stadium.

The concert, part of the rapper’s TEG Dainty-promoted 2019 Rapture tour, attracted more fans than ever before to a live concert at the MCG, which has a total capacity of 100,024.

TEG Dainty president and chief executive, Paul Dainty, has now promoted three out of the four shows with top entertainment attendance records at the MCG, with the 2017 Guns N’ Roses tour (73,756) and the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Super Showdown in 2018 (70,309).

Dainty calls the attendance record an “outstanding achievement” for the rapper.

“Eminem is one of the greatest showmen in the world with a fiercely loyal Australian fan base that continues to grow with each tour,” comments Dainty. “He is no stranger to selling out stadium shows, but this new record is just phenomenal.”

“Eminem is one of the greatest showmen in the world with a fiercely loyal Australian fan base that continues to grow with each tour”

Eminem has sold a total of 300,000 tickets for the five stadium shows that make up his Australian Rapture tour. The tour kicked off in Brisbane on 20 February, then heading to Sydney and Melbourne. The Australian leg closes on Wednesday in Perth, before the rapper heads to Wellington, New Zealand.

In 2014, Eminem played four sell-out shows across Australia and New Zealand as part of his first Rapture tour. The rapper performed at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium (51,335-cap.), Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium (43,927-cap.), Sydney’s ANZ Stadium (53,649-cap.) and Auckland’s Western Springs Stadium (52,444-cap.)

The tour also consisted of two South African dates and a show at London’s Wembley stadium (90,000-cap.).

 


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Coppel, Dainty honoured in Queen’s birthday list

Veteran concert promoters Michael Coppel and Paul Dainty have been appointed members of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2017 Queen’s birthday honours list.

Coppel (pictured), who has been chairman of Live Nation Australasia since March, is honoured for his “significant service to the entertainment industry as a producer and promoter of theatre, festivals and national concert tours”. According to the honours list, Coppel’s service includes promoting and producing “national tours and festivals featuring Australian and international artists”, including U2, Beyoncé, Adele, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, Fleetwood Mac and Kanye West, as well as various theatre shows, including We Will Rock You, Billy Elliot, Spamalot.

He is also recognised as a benefactor of the Coppel and Piekarski Family Disability Respite Centre in Caulfield, Victoria, which opened in March 2016.

Dainty, who sold his Dainty Group business to TEG last July, is similarly recognised for “significant service to the entertainment industry as a producer and promoter of national concert tours, theatre and events”.

“Paul is truly a doyen of the music industry and the Order of Australia honour is worthy recognition of his 40-year contribution”

Dainty’s service also includes serving on the board of the Film Finance Corporation (now Screen Australia) from 2005 to 2008, as a board member of the Peter McCallum Cancer Foundation from 2006 to 2012 and as director Sydney Football Club from 2006 to 2008.

Geoff Jones, TEG group CEO, comments: “Paul is truly a doyen of the music industry and the Order of Australia honour is worthy recognition of his 40-year contribution.”

Both become members of the Order of Australia, for which there is a quota of 340 appointments per year.

Other high-profile Australians honoured include actress Cate Blanchett, who becomes a companion of the Order of Australia (AC), Sony Music Australia CEO Denis Handlin (AM), Bangarra dance company director Stephen Page (officer of the Order of Australia, AO) and and theatre producer Gale Edwards (AM).

A full list of recipients is available at the governor-general’s website.

 


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Paul Dainty sells to Ticketek parent TEG

Paul Dainty, one of Australia’s most accomplished concert promoters, has sold his Dainty Group business to Sydney-based ticketing, touring and data analytics firm TEG for an undisclosed sum.

In a statement, TEG – formerly Nine Live – says the deal will combine Dainty’s “history and unparalleled experience in bringing some of the world’s biggest acts and productions to Australia” and TEG’s “superior capabilities in ticketing and promotion” to “offer fans and stakeholders access to the best and most compelling music, sporting and entertainment events in Australia”.

TEG is the parent company of Ticketek, Australasia’s largest entertainment and sports ticket agency, self-service platform Eventopia, promotion business TEG Live and data firm TEG Analytics, and also owns the AEG Ogden-operated 21,000-capacity Sydney SuperDome arena (recently rebranded as the Qudos Bank Arena). Ticketek claims to sell over 23 million tickets more than 20,000 events a year.

“Joining the TEG group is a great opportunity for us to be part of a fully integrated entertainment and touring business,” says British-born  executive chairman Dainty. “Over the last 40 years we have had the opportunity to bring some of the world’s biggest names to Australia – Eminem, Hugh Jackman, The Rolling Stones, Prince, Bon Jovi, Michael Bublé, Katy Perry, Paul McCartney, Neil Diamond, Oprah, Lionel Richie, George Michael, WWE and Billy Crystal to name a few – plus a range of theatrical productions such as Jersey Boys and Singin’ in the Rain. We look forward to building on this list and continuing our ongoing artist relationships as part of the TEG group.”

“We are very excited about the potential for TEG-Dainty, and TEG as a whole, now that we have one of the world’s leading promoters at the heart of our business”

The merger creates an integrated live entertainment business (a “one-stop shop”, says TEG) to rival Live Nation Australia, formed in 2012 when Live Nation snapped up formerly independent promoter Michael Coppel Presents.

“Bringing the Dainty Group team into the TEG family is the culmination of a very considered process that was focussed on harnessing the best of both companies under the TEG-Dainty banner,” says TEG CEO Geoff Jones. “Paul Dainty has been recognised globally by peers as both influential and innovative in the live entertainment space. We are very excited about the potential for TEG-Dainty, and TEG as a whole, now that we have one of the world’s leading promoters at the heart of our business.”

Paul Cashmere of Noise11.com reports that TEG-Dainty was at one point in the running to take over Soundwave but was “scared off when [it] saw the books”.

 


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