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Australia-NZ bubble to ‘revitalise’ touring

Australia and New Zealand have welcomed the announcement of a trans-Tasman bubble which will allow artists to travel between the two nations without having to quarantine from 19 April.

Live Nation New Zealand managing director Mark Kneebone​ told Stuff that the promoter has already booked four of five tours for Australian acts over the next month, which are yet to be announced.

“We’ve been lucky to have so many performers in [New Zealand] to be able to fill stages and sell tickets,” Kneebone said. “At this point, however, audiences do want some variety. And while New Zealand acts will continue to perform and do really well, the chance to bring over Australian acts and bands is great for the industry,” he said.

Lucy Macrae, a music publicist and owner of Auckland venue Whammy, told Stuff: “We are now starting to experience some touring fatigue with our local artists. Having a bubble open up between countries will revitalise live music.”

Since October, New Zealand travellers have been allowed to enter most Australian states without quarantine but this had not been reciprocated.

“At this point, however, audiences do want some variety…the chance to bring over Australian acts is great for the industry”

Brent Eccles of promoter Eccles Entertainment, told IQ back in February that without the trans-Tasman bubble, NZ’s relatively small live industry was having to recycle the same acts.

“New Zealand’s limited talent pool has already been used – to great effect – but venues throughout the country are struggling to fill their many vacant diary dates,” he said.

From 19 April, New Zealand will bring in “green zone” conditions similar to those that its citizens face entering Australia.

Passengers travelling to New Zealand will be required to have spent the 14 days before the flight in Australia only.

Those with cold or flu symptoms will not be allowed to travel, and all passengers must wear masks and give details to New Zealand authorities of where they will be staying.

Australia has recorded 909 deaths since the pandemic began, while New Zealand has reported 25.

Read about the opportunities and challenges New Zealand’s post-pandemic bubble has presented its live industry here.


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