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Coronavirus halted booming year for Australia’s live music sector

Coronavirus halted booming year for Australia’s live music sector
December 16, 2020

Despite figures from earlier this year that showed Australia’s live music industry had experienced a challenging summer, newly released rankings from global concert industry publication Pollstar show that the sector was experiencing headed for a successful year before COVID-19 caused it to shutdown.

While the year saw East Coast festivals impacted by bushfires, either directly by the fires or the surrounding air pollution, prior to the shutdown sector had bounced back with major crowd drawing acts in the country or in negotiations to tour.

Pollstar’s end-of-year report, which normally covers 12 months of activity, this year only took in the period from January to mid-March when the global industry was halted.

In that timeframe, Australian promoters and venues performed extremely well with eight making the Top 100 promoters, with four in the Top 15.

In a new record, there were 18 Australian entries in the stadiums/ amphitheatres categories, with seven in the Top 15.

However, overall revenue levels were considerably reduced.

Top Performing Global Stadiums/Amphitheatres
In Pollstar’s Top 50 Stadiums/Amphitheatres list:

2. ANZ Stadium in Sydney (134,984 attendances, US$10.8 million revenie)
3. Optus Stadium, Perth (91,034, US$9.1 million)
4. AAMI Park Stadium, Melbourne (89,197, US$11.9 million)
5. Sydney Cricket Ground (85, 654, US$9.5 million).
12. Sirromet Winery, Mt Cotton (55,068, US$4.6 million)
13. HBF Park, Perth (44,079, US$6 million)
14. Mt Duneed Estate, Geelong (43,375, US$4 million)
16. Adelaide Oval (42,484, US$4.4 million)
17. Rochford Eyton Winery, Yarra Valley (42,122, US$4.3 million)
18. Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane (40,337, US$4.8 million)
19. Hanging Rock outside Melbourne in 19th (40,327, US$4.5 million), and at #20 Metricon Stadium, Carara (39,607, US$4.5 million).

Top Performing Global Arenas
In Pollstar’s Top 50 Arenas, Australia had five entries:

33. Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne (167,599, US$17 million)
43. Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney (136,265, US$14.9 million)
63. Brisbane Entertainment Centre (78,061, US$8.9 million)
87. Hordern Pavilion, Sydney (52,621, US$3.4 million)
94. RAC Arena, Perth (46,031, US$4.6 million).

Top Performing Global Theatre Venues
Among the Top 100 theatre venues were:

39. Hamer Hall, Melbourne
73. Plenary, Melbourne
81. ICC Theatre, Sydney (while the  First State Super Theatre, Sydney - now named the Aware Super Theatre - was ranked 85th.

The three Australian entries in the Top 100 club venues were all from Melbourne: Corner Hotel, ranked at 52; The Forum at 64;, and Northcote Social Club at 98.

Global Promoters
Among promoters, Frontier Touring continued to be one of the world’s biggest, ranking sixth with sales of 1.1 million tickets, earning US$123.3 million for the company.

Another high performer was TEG, with TEG Dainty, TEG Live and its English company MJR Presents in ninth positio, with 695,062 tickets and revenues of US$73 million.

At 11th was Chugg Entertainment with 598,264 tickets and US$75.3 million gross.

Live Nation Australia’s figures were incorporated into Live Nation Global Touring, which was at 17th with a US$70 million generation from 423,124 ticket sales.

At 37th was Roundhouse Entertainment, which puts together the A Day On The Green winery shows, which had 194,655 paying customers who paid a total of US$18.7 million.

Illusive Presents, also part of the Mushroom Group, ranked at #50 with 115,681 tickets and a US$7.9 million gross.

Globally, Pollstar figures showed that Q1, 2020 had a healthy jump in revenue of 10.9% and ticket sales of 4.6% compared to Q1, 2019, while the publication forecast the industry could have hit its first US$12 billion year in box office earnings.

Instead, due to the international shutdown of live entertainment, the Top 100 tours only clicked up US $1.2 billion, “a 78% plummet in worldwide grosses compared to 2019’s $5.5 billion”.

The report added “the overall ticket count of 13.4 million meant a similar plunge of about 77%, because 2019’s Top 100 tours moved 57.7 million tickets.”

Click here to view Pollstar's Top 100 Worldwide Tours chart.

Click here to view Pollstar's Top 50 Stadiums/Amphitheatres chart.

Click here to view Pollstar's Top 200 Arenas chart.

Click here to view Pollstar's Top 200 Theatre Venues chart.

Click here to view Pollstar's Top 100 Promoters chart.

Images: Queen at Fire Fight Australia at ANZ Stadium (top, credit: ANZ Stadium/Emma Rothfield) and Elton John at Sydney's Bankwest Stadium in February. Elton John's was the top performing tour of the year (below).

Related Articles

9th December 2020 - LPA calls for Business Interruption Fund to protect entertainment sector against future COVID-related shutdowns

9th December 2020 - Latest Australia Council grants deliver $8.4 million to support 217 creative projects and cultural activities

18th November 2020 - Live Performance Australia releases updated Ticketing Code of Practice

5th November 2020 - Save Our Stages NSW calls on public to help save the state’s live music industry

23rd October 2020 - Survey shows over 400 Australian Live Music Businesses face imminent closure

14th October 2020 - Live entertainment industry counts the cost of COVID

14th October 2020 - Industry comes together to assess impact of COVID-19 on the events and entertainment industry

21st September 2020 - Live Nation appoints senior leadership roles within its Asia Pacific division

20th September 2020 - Live music venues to benefit industry from $13 million Victorian Government support package

17th September 2020 - Darwin to host Australia’s first post-Coronavirus live concert

13th July 2020 - Pollstar ranks Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium among world’s top 20 venues

7th April 2020 - New Pollstar figures show Elton John’s Australasian dates as world’s second most successful tour

28th March 2020 - Major entertainment promoters call for Australian Government support through Coronavirus crisis

17th February 2020 - Fire Fight Australia concert raises $9.5 million for bushfire relief

31st January 2020 - Sound Relief bushfire fundraising concerts cancelled

6th December 2019 - Fans warned over fake tickets as hundreds turned away from Elton John’s Adelaide concerts

28th October 2019 - Billboard reports strong performance by ASM Global’s Australian arenas

4th October 2019 - Australasian venues rate highly on Billboard’s ‘2019 Arena Power List’

24th January 2019 - Frontier Touring ranked top Australian promoter in new Billboard global report

16th July 2018 - Australasian venues strong performers in Pollstar’s Mid-Year concert rankings

16th July 2018 - Pollstar acknowledges Bluesfest as Australia’s top music festival

16th July 2018 - Pollstar Mid-Year Charts show soaring ticket prices as Ed Sheeran’s tour breaks records

26th January 2018 - Record breaking year for global concert business

19th July 2017 - Pollstar Mid-Year rankings show Australia’s outdoor venues eclipsing indoor arenas


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