TEG launches joint venture with Rockefeller Company
TEG has announced the launch of TEG Rockefeller, a new global partnership and joint venture with the Rockefeller Company of New York.
The Rockefeller Company creates film, animation and live family entertainment shows based on children’s books and movies. Its Rockefeller Productions subsidiary, founded in 2014, has a host of productions including The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, the world’s most popular children’s show (with 14 productions on four continents), Paddington Gets in a Jam, and Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Adaptation, which opens in New York this October.
For Sydney-based TEG, the partnership will see its portfolio of experiential family content promoted in the United States and elsewhere by the Rockefeller Productions team. Rockefeller Productions is led by company co-founder Jonathan Rockefeller, who will lead TEG Rockefeller alongside fellow co-founder Wilson Rockefeller and TEG Live managing director Tim McGregor.
The JV unveiled its first project earlier this week: Pixar Putt, an 18-hole pop-up mini-golf course designed by TEG’s Life Like Touring, which opens in Manhattan at the beginning of August with Rockefeller Productions as the US promoter.
TEG CEO Geoff Jones says: “The Rockefellers have created a unique business with a great track record delivering brilliant and innovative productions that have delighted families the world over. We welcome Jonathan, Wilson and their team to the TEG family and look forward to continuing their success under the TEG Rockefeller banner.”
“There is a great future ahead for both companies working alongside each other”
“We’ve always focused on bringing quality entertainment to people everywhere in the world, from Sydney to Shanghai, from London to Los Angeles, introducing the next generation of audience members to an exciting new world,” says Jonathan Rockefeller. “Our work is designed to be universal.
“We’re very pleased to be working alongside TEG to bring some great existing projects like Pixar Putt to a broader audience and begin new and wonderful projects together. There is a great future ahead for both companies working alongside each other.”
Wilson Rockefeller adds: “Rockefeller was established as the anthesis to an antiquated and broken Broadway and studio systems of ‘that is how it has always been done’. I believe our successes over a short period of time have confirmed our innovative approach. With TEG, our new partnership will continue to embrace the new as we move from strength to strength. We at Rockefeller could not be more delighted at the prospect.”
Australia-headquartered TEG operates out of seven country offices and includes TEG Live, TEG Dainty, TEG MJR, TEG Van Egmond, Laneway Festival, Handsome Tours, Qudos Bank Arena, Ticketek, TEG Analytics, TEG Insights and TEG Digital.
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TEG joins forces with Laneway Festival
Laneway Festival, the much-loved Australasian touring festival, has joined the TEG family.
Laneway, in full St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, was founded in 2005 as a Melbourne street party and has grown into a respected festival of domestic and international music, with events in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore (currently Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Fremantle and Auckland). Past performers include Billie Eilish, Lorde, Haim, Denzel Curry, Run the Jewels, Tame Impala and Flume.
In total, Laneway events deliver more than 85 hours of contemporary live music to over 100,000 fans annually. The company also has a touring arm, Laneway Presents, which has co-promoted the festival, as well as a number of tours, with Michael Chugg’s Chugg Entertainment.
It is believed Sydney-based TEG has acquired a majority in stake in Laneway Festival, with founders Jerome Borazio and Danny Rogers staying on as co-managing directors and “substantial owners”.
“We have enormous respect for Laneway, which has grown from a Melbourne street party into a world-class festival and with a strong touring arm, consistently breaking new local and international artists to the youth market in the region,” says TEG CEO Geoff Jones.
“The festival started in a tiny alley in Melbourne in 2005 and has grown to become an institution in Australia, NZ and Singapore”
“Laneway will continue to operate as it always has, with founders Jerome and Danny and their team working closely with TEG Live managing director Tim McGregor as they continue to innovate and plan for the 2022 Laneway Festival. Watch this space.”
The acquisition is TEG’s second of 2021, following February’s takeover of Australian promoter Handsome Tours.
In a joint statement, Borazio and Rogers say: “Firstly, we would like to thank everyone who has helped to make Laneway what it is today. The festival started in a tiny alley in Melbourne in 2005 and has grown to become an institution in Australia, NZ and Singapore, thanks to the hard work and passion of some of the most genuine and talented music lovers in the country. We are endlessly thankful for and humbled by their contribution.
“To the fans and artists: we are super determined to get Laneway Festival back on the circuit ASAP, delivering you the amazing line-ups and experiences that you’ve grown accustomed to. And, of course, we want to thank Michael Chugg and his incredible teams, past and present. The festival would not exist today without his, and their vision, passion and support.
“Finally, to the current team working on the festival: thank you for your ongoing patience throughout this challenging period for our industry. With our new partnership with TEG we’ll be able to navigate these next few years knowing we have a team who shares the festival’s long-term vision.”
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Glen Rainsbury joins Ticketek as GM
Industry veteran Glen Rainsbury has joined Ticketek as general manager for Australia and New Zealand.
Rainsbury, who will be based in Melbourne, brings a wealth of experience to the role that includes senior positions at the Chelsea Flower Show, Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane Cricket Ground (The Gabba) and Etihad Stadium (now Marvel Stadium) in Melbourne. In recent years, he has held executive roles with both Live Nation and Frontier Touring, and in 2020 helped coordinate the work of the new Live Entertainment Industry Forum, for which he was named one of IQ’s Unsung Heroes.
He was most recently director of venue strategy and business development for AEG-aligned promoter Frontier Touring.
Rainsbury joins alongside another new hire for Ticketek parent TEG, which has also appointed Lee Jones to the role of director of ticketing solutions. Both Rainsbury and Jones will report to Cameron Hoy, TEG’s CCO and managing director of ticketing.
“Glen’s CV gives him a 360-degree view of the live entertainment sector, [which] makes him a great fit for this new role”
“Glen’s CV gives him a 360-degree view of the live entertainment sector. It makes him a great fit for this new role, which is key to Ticketek’s strategy to ensure we continue to lead the industry with an enhanced operated model as our industry emerges from Covid-19,” says Hoy.
“I am thrilled that Lee is leading our ticketing solutions team to ensure the full breadth of Ticketek’s technology and capability is deployed and leveraged for the benefit of our partners globally. Lee’s experience in ticketing strategy and solution design is unequalled in our industry.”
Geoff Jones, CEO of TEG, adds: “Glen’s extensive experience, dedication and attention to detail make him a great addition to Cam’s team as we continue to roll out TEG’s integrated model.
“Lee’s commitment to delivering excellence to our partners is second to none, we are thrilled she is stepping into this vital new role.”
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TEG acquires Sydney-based promoter Handsome Tours
Australia-based live entertainment conglomerate TEG is strengthening its domestic position with a majority stake in Handsome Tours, a Syndey-based boutique tour and events promoter.
Handsome Tours has accumulated two decades’ worth of experience in breaking alt-pop, indie rock and hip-hop acts in Australia and New Zealand, promoting tours for artists including Stormzy, Bon Iver, The xx, Phoebe Bridgers and The War On Drugs.
Under the new deal, the company’s executives, Mark Dodds and Colin Daniels, will remain partners. Dodds will continue leadership as the company’s managing director whilst Daniels will assume the role of executive director alongside his ongoing role as managing director of Inertia Music/[PIAS] Australia.
Founding partners Ashley Sellers, Mathew Everett and Justin Cosby will be replaced as board members by TEG CEO Geoff Jones and CFO Sandra Rouse.
“Time and time again, Handsome Tours have showcased their ability to discover new talent and nurture it from the tiniest of clubs to sold-out theatres and arenas,” says TEG’s Jones.
“Handsome Tours have showcased their ability to discover new talent and nurture it from the tiniest clubs to sold-out arenas”
“The team’s passionate work ethic and artist-first philosophy is the perfect complement to TEG’s integrated model, built on client-first technology solutions and customer-first ticketing services.”
Handsome Tours’ Dodds says: “We couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with TEG to write the next chapter for Handsome Tours. Handsome has always been known for breaking artists but we’re even prouder of our record of contributing to sustained artist careers.
“Belonging to a world-class group like TEG will empower us to speak to more music-lovers in more sophisticated ways than ever before, delivering bigger outcomes for agents, managers and their talent at every point of an act’s journey.”
Handsome Tours’ recent accomplishments include Gang Of Youths’ ‘Say Yes To Life’ tour, which sold over 50,000 tickets and broke venue records across the country, as well as 2020’s ‘Down To Earth – A Bushfire and Climate Fundraiser’ at Sidney Myer Music Bowl, which raised over AUS$1.4 million for bushfire relief with a line-up including Gang Of Youths, Tash Sultana, Angus & Julia Stone and Thelma Plum.
TEG appoints new CTO Cameron Stone
Australia-based live entertainment conglomerate TEG has appointed Cameron Stone, formerly chief information officer of Virgin Australia, as chief technology officer, succeeding Greg Willis.
Having worked in aviation, health and financial services, Stone will bring his experience running “missing-critical technology platforms, working with global vendors and leveraging data for strategic benefit”, to TEG, which operates ticketing, promotion, venue and analytics businesses across the Asia-Pacific region.
Geoff Jones, chief executive of TEG, says: “Cam has built a successful career specialising in large transformation programmes and the mobilisation of technology-driven organisations. He is perfectly placed to extend TEG’s technology leadership across our global operations.”+
“We are thrilled to welcome Cam to lead our technology team to deliver on our investments in digital innovation and automation”
Stone will report to Ian Ball, TEG’s chief operating officer and global head of venues, who joined the company last September. Ball comments: “We are thrilled to welcome Cam to lead our technology team to deliver on our investments in digital innovation and automation that will support our global expansion in content, ticketing and venues.”
Stone, who will begin at TEG soon, said: “I am excited to be joining such a progressive and innovative business. I look forward to working with the team and building on TEG’s success.”
Despite the pandemic, 2020 was a busy year for for TEG, which organised a huge benefit for bushfire relief in Australia, acquired Australian promoter Van Egmond Group, invested in the UK’s Ambassador Theatre Group and Australia’s Empire Touring, and launched in Ireland through its subsidiary TEG MJR.
Greatest Southern Nights an “incredibly powerful statement”
On 28 November and 5 December, Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena will welcome thousands of fans for The Greatest Southern Nights, the first indoor arena shows in Australia since the coronavirus pandemic hit in March.
Here, Geoff Jones, CEO of co-promoter TEG, explains how the concerts came together, how fans will be kept safe, how it feels to co-promote shows with rival Live Nation, and why these “circuit-breaker” concerts aren’t about the money…
Q: These two concerts will be the first big indoor arena shows in Australia, and there has only been a handful of arena shows globally since Covid-19 struck. What was the genesis of these shows?
GJ: When Covid-19 shut down the live industry globally, we convened the Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF) in Australia and spent several months working together to devise a set of very helpful guidelines to assist the return of live entertainment in a structured and methodical way. While these guidelines were developed for the entire live industry, increasingly we saw that major live sporting events and codes were getting the lion’s share of focus and support from governments, which is somewhat understandable given they mobilised so quickly to protect seasons in mid-flight or international broadcast rights. It seemed to me that the live music sector was at risk of being left behind and I wanted to do something about it.
So, in late April, I called my colleague, Tim McGregor, the managing director of TEG Live, and asked him to work on a plan to restart concerts based on the developing COVID Safe requirements of Australia’s public health authorities and the safety guidelines created by LEIF in consultation with those authorities. Initially, we explored (and continue to explore) a number of outdoor concert options as there was a lot of commentary and advice that events in these settings were likely to return sooner. But the LEIF experience made it very clear to me that the live music industry really needs its indoor venues to return to full mode capacity as soon as practicable in order to be financially viable.
TEG owns the biggest indoor arena in Australia, Qudos Bank Arena, and Tim and I thought it would be an incredibly powerful statement to somehow deliver some large-scale concerts in that venue before the end of the year. But we wanted to do it in a collegiate way with the industry, so I reached out to Live Nation Asia Pacific president, Roger Field, and invited them to join us in this venture. And so it all began to take shape.
“In the current pandemic context, and with all the work done together with LEIF, a collaboration with Live Nation just made sense”
I understand you all worked together on the Live Entertainment Industry Forum guidelines but did you actually expect to co-promote shows together with Live Nation?
In the current pandemic context and with all the work done together with LEIF, a collaboration just made sense to put the LEIF guidelines into practice and collectively shine a light on live music by working together to produce The Greatest Southern Nights. We’re supporting the artists, the production suppliers and crew, the event staff and many others, including, most importantly, the music fans who have been deprived of arena concerts since March. It’s the sort of industry leadership that we are proud to be a part of.
The New South Wales Government has shown strong support for the live music industry through its Great Southern Nights programme with the Australia Record Industry Association (ARIA). So presumably they were keen on the idea?
The New South Wales government, in particular minister for jobs, investment and tourism Stuart Ayres and Destination New South Wales CEO Steve Cox, and ARIA have shown incredible leadership and support for live music and, indeed, when I presented this concept to them, it was warmly received and we got to work immediately. I really have to applaud all three bodies and hope other governments roll out similar support to get live music moving in their markets.
How do the two “Greatest” Southern Nights arena concerts connect with the 1,000 smaller concerts being run under the “Great” Southern Nights moniker?
The 1,000 gigs for the Great Southern Nights is a superb concept, delivering shows of all shapes and sizes across New South Wales. It will hopefully create a lot of momentum for the industry and joy for fans as they get to see some of their favourite domestic artists in some intimate settings, in a Covid-safe format. So we just thought The Greatest Southern Nights was an excellent complement to the programme, but, of course, upscaled to the biggest capacity indoor arena in the country – Qudos Bank Arena – again with Covid-safe measures in place.
What are the Covid-safe measures that will be in place at The Greatest Southern Nights?
The safety of fans, artists and staff is always our top priority and we will work closely with and comply with the evolving requirements of the public health authorities in respect of the Greatest Southern Nights events. First and foremost, Qudos Bank Arena is a 21,000-capacity venue but will be capped at a fully seated capacity of around 6,200 for these concerts. This will allow for effective implementation of social distancing measures across all parts of the venue, including by way of chequerboard seating in the auditorium. There will also be an extensive cleaning regime and hygiene measures, a fully cashless operation and Ticketek’s fully mobile ticketing platform will assist with efficient ingress and contact tracing if necessary. Again, we will work closely with the public health authorities to implement these and other arrangements deemed necessary at the time to operate on a Covid-safe basis.
“These concerts are not designed to show how live music can recommence on a financially sustainable basis”
You have locked in some great acts for these concerts…
Yes, we had really overwhelming interest from artists wishing to be a part of these historic shows. We’re thrilled that Ocean Alley, Jack River, Ruby Fields and Jack Botts will play at the 28 November show and we have Bernard Fanning, Matt Corby and Merci, Mercy at the 5 December show. We’re so rapt with these two huge consecutive Saturday nights of live music to close out what has been a very, very tough year for our industry and we want them to provide some hope for a much better year in 2021.
Does this mean we will see more shows at Qudos Bank Arena in this reduced-capacity format?
Possibly – but, I can assure you, these concerts do not make a lot of financial sense and that’s not why we are doing it. Firstly, we will be operating with a reduced capacity, which obviously means lower ticket sales. At the same time, we need to use the entire venue, which entails a full deployment of ushers, security and other staff, in addition to all the Covid-safe measures I have mentioned. All of those things cost money. So we have reduced revenue and greater expenses to operate these shows.
Without the generous support from the New South Wales government and without Qudos Bank Arena being provided on a rent-free basis, these concerts would make even less financial sense (although we are going to explore this very carefully to see what might be feasible as we have some solid ideas).
The bottom line is that these concerts are not designed to show how live music can recommence on a financially sustainable basis. They are intended to act as a circuit-breaker to interrupt the near-paralysis that the large concerts industry has been experiencing since Covid arrived; to demonstrate how large indoor concerts can be operated safely and professionally in a Covid world.
Our hope is that The Greatest Southern Nights will generate some important momentum to help lift live music up onto the pedestal alongside sport, where it absolutely should be.
This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.
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.”
TEG joins forces with Empire Touring
Australian conglomerate TEG has struck a deal with Empire Touring to co-promote tours and concerts across Australia, including a run of shows this December.
The multi-year alliance will see TEG financially and strategically support Empire expand the niche it has carved out over the past 40 years, producing and promoting concerts and festivals featuring Australian acts from the 80s and 90s.
Empire, founded by Marc Christowski and general manager Isobel Lanesman, has toured acts such as Paul Kelly, Midnight Oil, Kasey Chambers and John Williamson and also created festival brands including Pure Gold Live, Spring Loaded and Rock at the Races.
“Marc and Isobel have built a business with a storied history and a great future, particularly given their clever pivot to focus on Australia’s wealth of homegrown talent,” said TEG CEO Geoff Jones.
“TEG has a proud track record of supporting Australian artists and we are thrilled to be working with Marc and Isobel to deliver more festivals and concerts to Australian audiences.”
“This will help to reinvigorate Australia’s live entertainment scene for fans, who are champing at the bit to get out there”
Christowski says both he and Lanesman are delighted to be working with TEG. “Geoff and his team have really built a global powerhouse in TEG and we are hugely excited to have formed this strategic alliance,” says Christowski.
“This gives Empire Touring a platform to step up our ambitions by working with TEG to produce a very busy calendar of events that will help to reinvigorate Australia’s live entertainment scene for fans, who are champing at the bit to get out there and see their favourite acts.”
The very first TEG and Empire shows are coming up this December as 101.7 WSFM presents Pure Gold Live at Sydney Coliseum.
The sixth edition of Pure Gold Live is one of the first major line up announcements, post-Covid restrictions, and will feature Aussie rockstars including Richard Clapton, Dragon, Thirsty Merc, Radiators, Choirboys, Shannon Noll, Mi-Sex, Wendy Matthews, Steve Kilbey of the Church and Mark Callaghan of GANGgajang.
Headquartered in Australia, TEG operates worldwide out of seven country offices and includes TEG Live, TEG Dainty, TEG MJR, TEG Van Egmond, TEG Experiences, Qudos Bank Arena, Ticketek, Ticketek Marketplace, Eventopia, Softix, TicketCharge, TicketWorld, Ticketek Singapore, TEG Analytics, TEG Insights and TEG Digital.
TEG invests in Ambassador Theatre Group
Sydney-based live entertainment group TEG has acquired a minority stake in West End theatre operator Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG).
ATG, which is majority owned by Providence Equity Partners (Superstruct Entertainment, Tait), owns or manages around 50 venues globally, including many of London’s best-known theatres. Its portfolio includes the Savoy and Lyceum theatres in London, the Lyric and Hudson in New York, and a growing stable of UK music venues, including the upcoming Stockton Globe and Swansea Arena.
In conjunction with Providence, which paid £350 million for ATG in 2013, TEG – itself owned by a private-equity firm, Silver Lake – will reportedly inject £160m in new equity into ATG as UK theatres tentatively reopen.
It is the first acquisition for TEG – a ticketing, touring and venues company with offices across the Asia-Pacific region – in the UK since its buy-out of the former MJR Group last year. The company hired a new director of M&A in May.
In addition to its venue portfolio, ATG operates the UK’s most visited theatre website, ATGtickets.com, selling around 11 million tickets a year pre-coronavirus. The London-based company, which employs around 4,000 people, laid off 1,200 casual staff earlier this month.
Australia’s TEG reshuffles senior management
Sydney-based live entertainment group TEG has announced a management restructure it says positions the company for the long-term “global expansion of its integrated business model”.
The concert promotion, ticketing and technology firm, which has offices in Australia, New Zealand, south-east Asia and the UK (following the acquisition of the MJR Group last year), has appointed Cameron Hoy to the new combined role of chief commercial officer and managing director of ticketing, taking on oversight of TEG Analytics, TEG Insights and TEG Digital, as well as all TEG’s ticketing operations globally.
Elsewhere, experienced international executive and strategy consultant Ian Ball has joined TEG as chief operating officer (COO). Ball will will oversee all operations, technology, IT, communications and corporate affairs functions, and lead TEG’s venues worldwide.
“This is an evolutionary, fit-for-purpose restructure which is all about making sure we are streamlined for global growth in the longer term, as we battle the challenges posed by Covid-19,” says TEG CEO Geoff Jones.
“This is an evolutionary, fit-for-purpose restructure which is all about making sure we are streamlined for global growth”
“It aligns our businesses in the right way and brings in additional senior talent as we continue to evolve our integrated model.
“I am delighted to appoint my long-time colleague Cam Hoy to this critical role for TEG going forward. With his proven track record, Cam is the ideal executive to lead our increasingly global ticketing operations and aggregate our Analytics, Insights, Digital and commercial businesses to maximum effect for TEG and our partners.”
Hoy was previously TEG’s COO and head of ticketing, while Ball was most recently CEO of professional services firm Cardno. He is also a former operating partner of Silver Lake, which acquired TEG late last year.
“Ian brings a wealth of global experience to our company, which will be invaluable as we look to extend our technology leadership and expand our integrated model globally,” adds Jones.