Ticketek launches accessible ticket booking platform
TEG-owned ticketing, data and analytics firm Ticketek is rolling out an online accessible ticket booking platform, with the aim to make purchasing tickets easier for people with disability and their companions, family and friends.
The Australian firm’s bespoke digital solution enables customers to choose specific seats within a venue to match their needs and buy both accessible and non-accessible tickets within the same transaction.
There are several types of accessible seating available through the new digital platform, including for customers who use wheelchairs, require easy access, have a vision impairment or use a hearing loop. Companion tickets can also be purchased – allowing fans with disabilities to redeem a complimentary companion ticket for any seat within a venue.
Accessible seating can now be booked online for selected events at more than 30 venues including Allianz Stadium (NSW), Suncorp Stadium (QLD) and Sidney Myer Music Bowl (VIC). The digital booking option will be gradually rolled out to other venues where Ticketek is the authorised ticketing provider.
“At Ticketek, we believe that all Australians should have equal opportunities to attend their favourite events”
Ticketek says it has listened to customer feedback and consulted with government bodies, industry partners, and advocacy groups including Spinal Life Australia and the Physical Disability Council of NSW to improve the booking experience of people with disability, which accounts for around 1 in 6 (18%) or 4.4 million people in Australia.
“At Ticketek, we believe that all Australians should have equal opportunities to attend their favourite events,” says Cameron Hoy, managing director Ticketek. “Offering an ideal purchasing experience for accessible seating is a project we hold close to our hearts. We are aware that the process has not been as easy as it should be to date, so we are delighted to be delivering this improved experience for fans and their companions.
“Our engineers have built a truly world-class and equitable experience and I could not be more proud of our work and dedication to date. In particular, I would like to thank industry partners, advocacy groups Spinal Life Australia and the Physical Disability Council of NSW and the many customers who have assisted us in designing this solution.
“Like all technology, it will continue to evolve over time. Ticketek are committed to work with our partners, advocacy groups and industry stakeholders to ensure our solution continues to meet industry standards, and leverages the latest technology available to facilitate the best user experience for all consumers.”
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TEG dividend recap mooted as sale talk cools
TEG’s owner is seeking a dividend recapitalisation as an alternative to selling the Aussie live entertainment giant, according to a new report.
Private-equity firm Silver Lake enlisted Jefferies’ bankers to launch a sales process for TEG earlier this year, but failed to agree a sale despite interest from fellow investment companies Blackstone and KKR, reports the Australian Financial Review.
Silicon Valley-based Silver Lake acquired the business from another investment company, Affinity Equity Partners, in 2019 in a reputed A$1.3bn deal.
The AFR says Silver Lake’s asking price for TEG was believed to be around 50% higher than the company was valued at by potential bidders.
“The seller was understood to be seeking a circa $3 billion price tag, while the bidders saw TEG being worth more like $2bn”
“The seller was understood to be seeking a circa $3 billion price tag, while the bidders saw TEG being worth more like $2bn,” it notes. “In addition to the dividend recapitalisation, the possibility of a minority sale was thrown around.”
It adds that Silver Lake has now started “meeting with lenders for a dividend recapitalisation”, and is being advised on the process by Goldman Sachs. A dividend recap happens when a firm takes on new debt in order to pay a special dividend to private investors or shareholders.
TEG’s portfolio includes TEG Live, TEG Sport, TEG Experiences, TEG Dainty, SXSW Sydney, TEG MJR, TEG Van Egmond, TEG Rockefeller, Qudos Bank Arena, Ticketek, Softix, TicketCharge, TicketWorld, Ticketek Singapore and Ovation. Last year, it announced the formation of TEG Europe, consolidating the company’s UK-based operations into a single entity.
Silver Lake also owns shares in Oak View Group, City Football Group and Madison Square Garden Sports, along with a 71% stake in WME owner Endeavor. Last week, it revealed it was working towards a proposal to take the business private.
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Ticketek partners with Plymouth Pavilions
TEG’s Ticketek has announced it has partnered with Plymouth Pavilions to provide ticketing, technology, data and insight solutions to the 4,000-cap UK venue.
Plymouth Pavilions has hosted shows by legends such as Ed Sheeran, Kylie Minogue, Coldplay, Oasis, Johnny Cash and Arctic Monkeys.
“We are delighted to embark on this new partnership with Plymouth Pavilions, the south west’s largest indoor entertainments venue,” says Ticketek MD Cameron Hoy. “ The venue has played host to many of the biggest names in entertainment and sports and we are very excited to be part of the next chapter of this truly multi-purpose complex.”
According to the firm, will offer users a “seamless and secure way” to buy tickets for events at the venue. Plymouth Pavilions and its customers will also gain access to TEG’s data insights and marketing research platform Ovation, allowing the venue to better understand its audience and tailor future events to meet their preferences.
“We look forward to working closely with the team at Plymouth Pavilions, as we continue to innovate and evolve our service offering to our partners”
“We are thrilled to embark on this exciting partnership with Ticketek, a global leader in ticketing services,” says Plymouth Pavilions CEO Sarah Phillips. “At Plymouth Pavilions, our mission has always been to provide our customers with unforgettable live event experiences, and this collaboration with Ticketek perfectly aligns with that goal. We can’t wait to welcome our patrons to an enhanced and seamless ticketing experience, making it easier than ever for them to create lasting memories at our iconic venue.”
Upcoming shows at Plymouth Pavilions include The Elvis World Tour, Whitney Queen of the Night, The Dead South, The Australian Pink Floyd and Thank You for the Music.
“We are incredibly proud to partner with Plymouth Pavilions to provide Ticketek’s ticketing, marketing and data analytics solutions,” adds Danny Hannaford, general manager of Ticketek UK. “We look forward to working closely with the team at Plymouth Pavilions, as we continue to innovate and evolve our service offering to our partners.”
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Aussie rules! Australia market report
With a population approaching just 26 million, Australia punches way above its weight in terms of ticket sales for live music tours and events. And bouncing back from the Covid pandemic with a new culturally savvy government, the demand from fans only seems to be increasing. Lars Brandle reports.
Floods, bushfires, Covid-19 – Australia’s live music industry has felt all the forces of nature in recent years, and by most accounts, has made a stellar comeback.
For a population of 25m, Australia’s live industry punches above its weight class, a space where a singer can sell 1m tickets on a single tour (Ed Sheeran’s Divide) and another can play – and fill – 58 arena shows (P!nk’s Funhouse).
It’s not all fun and games. Touring Australia, a country roughly 4,000 km wide – a distance greater than London is from Moscow – the concerts space has its complexities. The soaring cost of travel, haulage, and booking acts; ongoing pressure on inner-city venues from developers; and a shortage of skilled professionals, many of whom left the industry during the pandemic, are just some of the challenges faced by promoters and others in Australia’s live music ecosystem.
But with a new federal government in power, one that’s sympathetic to the music industry, and a bonanza of major tours performing well at the box office, optimism is high.
So business is back, although it’s not what it was.
“Right now is a very exciting time to be an Australian music fan”
For a continent as vast as Australia, some things are surprisingly the same wherever you go. Drive for days and the language, currency, and power-points remain the same. And all across the country, there’s an enormous appetite for live entertainment. Getting a show on the road, however, is never a cinch.
“Right now is a very exciting time to be an Australian music fan,” says Geoff Jones, CEO of live entertainment, data, and tech giant TEG. “Since the end of the pandemic, we’ve seen many artists flock to Australia to play for their Aussie fanbases, which has played a major part in boosting the economy.”
Among them, stadium treks by Guns N’ Roses (TEG Dainty), Ed Sheeran (Frontier Touring), Harry Styles and Red Hot Chili Peppers (Live Nation Australia) – all visiting these parts within the space of three months.
And while cost of living and inflation is a big issue that’s impacting Australians, “consumers have been highly resilient and are still keeping money aside to watch their favourite artists perform to crowds of thousands,” Jones adds.
“We’re still seeing buying patterns lean much closer to the festival or show date, and we expect last-minute purchasing to remain part of the landscape,” notes Zac Leigh, CEO and founder of Tixel.
“I think the per-cap spending in Australia is the highest in the world. It’s just so engrained in the culture to see live music and sport”
In the most recent summer (December 2022-March 2023), “Something like 20% of the tickets listed on Tixel were traded for less than 50% of the face value of the ticket and we believe the oversupply was due to things like illness, Covid isolation periods, inability to travel, and the clutter of rescheduled events,” Leigh explains. Now, less than 5% of tickets trade at that level – signs that the market is returning to a demand-supply equilibrium for tickets.
The backlog of shows after two-and-a-half years of Covid disruption and market and border closures resulted in a “huge summer touring season” across concerts and festivals, explains Evelyn Richardson, chief executive of Live Performance Australia (LPA), the trade body for the live entertainment industry.
The data isn’t yet in; the most recent figures were captured for LPA’s Ticket Attendance and Revenue Report 2021 – then Australia’s industry was largely mothballed due to Covid. Richardson says the market has since seen “significant activity,” an “exceptional summer,” and the trade body expects that the “upcoming touring schedule later in 2023 going into 2024 will be massive [in the region].”
For its population, Australia “really punches above its weight when it comes to live performance,” Adam Wilkes of AEG Presents Asia Pacific said during a keynote at Singapore’s All That Matters gathering in September 2022. “I think the per-cap spending in Australia is the highest in the world. It’s just so engrained in the culture to see live music and sport.”
Live Nation president Asia-Pacific, Roger Field, states, “Australasia is going great. This will be our biggest year ever and we’re seeing unprecedented attendances at all levels from club to arenas. We have more artists coming to our shores and we’re having our biggest stadium year.”
“It seems that the years of being unable to tour and operate have enabled a number of arena acts to take the leap into stadiums with huge success”
He observes, “It seems that the years of being unable to tour and operate have enabled a number of arena acts to take the leap into stadiums with huge success. This in turn creates the opportunity for more acts to step up to fill those arena dates – and fans are really getting behind these artists and demanding even more.”
Legendary concert promoter Michael Chugg handled the 40-plus-date domestic swing for Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, through Chugg Entertainment and its partners Frontier Touring and AEG Presents.
It’s the “same old problem with rival promoters paying too much for artists,” he tells IQ, “not enough care going into ticket pricing; lack of personnel, security, food and beverage staff, crew; bullshit flight prices.” Add to the list an ongoing lack of support for homegrown music on commercial radio, a situation which, for several weeks in mid-2023, became acute when no Australian-made singles appeared in the ARIA Top 40.
The challenges are many and varied. Booking an itinerary with a relatively small number of venues and many concurrent tours, “it’s a jigsaw puzzle,” Chugg notes. “I don’t think we are truly back on track as an industry. We need new people and some who left [during the health crisis] to come back.”
Snapshot of a billion-dollar business
There’s truth to the stereotype that Aussies like few things more than a night (or day) out with their best mates for a good time. The numbers stack up. According to LPA’s pre-pandemic ticketing data, live entertainment is a billion-dollar-plus business.
Australia’s live sector is a sophisticated one with trade bodies and lobby reps working alongside its industry captains in each field
Australia’s live sector is a sophisticated one with trade bodies and lobby reps working alongside its industry captains in each field. In addition to the LPA, the Australian Festival Association (AFA) was presented to the media in December 2018, with a commitment to making “festivals safer for patrons and reduce friction between festival promoters and regulatory bodies,” and more. AFA holds a position on the executive committee of the Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF), established during the pandemic to help support the return of live entertainment and sport.
Meanwhile, the Australian Live Music Business Council (ALMBC) was launched during the pandemic, to advocate for thousands of Australian-owned small businesses and sole traders that support Australian music in public performance places.
Festival specialists will gather 30-31 August at Sydney’s Luna Park for the 2023 Australian Festival Industry Conference. And for the first time, SXSW expands outside of its decades-long base in the United States with SXSW Sydney, set for October 15-22, 2023. TEG is event producer, and industry veteran Colin Daniels helms SXSW Sydney as managing director.
Australia’s leading promoters include Live Nation Australia; Frontier Touring, part of the Mushroom Group, which is now led by Matt Gudinski following the March 2021 death of his father, the great music entrepreneur Michael Gudinski; Chugg Entertainment; TEG Dainty, and others.
It’s a constantly evolving and growing space. In 2019, Frontier Touring struck a joint venture with Chugg Entertainment and separately formalised a years-long alliance with AEG Presents, ensuring the company Gudinski built would be the official partner for AEG treks in these parts.
“Our interest in venues of all sizes is partly motivated by having the ability to engage with a variety of artist content”
TEG continues to grow and expand, including a 2020 deal for Van Egmond Group, Garry Van Egmond’s concerts company, which has orchestrated blockbuster tours for Dire Straits, AC/DC, and many others. The following year, in 2021, TEG landed deals that brought the Laneway festival brand and boutique promoter and events company Handsome Tours into its empire, while its ticketing arm, Ticketek, now operates in 11 markets, including the UK.
Frontier Touring remains one of the world’s leading concert promoters, its founder, Michael Gudinski, posthumously recognised by Billboard in April 2021 as its International Power Player. The concerts specialist this year celebrates its 50th anniversary, which the Melbourne-based business will mark with an all-star concert in November.
Live Nation’s domestic arm continues to expand its portfolio of venues and live assets. regional boss Roger Field comments, “Our venue development is a huge priority for us across both Australia and New Zealand – we’ve just celebrated the return of the iconic Festival Hall in Melbourne to a fulltime live music venue after signing a multi-lease and that’s only the beginning. Our interest in venues of all sizes is partly motivated by having the ability to engage with a variety of artist content, even if we’re not promoting it, but also open to new ticket buying markets.”
LN’s suite of venues also includes The Palais Theatre in Melbourne, the Fortitude Music Hall in Brisbane, the Hindley Street Music Hall in Adelaide, and Anita’s Theatre, a historic venue in Thirroul, a northern seaside suburb of Wollongong, which in 2022 became the concerts giant’s first entry into regional Australia.
Australia’s concert promoters have, historically, been at loggerheads with each other. The late Gudinski was never short of a word or three for LN or Dainty. However, during the pandemic, the hatchets were buried and once-bitter rivals shared infrastructure on several major events, keeping costs down in the most difficult of times.
On 21 May 2022, when border closures still plagued the touring space, Australia took a left turn
One of the Australian events industry’s many success stories is the rise of Untitled Group. “The challenges posed by the pandemic allowed us to pause, reflect, and focus on the long-term growth of our business,” comments Nicholas Greco – co-founder/managing partner. Greco and his colleagues “took the opportunity to strategise and refine our approach. It was undeniably a difficult time, but it offered us a moment to breathe and strengthen our foundations”.
Untitled organises such events as camping festivals Beyond The Valley and Pitch Music & Arts, both of which, says Greco, have experienced a notable uptake, especially in the post-pandemic era. Independently owned and based in Melbourne, Untitled boasts 65 staff and shifts more than 400,000 tickets each year across its events.
Australia’s outdoor concerts network extends into wineries. A Day On The Green, created by Michael and Anthea Newton from Roundhouse Entertainment, operating as a joint venture with Mushroom Group, in November 2022 celebrated its 500th show with Crowded House’s performance at Mt Duneed Estate, Geelong.
After Covid – a new dawn, new government
On 21 May 2022, when border closures still plagued the touring space, Australia took a left turn.
After the best part of a decade led by the centre-right Liberal political party, a national shift occurred when Anthony Albanese and his Australian Labor Party (ALP), the country’s major centre-left party, swung into power.
“We need serious skills training; we need new venues, big and small; we need a regional circuit”
After a generation, during which time the music industry’s calls for support repeatedly fell on deaf ears with the Liberal leadership, the ALP represented a new dawn for the country’s live music community.
Prime minister Albanese and minister of arts Tony Burke moved swiftly and decisively to reward that belief. In June 2023, the Creative Australia Bill passed through parliament – a document that lays the legal foundation for the national cultural policy presented earlier in January 2023. The bill establishes Music Australia with AU$69.4m in funding which, for the first time in the nation’s history, explains APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston, provides an opportunity “for a whole-of-government, cross-portfolio, strategic and long-term relationship with the breadth of the Australian contemporary music industry.”
Music Australia sits under Creative Australia, formerly the Australia Council for the Arts, or Australia Council, which was due to commence from 1 July and was presented in the government’s 116-page “Revive” document, a years-long roadmap for the music industry, which details new investment totalling $286m over four years.
The government’s initiative and “all that money will make a serious impact,” notes Chugg. “We need serious skills training; we need new venues, big and small; we need a regional circuit. I would like to see more shows in universities and schools, which in the 70s and 80s were amazing breeding grounds.”
The ALP now governs at national level and across every state, with the exception of Tasmania, the last remaining Liberal post. It’s “a government that cares,” he enthuses. “My late mate, MG, would have such a huge smile alongside all the Australian music icons he is hanging out with in heaven.”
Some positive trends have emerged in Australia’s post-Covid touring landscape, including a revival in country music and comedy
What’s hot, what’s not
The elite A-list acts have filled Australian stadiums in the 2022-2023 southern summer. The demand side of the business is “really healthy in terms of artists who have been limited in their ability to travel for several years”, explains Dion Brant, CEO of Frontier Touring. One of those artists is Ed Sheeran. The Englishman’s The Mathematics Tour did over 830,000 tickets and “left excess demand,” explains Brant. Those artists “that care about the audience and produce great shows, combined with pricing that is accessible and strong campaigns, can lead to record-breaking results”.
Some positive trends have emerged in Australia’s post-Covid touring landscape, including a revival in country music and comedy.
Morgan Wallen’s six-date tour for Frontier Touring in March, which included a headline slot at country-focused fest CMC Rocks QLD, was a hit and was reflected when Wallen led both the ARIA singles and albums charts, setting records along the way. Luke Combs returns to Australia and makes his New Zealand debut in August, for a trek promoted by Frontier Touring.
The resurgence of country has been powered by the likes of the late Rob Potts, and later, his son Jeremy, Chugg, and colleague Susan Heymann. As the country business grows, Chugg Music recently teamed up with Select Music and artist manager Dan Biddle of Wheelhouse Agency, to launch a new venture with an eye on growing the country music and Americana genre.
Though no brand has replaced the travelling festival juggernauts that were the Big Day Out and Soundwave, rock continues to roll along. Chris O’Brien is an aficionado of music of the heavier kind and wears multiple hats with Destroy All Lines (general manager of touring), Good Things Festival (promoter), and Knotfest Australia (co-promoter).
The price of putting on a show has escalated “in a way that needs to be properly looked at”
The appetite for rock and metal in Australia “continues to grow at an incredible rate,” O’Brien tells IQ. Between Good Things Festival and Knotfest, every show sold out, shifting just shy of 200,000 tickets. In the past 12 months, Destroy All Lines has sold over 650,000 tickets, he explains, and 2023/24 “is looking like we will get close to 1m tickets with what we have in the pipeline”.
Spiralling costs, less hands at the pump
Promoters and live event organisers are experiencing major skills shortages, particularly in technical, production, and stage management. Even sourcing riggers, drivers, and security is a challenge.
The price of putting on a show has escalated “in a way that needs to be properly looked at”, says Frontier’s Brant. Infrastructure on larger shows, such as stages, flooring, barriers, and chairs, are up by at least 50%. “Freight is through the roof.”
Production and touring costs have skyrocketed by 30-40% compared with pre-Covid levels, experts say.
At the same time, a shaky economy with high inflation and interest rate rises is having an impact on discretionary spending. “It may dampen some events,” notes LPA’s Richardson. “Having said that, we are seeing huge demand [for] shows going on sale for later in the year.”
“Suppliers to the industry need to be careful they are not trying to make up for lost time and squeezing the golden goose too hard”
Those on-sales include a trans-Tasman tour by Foo Fighters, organised by Frontier Touring; while Live Nation is promoting two special Coldplay dates at Perth’s Optus Stadium in November, as well as Blink-182’s arena run next year.
With the explosion in activity for stadium dates comes a heightened sensitivity to the replacement of turf, with rate per square meter said to be amongst the highest in the world.
“The cost to get to and from Australia is the highest it’s ever been,” explains Brant. “Fans want to go to shows and artists want to play to fans, but the suppliers to the industry need to be careful they are not trying to make up for lost time and squeezing the golden goose too hard.”
When the region’s venue operators gathered in May in Melbourne for the 2023 Venues Management Congress, Frontier Touring’s chief marketing and communications officer, Reegan Stark, quipped on stage, “I learned more about grass the last 12 months than I ever thought I needed to know.”
Where concert tours have “done exceptionally well,” notes LPA’s Richardson, “music festivals have had challenges both in terms of weather events disrupting or closing down events and changes in consumer buying behaviour with audiences buying much later than pre-Covid times.”
Peter Noble’s Bluesfest site was flooded ahead of the 2022 event, and, several months later, Splendour In The Grass, also held in Byron Bay, a picturesque beach spot in northern New South Wales, was inundated, leading to the cancelation of day one mainstage performances.
“We’ve all got to realise that this entire industry only works if everyone gets a slice of the cake”
The rotten weather of 2022, the abundance of shows in the early part of this year, and the wobbly state of the economy has put pressure on some festival brands. Noble and his team spent nearly a million dollars on waterproofing at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm in Byron Bay. Attendance dipped from more than 100,000 in 2022, to about 70,000 in 2023, Noble tells IQ.
“We’ve all seen a bit of a drop off in festivals. I hope they all come back,” he says. Fests “have got some challenges”, he continues. “The attendances have been down, the costs are up. We’ve all got to realise that this entire industry only works if everyone gets a slice of the cake. And if you leave crumbs at one end, then you’re starving someone out of business.”
Bluesfest Touring “had a great season”, he notes, pointing to the 20 tours which worked the market, including Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy and the Doobie Brothers, and the launch of Bluefest Melbourne and Perth.
Climate change and the bad weather that comes with it is a blow to consumer confidence in ways that are difficult to predict, promoters say.
The festival and outdoor events industry “faces an existential crisis”, notes Richardson. “Adapting business models is a big topic of discussion right now.”
Another unexpected hurdle to doing business can be seen in the rising costs of renewing insurance for live music venues
Those forces of nature contributed to the travelling Falls Festival cancelling its 2023/24 edition. Led by Live Nation-affiliated concert specialist Secret Sounds, co-founded by Jessica Ducrou and Paul Piticco, Falls announced it would take the time out to “rest, recover, and recalibrate.”
Another unexpected hurdle to doing business can be seen in the rising costs of renewing insurance for live music venues. The public liability premiums for some venues have risen 15-fold, with one venue reporting a hike from $1,500 to $35,000. Rising costs are “the biggest issue in the live space right now,” explains Stephen Wade, chairman of the ALMBC and CEO of leading agency Select Music.
The so-called insurance cliff has been a “massive issue” for the industry and remains unresolved, although it is being addressed positively, he continues. In one potential solution, the trade body has approached several underwriters on behalf of its members, with the proposition to underwrite venues under an appropriate scheme that is both affordable and provides adequate cover.
Despite the challenges, business is roaring
The domestic live scene “is extremely vibrant and alive; on any Saturday night, we’re booking more than 25 shows at different venues across the country,” explains Darren Aboud, the former Universal Music Australia senior executive who recently joined Select Music Agency as chief operating officer. “Music has roared back post-Covid as people have longed for meaningful real experiences.” He adds, “Quality shows from quality artists will continue to sell.”
Those quality acts include homegrown talent. “Business is 100% on the up as far as we are seeing at our agency,” says Select Music’s Wade, “and we have a new wave of acts that we have been developing over the past 18 months who are all realising their potential and selling huge amounts of tickets.”
“We’re booking stuff into stadiums already into 2025”
As business grows, further investment is coming. Brisbane should benefit from at least AU$7bn in state and federal commitments for infrastructure, including the erection of the 18,000-capacity Brisbane Live venue.
Elsewhere, Cedar Mill Group has a raft of developments on the go, including winery circuit venues designed to integrate seamlessly, and a major project at Lake Macquarie. That planned 30,000-capacity venue on the doorstep of the Central Coast and Hunter region north of Sydney, “will be within reach of over a million people”, explains Paul Lambess, managing director at Cedar Mill Group. It represents the “first time an arena-sized venue in Australia will be built and funded by a private individual rather than a multinational corporation or a government body.”
Cedar Mill’s venues plans “are just as robust as the current touring cycle”, he continues. “The development runway is long and the investment substantial.”
Luke Hede, vice president of touring at Live Nation, says the outlook is excellent. “We’re booking stuff into stadiums already into 2025,” he told the audience during the Promoters Panel at the 2023 VMA Congress in May. “Hopefully, it won’t all be concertinaed like it was this year in the first quarter. But there’s certainly a lot of product coming through. 2019 was our biggest year ever with Live Nation. We’ve already surpassed the ticket sales this year for 2019. So, it’s been a phenomenal start. It looks like it’s going to continue.”
TEG Live Europe launches new UK festival
TEG Live Europe has announced a new one-day festival in Birmingham “celebrating diversity, inclusion and gender balance”.
InterMission festival will explore sounds from the UK’s jazz, afro, global, electronica and hip-hop scenes via live music, sound workshops, industry talks and food stalls.
Steam Down, Shy One, Tash LC, QuinzeQuinze, Hagan, TC and the Groove Family are among the acts that will perform at the event, slated for The Mill in Digbeth on 22 July.
In addition to two stages of live music, InterMission will also feature a creative area with music industry lead talks, DJ workshops led by Pioneer, mental health workshops, an outdoor yard with food traders and stalls, and a rooftop takeover from female & gender-minority DJ collectives.
“Music festivals aren’t always a space where minorities feel included, so InterMission is an invitation for all to join”
“I’m so excited for the launch of InterMission,” says TEG promoter and founder of InterMission festival Betty Adesanya. “Birmingham is such a culturally rich place, it was important to me that the festival program reflects this; a celebration of different people and artists coming together in a space that feels safe, that’s curated with them in mind. From personal experience, music festivals aren’t always a space where minorities feel included, so InterMission is an invitation for all to join.
“We need to keep pushing for more diverse and gender-balanced festival line-ups, but we also need to address the lack of black and minority promoters, agents, event managers, and live industry professionals running the shows. I’ve been working in the live music and festival industry for years and when it comes to the people at the top making the big decisions there is a long way to go.”
Ticketek teams with Motorpoint Arena Nottingham
TEG-owned Ticketek has signed an exclusive deal with Motorpoint Arena Nottingham for the supply, installation and support of ticketing systems and services.
Ticketek will deliver a full-service solution that “harnesses the expertise, relationships and knowledge” of Motorpoint Arena’s existing ticketing and customer services teams, along with Ticketek’s ticketing technology, CRM, marketing and analytics platforms.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Motorpoint Arena team who share our belief that ticketing solutions must offer far more than just a transactional capability,” says TEG CEO Geoff Jones. “I want to commend and congratulate Ticketek’s managing director Cameron Hoy who has led this process, as well as the UK team under Danny Hannaford on adopting a true partnership approach with the Motorpoint Arena team.”
Hoy adds: “We look forward to working with the team in Nottingham to transform the ticket purchasing experience for fans, at one of the UK’s most popular venues. This is a true partnership across the full breadth of Ticketek’s capabilities including advanced e-commerce tools, integrated digital marketing, CRM and data analytics.”
The 10,000-cap Motorpoint Arena Nottingham hosts more than 150 arena events a year and is the largest entertainment venue in the UK’s East Midlands region.
“It is crucial for the promoters that bring their events to us that we discover and convert every possible ticket sales opportunity”
“We are excited to be transforming our ticketing experience for audiences with a platform that extends beyond ticketing into data, analytics and marketing,” adds Motorpoint Arena Nottingham chief executive Martin Ingham. “It is crucial for the promoters that bring their events to us that we discover and convert every possible ticket sales opportunity.
“We have built a strong database of local and regional customers through our in-house ticketing operations over the past 11 years, but we believe that Ticketek’s incredible technology and data analytics platform will now enable us to market more effectively to our vast range of existing and potential customers and also offer them a world-class ticketing experience.
“Ticketek has been very innovative in their design of the hybrid ticketing partnership that we have agreed which means that both parties bring their own extensive skills, experience and knowledge to the table. Promoters will continue to get world-class service from our renowned box office team who remain in situ and our customers get an advanced ticketing solution and great customer service delivered both in call centres and on site in person.”
Acts lined up to play the venue in the coming months include Tom Grennan, Olly Murs, Michael Bublé, Iron Maiden and S Club 7.
TEG appoints Timothy Ho as managing director of Asia
TEG has appointed Timothy Ho as managing director of the company’s Asia business, replacing veteran Brendon Bainbridge.
Brainbridge steps down after 17 years at the company – 11 as MD of Ticketek New Zealand and six as MD of TEG Asia.
“Brendon has been an asset to TEG from day one and I want to personally thank him for his friendship, commitment, loyalty and immense efforts in successfully launching TEG in Asia,” says Geoff Jones, CEO, TEG.
“Brendon has grown the business in the region, leading through the pandemic, the entertainment and ticketing industry’s most challenging period in recent times, positioning TEG Asia to now capitalise on a wealth of opportunity in the region.
“Timothy Ho, who has worked with Brendon for the last 12 months, will step into the role of managing director, Asia, and offer a seamless transition for our business in the region. I commend both Brendon and Tim on working so closely together, especially over the last four months when Brendon identified that he would be leaving to live in the US.”
Ho has an accomplished background with over 15 years’ experience in live entertainment and ticketing
Jones adds that he and Bainbridge are working on opportunities for him to continue with TEG after he relocates to Colorado.
His successor, Ho, has an accomplished background with over 15 years’ experience in live entertainment and ticketing prior to joining TEG.
“Timothy was a clear choice to step into the role – his experience in the sector, knowledge of the region and the TEG business will enable him to take the reigns and continue the expansion of TEG’s integrated model throughout Asia,” adds Jones.
Ho comments: “I am so proud to be taking on this new role and leading TEG Asia through this next chapter of expansion.
“Asia is at the forefront of every major discussion now for live entertainment and ticketing – it’s a great time to be stepping into this leadership role and fulfilling TEG’s long-term vision and commitment to Asia.”
Last week, IQ reported that the owner of TEG is allegedly planning to launch a sales process for the Australasian live entertainment powerhouse this April.
TEG owner ‘to launch sales process in April’
The owner of TEG is reportedly planning to launch a sales process for the Australasian live entertainment powerhouse this April.
Silicon Valley-based private-equity firm Silver Lake acquired TEG from Affinity Equity Partners, another investment company, in 2019.
According to a report in The Australian, the possible sale is expected to be led by investment bank Jefferies.
“It is logical for private-equity firms to be the most likely buyers,” reads the report, as cited by The Music Network, noting there was the opportunity “for a strategy player to be competitive in an auction”.
Insiders told the Australian Financial Review last month that Jefferies’ bankers were “readying big global buyout funds for the upcoming auction, pitching it as a unique business worldwide”.
TEG operates out of seven countries worldwide with offices in Australia, New Zealand, south-east Asia and the UK
The group’s portfolio includes TEG Live, TEG Sport, TEG Experiences, TEG Dainty, SXSW Sydney, TEG MJR, TEG Van Egmond, TEG Rockefeller, Qudos Bank Arena, Ticketek, Softix, TicketCharge, TicketWorld, Ticketek Singapore and Ovation.
Last year, it announced the formation of TEG Europe, consolidating the company’s UK-based operations into a single entity, with former Live Nation and AEG Presents UK executive Toby Leighton-Pope hired as MD, while in 2021 it welcomed Australasian touring festival Laneway and promoter Handsome Tours to the TEG family.
Based out of London and Bristol, TEG Europe comprises five different divisions: TEG Live Europe, TEG Venues, Propaganda, Ticketek and Ovation.
TEG Live Europe includes the former TEG MJR touring business
TEG Live Europe includes the former TEG MJR touring business, which has worked with artists including Snoop Dogg, Sia, Hans Zimmer, 50 Cent, Tom Jones, and Culture Club.
TEG Venues includes 10 owned, operated, co-promoted, and programmed venues throughout the UK, including Tramshed (cap. 1,000) in Cardiff, XOYO (800) in London and The Mill (1,000) in Birmingham.
Propaganda, the UK’s leading indie rock & roll nightclub brand, includes fifteen weekly events across the country, as well as promoted events in the US, Australia, Brazil and Ibiza.
Ticketek, which has 40+ years’ experience ticketing major international events and partnering with some of the world’s best venues, was introduced into the UK in 2020 and already works with some of the country’s premier venues.
And Ovation, TEG’s data science and analytics business, provides sports organisations, venues, promoters, content creators, media and tech partners with analytics, data science, research, personalisation, and advanced digital marketing.
Ticketek hires Danny Hannaford as UK GM
TEG-owned ticketing firm Ticketek has announced the appointment of Danny Hannaford as its UK general manager.
Hannaford, who brings more than 13 years’ experience in ticketing operations, and was most recently in charge of ticketing strategy & digital delivery for London’s The O2.
He previously led ticketing for Hammersmith’s Eventim Apollo and multiple special event projects at AEG Presents, as well as heading up Global Live.
Hannaford also launched and headed up Twickets Australia and was the lead on global ticketing operations at Dice.
“In addition to Danny’s extensive ticketing knowledge he has a demonstrated track record of digital transformation and innovation”
“Danny is an experienced and accomplished ticketing executive who will lead our UK team with commitment, integrity and passion,” says Ticketek MD Cameron Hoy. “In addition to Danny’s extensive ticketing knowledge he has a demonstrated track record of digital transformation and innovation and I look forward to his contribution to our global ticketing leadership team.”
Ticketek became one of the five divisions that comprise TEG Europe, alongside TEG Live Europe, TEG Venues, Propaganda and Ovation, after Australasian live entertainment powerhouse TEG consolidated the company’s UK-based operations into a single entity.
“I am delighted to be joining Ticketek UK and have the opportunity to work with a business that thinks differently about ticketing,” adds Hannaford. “I am really looking forward to and joining a great team that is already delivering impressive growth in this market.”
Toby Leighton-Pope named MD of TEG Europe
Live music veteran Toby Leighton-Pope has been appointed managing director of the newly formed TEG Europe.
Leighton-Pope will oversee the operation, strategic direction and rapid expansion of the UK-based arm of Australia’s live entertainment powerhouse.
He was previously co-CEO of AEG Presents UK from 2016 to December 2021 and spent the prior 16 years at Live Nation, latterly as senior vice president music.
Leighton-Pope has worked with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Arcade Fire, Michael Buble and Katy Perry.
He is also responsible for launching the Hard Rock Calling Festival in Hyde Park, for which he booked artists including Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon and The Who.
“Toby’s outstanding record in the live entertainment industry speaks for itself”
TEG CEO Geoff Jones welcomed Leighton-Pope to the global TEG Family, saying: “Toby’s outstanding record in the live entertainment industry speaks for itself. His ideas, connections, and infectious enthusiasm make him the perfect choice to lead the further expansion of TEG’s successful integrated model into the vibrant UK and European markets.”
Leighton-Pope adds: “I am thrilled to join TEG as managing director of TEG Europe. In the past decade, Geoff and his team have built TEG from Australia’s leading ticketing company, Ticketek, into an increasingly global and leading player in live entertainment, ticketing, venue, digital and data.
“I am thrilled to be working with the talented and passionate TEG Europe Team including Richard Buck [the former CEO of TEG MJR] who is taking on a vital role for us as head of European touring and middle east partnerships.
“We have a huge opportunity to grow our business and build on TEG’s enduring track record of touring success in concerts, sport, festivals, theatre, musicals, exhibitions, family entertainment, comedy, and e-sports, and Ticketek’s 40+ years’ experience ticketing major international events and partnering with the world’s premier venues.”
Formed last month, TEG Europe consolidates TEG’s UK-based operations into a single entity, comprising TEG Live Europe, TEG Venues, Propaganda, Ticketek and Ovation.
TEG Live Europe includes the former TEG MJR touring business, which has worked with artists including Snoop Dogg, Sia, Hans Zimmer, 50 Cent, Tom Jones, and Culture Club.