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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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AEG expands Accor partnership with global assets deal

Global hospitality group Accor and live entertainment behemoth AEG have extended their partnership to a global deal, incorporating a number of AEG and AEG-affiliated venues, festivals and events.

Accor will gain access to AEG assets including: venue partnerships with Qudos Bank Arena Sydney (21,000-cap.) and Barclaycard Arena Hamburg (16,000-cap.); ticketing rights with AEG Presents UK and AEG Presents Asia; and a festival partnership with American Express Presents BST Hyde Park, which this summer features headliners Taylor Swift, Pearl Jam and Little Mix.

The new partnership was brokered by AEG Europe Global Partnerships – AEG’s in-house division responsible for worldwide sales and activation of naming rights and strategic brand partnerships. It follows a ten-year naming rights deal with AccorHotels Arena in Paris (20,300-cap.), agreed in 2015.

The partnership will give Accor customers access to premium tickets, exclusive experiences and the opportunity to redeem loyalty points through the company’s ALL, Accor Live Limitless scheme.

“This extended AEG partnership reflects our elevated ambition to provide more opportunities for live entertainment for our 57 million loyal members”

“This extended AEG partnership reflects our elevated ambition to provide more opportunities for live entertainment in key locations in the world for our 57 million loyal members who will use their ALL points for more than just hotel stays,” comments Mehdi Hemici, SVP of business development and partnerships at Accor.

“The radical transformation of Accor’s lifestyle loyalty program, embodied by ALL – Accor Live Limitless, will continuously provide more value for customers at home or away through music, sport or entertainment partnerships,” adds Hemici.

Paul Samuels, EVP of AEG global partnerships says the company is “delighted” to extend an “already successful relationship with Accor”.

“Together we’ve delivered incredible experiences for thousands of Accor customers through our naming rights partnership in Paris, and now we look forward to enhancing their global customer benefits programme through our expanded relationship.”

 


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Australia’s QBA reports record attendance for 2018

The Qudos Bank Arena (QBA) reported a record number of visitors in 2018, with over one million fans attending shows in Australasia’s largest indoor live entertainment venue (21,000-cap.).

The TEG-owned and AEG-operated QBA hosted over 1,066,607 ticketed patrons last year, the largest ticketed crowd to attend the arena for live entertainment since it opened its doors in 2000.

The attendance figures do not include guests who visited the arena for business events such as functions, conferences, seminars and exhibitions.

To celebrate the landmark achievement, a ‘QBA Golden Ticket’ was awarded to the one millionth guest through the arena’s turnstiles. The recipient will receive two tickets for every ticketed event of the 2019 QBA calendar.

“Qudos Bank Arena hosted over 110 ticketed shows throughout 2018, and with that level of event activity likely to continue in 2019, we couldn’t be happier for Kayla [Golden Ticket recipient] who will get to enjoy even more great events over the next 12 months,” comments Steve Hevern, QBA general manager.

“2018 was a special year, and the huge accomplishment is credit to the entire team that work so hard every day”

“2018 was a special year, and the huge accomplishment is credit to the entire team that work so hard every day to provide our clients, patrons and guests with outstanding customer service that keeps them coming back.”

The arena reported other record-breaking events in 2018. P!NK played nine shows as part of her Beautiful Trauma World Tour, breaking the arena record for the longest run of shows played by a solo artist, as well as the record for total ticket sales for any artist.

Bruno Mars accumulated the highest ticket sales for a male solo artist at the arena, playing five shows as part of his 24k Magic World Tour.

Others acts to play in the arena last year include Katy Perry, Sam Smith, Celine Dion, The Killers and 21 Pilots.

QBA, previously known as the Acer Arena and as Sydney Superbowl, was originally built for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. It is one of the top ten grossing arenas in the world, hosting hosts a range of live entertainment events across music, comedy and sport, as well as corporate events and conferences.

 


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Debut IEM event in Oz “an unqualified success”

The inaugural Australian edition of esports competition Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) was viewed by eight million people worldwide, event co-promoter TEG Live has revealed.

Electronic Sports League (ESL), the company behind IEM, signed a strategic partnership with Ticketek parent TEG in March, promising to launch “a new era in esports in Australia”. ESL, the world’s leading esports promoter, also has similar agreements with music-industry giants AEG and Vivendi.

IEM Sydney, which saw eight teams do battle on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, took place at the TEG-owned, AEG-operated Qudos Bank Arena (21,000-cap.) on 6–7 May, attracting a live audience of 15,000 and 8m unique viewers online. Brazilian organisation SK Gaming were the victors, taking home the lion’s share of the US$200,000 prize money.

“IEM Sydney was an amazing event with a highly engaged audience, a great live atmosphere and a huge global viewership online,” comments TEG CEO Geoff Jones.

“”In time we will see the star players of Counter-Strike build profiles like the top athletes in other sports”

“In time we will see the star players of CS:GO build profiles like the top athletes in other sports. It is a really exciting time for esports in Australia and TEG is delighted to be a part of the developments with ESL Australia.”

ESL Australian MD Nick Vanzetti adds: “Fifteen years ago I dreamed along with my peers of massive crowds filling an arena to watch esports and this year we made that a reality. […]

“This is a new beginning for esports in Australia. We have set the standard and need to keep raising the bar.”

Global esports revenues are expected to reach US$1.1 billion by 2019.

 


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Qudos Bank takes over Sydney SuperDome naming rights

As of today Sydney SuperDome is known as the Qudos Bank Arena after the AEG Ogden-operated arena signed a naming deal with the Australian mutual bank.

The 21,000-capacity venue, in Sydney’s Olympic Park, was previously known as the Allphones Arena and, from 2006–2011, the Acer Arena.

The multi-year deal “ensures the name Qudos Bank Arena will become synonymous with some of the greatest touring artists in the world”, says Paul Samuels, executive vice-president of AEG Global Partnerships.

Since opening in September 1999, the SuperDome has hosted 1,050 events attended by an audience of over 8.6 million. It was 51st in Pollstars top 200 arenas of 2015 by ticket sales, the third-highest-ranking Australian venue behind the Rod Laver Arena (29th) and Perth Arena (47th).