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NZ promoter quits after 30 years due to restrictions

A New Zealand promoter has called it quits after 30 years in the business, blaming the government’s lack of support for the events and entertainment sector.

Phil Sprey, owner of Wellington’s Capital C Concerts, counts Elton John, Alice Cooper and Bon Jovi among his clients but says two years of Covid-19 restrictions has ruined the business he built over 30 years.

He says the “final straw” was the government’s decision yesterday to remain in the red traffic light setting, which limits indoor concerts to 200 people.

“Nobody’s giving clear, long-term answers – and on that basis you can’t do international deals,” Sprey told The Stuff.

“For domestically based promoters it’s becoming nigh on impossible at the moment because you can’t write a contract.”

“We haven’t had an artist in over two years, so I thought, let’s finally pull the plug”

Before the pandemic, Capital C specialised in major stadium-sized concerts. Since Covid-19 hit there had been no bookings to keep the business afloat, and no help from the government, he said.

“We haven’t had an artist in over two years, so I thought, let’s finally pull the plug.

“Instead of passing my business on to my eldest son, I had to make him redundant, unemployed and now can’t even leave him anything more than a memory,” Sprey said.

The long list of shows brought to Wellington by Capital C also includes KISS, Moody Blues, Ozzy Osbourne, Poison, Sol3mio, Little River Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Herman’s Hermits and The Searchers.

The government announced last month it was extending the Events Transition Support Payment scheme, which offers a 90% subsidy of unrecoverable costs to events with more than 5,000 people cancelled due to restrictions.

For Sprey, who couldn’t arrange international acts because of the pandemic, there were no bookings in place to claim on.

 


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Eminem 2019 Rapture tour to break more records

Eminem’s upcoming show in Wellington, New Zealand, is expected to bring record numbers of visitors to the Kiwi capital, as well as breaking the attendance record for the city’s 34,500-seat Westpac Stadium.

The rapper’s TEG Dainty-promoted 2019 Rapture tour has already been one for the history books, as a record 80,708 fans attended the Eminem concert at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday night.

A total of 45,000 fans will attend the one-off Eminem concert on Saturday 2 March in Westpac Stadium. According to stadium chief executive Shane Harmon, this will be the largest ever crowd to attend a single-day event in the stadium.

The venue organisers will have 1,500 staff members on hand at the concert, as well as installing additional food, drink and bathroom facilities.

“It’s going to be another huge weekend in the capital”

It is expected that 22,000 of these fans will be visitors, travelling from outside Wellington to attend the show. The previous record for single-day event visitors was set in 2017, when 20,000 British Lions rugby fans visited the city for a test match against the New Zealand All Blacks.

“It’s going to be another huge weekend in the capital,” says Wellington mayor, Justin Lester. “People will need to expect a bit of congestion on the streets and footpaths. Let’s welcome visitors and enjoy the occasion.”

Eminem has only played one New Zealand show before, at Western Springs Stadium (49,000-cap.) in Auckland, as part of his 2014 Rapture tour. The concert was the stadium’s fastest-selling show ever, attracting over 50,000 fans.

Eminem breaks attendance record at the MCG


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NZ promoters slam Venues Wellington, TM tie-up

The New Zealand Promoters’ Association (NZPA) has criticised local authorities in Wellington for their decision to grant exclusive ticketing rights for four venues to Ticketmaster.

According to the association – until recently known as the New Zealand Entertainment Operators Association (NEOA) – the appointment of Ticketmaster NZ as the exclusive ticketer for Venues Wellington was made “without any consultation with promoters”, who would have preferred to “have the choice to select [a ticketing company] on a per-show basis”.

Venues Wellington, a division of the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA), operates four venues in the New Zealand capital: the TSB Bank Arena (5,655-cap.), Michael Fowler Centre (2,209-cap.), St James Theatre (1,552-cap.) and the Opera House (1,361-cap.). All move to Ticketmaster from Ticketek.

“NZPA would like to have the choice to select one of those companies on a per-show basis as their preferred ticketer for any venue”

“As two ticketing companies will be operating in Wellington, NZPA would like to have the choice to select one of those companies on a per-show basis as their preferred ticketer for any venue,” reads a statement from NZPA, which is chaired by Pacific Entertainment founder Ian Magan. “NZPA would like the ticket buying public to understand that this exclusive contract takes away the right of the promoter to seek better pricing from a competitive ticket provider for the public…”

The association also expresses its concern that Ticketmaster – through Ticketmaster Resale – is “actively involved” in the New Zealand secondary ticketing market. “This,” it says, “includes the potential for all tickets to events at Venues Wellington venues to be targeted for resale through the Ticketmaster Resale site and others, to further confuse, inconvenience and take advantage of the public who purchase tickets to events at any of these venues. The ticket resale market in New Zealand […] is already under investigation because of the public outcry.”

Live Nation Australasia declined to comment.

 


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