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.”
Australian promoter the Van Egmond Group joins TEG
Australian promoter the Van Egmond Group has joined live entertainment giant TEG, adding to the company’s live music arms TEG Live, TEG Dainty and TEG MJR.
Led by Garry and Christo Van Egmond, the Melbourne-based company has over 45 years’ experience in event promotion, merchandising and ticketing and has promoted tours including Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms and AC/DC’s Black Ice.
Under the deal, the group will be renamed TEG Van Egmond. Financial terms have not been disclosed.
“The Van Egmond Group has a long pedigree of delivering blockbuster tours with huge acts such as Dire Straits, Billy Joel, Rod Stewart, INXS, Riverdance, Prince, Bette Midler, Dolly Parton and the great AC/DC,” says TEG CEO Geoff Jones.
“Garry has sold well in excess of 30 million tickets across contemporary concerts and theatre productions in the Australasian marketplace and we are delighted to have him and Christo on board as part of the TEG family.”
“We have seen TEG’s phenomenal growth over the last few years and we look forward to delivering some big tours and events under TEG Van Egmond”
Garry Van Egmond adds: “We have seen TEG’s phenomenal growth over the last few years under Geoff’s leadership and we are very excited about joining TEG and look forward to delivering some big tours and events under TEG Van Egmond.
“TEG Van Egmond will be active in both the North America and UK/Europe for top-tier touring opportunities for Australia and South East Asia.”
Cindy Wilson, previously managing director of BASE Entertainment Asia, will represent TEG Van Egmond in North America, based in Los Angeles.
TEG, which was bought by private equity firm Silver Lake Partners in October 2019, last year expanded into Europe through its acquisition of the MJR Group, now TEG MJR, and launched a new family entertainment arm, TEG Experiences. The company also issues over 28 million tickets a year through its ticketing platform Ticketek.
Along with TEG Live and TEG Dainty, the company organised the Fire Fight Australia bushfire benefit concert earlier this month.
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.
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
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
“Regret” as promoters call off Sound Relief 2020
Sound Relief, a concert series co-organised by major Australian promoters in aid of wildfire relief, will not go ahead ahead as planned.
Earlier today, the Sound Relief team, consisting of Frontier Touring, Chugg Entertainment, Live Nation Australia and New Zealand, IMC Music HQ and Secret Sounds, announced that the charity concert series would not happen.
“It is with regret that the organisers of Sound Relief have decided not to proceed with concerts in March as originally planned,” reads a Facebook post.
“Since announcing our intention to undertake Sound Relief 2020 the offer of assistance from international and domestic artists, industry, media and suppliers has been second to none.
“However Sound Relief is a series of concert events that we don’t wish to stage lightly and after careful consideration, we believe proceeding with the concerts in March won’t produce the impactful result that we believe these events can – and should – have.”
“Discussions for any future event are shifting to restoration, recovery and prevention and a view to maximising results to best benefit these areas”
The organisers add that there is “no overnight fix” for the issues the country is facing and state that “discussions for any future event are subsequently shifting to restoration, recovery and prevention and a view to maximising results to best benefit these areas.”
The fires have been raging through southern and eastern Australia since September 2019, burning over ten million hectares of land.
Sound Relief first took place in 2009, organised by Chugg Entertainment, Frontier Touring, and others, to provide relief from Victorian bushfires and flooding in Queensland. The concerts featured performances from the likes of Coldplay, Taylor Swift and Kings of Leon, as well as many local acts.
Fire Fight Australia, a benefit concert organised by TEG Dainty and TEG Live, is taking place on Sunday 16 February, at the ANZ Stadium (83,500-cap.) in Sydney. Queen and Adam Lambert, Alice Cooper, 5 Seconds of Summer, Michael Bublé, Hilltop Hoods and Olivia Newton-John are among acts playing the all-day event, which sold over 65,000 tickets in under five hours earlier this month.
A limited number of tickets for Fire Fight Australia are available here.
Touts burnt as Fire Fight Australia sells out
The Fire Fight Australia benefit concert has sold out, promoters TEG Dainty and TEG Dainty have confirmed, with Sydney’s ANZ Stadium set to host more than 70,000 concertgoers for over nine hours of music on Sunday 16 February.
Organisers revealed yesterday that some 65,000 tickets had been sold in under five hours for the Queen-headlined benefit, which aims to raise funds to provide relief for those fighting or affected by the Australian bushfires. All profits from concert tickets 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.
Other performers include Alice Cooper, KD Lang, Olivia Newton-John, Delta Goodrem and Tina Arena, with a second wave set to be announced in the coming weeks.
All tickets for the benefit have been removed from eBay
Inevitably, tickets for the event – only available initially through TEG-owned Ticketek – have already started to be listed on secondary sales websites, with The Music reporting bids of up to A$455 (compared to a face value of $100) on eBay.
However, Viagogo – to the surprise of many – is preventing the resale of Fire Fight tickets, and an eBay spokesperson tells The Music all tickets for the benefit have been removed from their website.
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, meanwhile, have pledged $500,000 to bushfire relief.
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.
TEG to hold concert for Australian bushfire relief
Promoters TEG Live and TEG Dainty are hosting a benefit concert to raise funds to provide relief from the bushfires which have been burning throughout Australia since September.
The concert, dubbed Fire Fight Australia, will be held at Sydney’s 83,500-capacity ANZ Stadium on Sunday 16 February and is expected to run from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
“This is a major musical event which will see globally-renowned artists from Australia and around the world come together to perform and show solidarity with people whose lives have been disrupted by the bushfires,” reads a statement from the TEG-owned promoters.
“This is a major musical event which will see globally-renowned artists show solidarity with people whose lives have been disrupted by the bushfires”
A full line-up of artists and partners will be announced here in the coming weeks.
TEG Dainty is promoting upcoming tours by Michael Buble and Queen and Adam Lambert across Australia and New Zealand, with TEG Live presenting shows by Lenny Kravitz and Alice Cooper.
TEG launches live family entertainment arm
Australasian live entertainment powerhouse TEG has announced the creation of a new content division, TEG Experiences, bringing together its family entertainment, experiential and exhibitions businesses.
The division, a “new force in live family entertainment”, is part of TEG’s global growth strategy, following its recent acquisition of UK-based promoter and venue operator MJR Group.
Dustin Lockett will lead TEG Experiences as managing director. Lockett brings two decades of live entertainment experience to the role, previously serving as commercial director of BBC Studios ANZ and director of Seven West Media’s Red Live Events and Touring.
TEG chief executive Geoff Jones, who has worked with Lockett “several times before”, says he is the “perfect fit” to run TEG Experiences. Lockett will be based in Sydney and starts on 16 October.
Jones, who will produce the family content in partnership with global brands across Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America, comments: “TEG is Asia Pacific’s leading ticketing, live entertainment and technology business and now we are focused on becoming a global live entertainment business.
“TEG is Asia Pacific’s leading ticketing, live entertainment and technology business and now we are focused on becoming a global live entertainment business”
“The formation of TEG Experiences marks the next phase in that strategy. TEG is Australasia’s leader in live family entertainment and of the top three businesses of its kind globally in the fields of theatrical and experiential events. Now is the time for us to build on that position and pool our branded family entertainment assets.”
In addition to producing an array of new and alternative content, TEG Experiences will incorporate existing TEG divisions: live family entertainment show producer Life Like Touring, activation zone supplier the Entertainment Store and Lego-based installation creator Brickman Exhibitions.
Anton Berezin and Theresa Borg, who founded Life Like Touring and the Entertainment Store 20 years ago, are departing their roles as managing director and creative director of the divisions.
Borg will continue to work with TEG as a director and writer on future projects, while Berezin will seek a career as a performer.
TEG organises more than 200 live events a year through its owned promoters, TEG Dainty and TEG Live, and sells more than 28 million tickets annually via Ticketek, one of the ‘big two’ Australasian ticketing companies according to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2019.