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Return of international tours vital for Australia’s entertainment venues and promoters

Return of international tours vital for Australia’s entertainment venues and promoters
June 4, 2021

While having backed an array of Australian talent touring over recent months, TEG Chief Executive Geoff Jones has highlighted that the return of international acts will be vital for entertainment venues and promoters in their post Coronavirus recovery.

Speaking yesterday during an Industry Leaders Forum at the 2021 Asia Pacific Venue Industry Congress at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena, Jones emphasised the importance of major international acts touring Australia and filling the nation’s major venues, telling the audience of Venue Management Association (Asia and Pacific) delegates “getting international tours going will drive the economics of buildings”.

Advising at how TEG had backed the return of major tours in the final quarter of 2021, Jones advised “in November last year we put a bet on putting Guns N’ Roses on sale and that by 6th November this year everything would be OK”.

Noting the ongoing uncertainty of Coronavirus lockdowns and their potential input on live events, he cautioned “I sit here today with a gun to my head from the band’s manager and agent as to how the tour will proceed.”

Having already sold around 400,000 tickets for Guns N’ Roses along with Kiss and Keith Urban across 20 or so performances in Australia and New Zealand, Jones stated “my worst nightmare is that something happens and we can’t do all the dates”.

Explaining that TEG is “trying extraordinarily hard” to work with all states to ensure the concerts he go ahead, Jones explained that for each of the tours they would be bringing smaller touring parties, all involved would be vaccinated, they would arrive and travel across Australia by private jet and that they would be subject to a regime of testing with all involved being tested every second day.

Highlighting the risks involved and the TEG could not insure for event cancellations, Jones noted that in the case of Guns N’ Roses they would arrive in Australia following “a four date tour of Japan, coming in six days before they play their first date at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast”.

Acknowledging the wider impact of any cancellations impacting any of the three tours - Guns N’ Roses, Kiss and Keith Urban - Jones cautioned “if those three tours don’t happen in November and December you can write off Q1 in 2022 because no promoter is going to take the risk.”

More optimistic about 2022, Roger Field, President of Live Nation - Asia Pacific, sees that predictions that Australian crowds would be reluctant to return to places of mass gatherings, have not held up.

Speaking to Pollstar, Field advised “I’m feeling very optimistic, next year is looking significant.

“We’re seeing really positive signs in North America and the UK, particularly after vaccination drives there, which allow for some solid planning.”

In comments published today by Pollstar, Field advised that fans are keen to again share live experiences, citing Live Nation data showing 83% of fans are keeping tickets for rescheduled shows and 65% for rescheduled festivals.

The data also shows that 95% are likely to attend a show when restrictions are lifted while 64% plan to attend even more live music events.

However, Dion Brant, Chief Operating Officer at Frontier Touring, sees that Australia’s ongoing closure of international borders may hurt global artists, telling Pollstar “it’s going to be hard for us to get exemptions based on economic impact to get a major act into the country, or exemptions from the 14-day quarantine.”

Asia Pacific Venue Industry Congress 
Yesterday’s Asia Pacific Venue Industry Congress in Sydney is part of the Venue Management Association splitting its annual Congress into four one-day ‘hybrid’ events in major cities in 2021.

Following last week’s first event in Brisbane, the Auckland leg of the series will be delivered in conjunction with the Entertainment Venues Association of New Zealand (EVANZ), be held on 16th and 17th June 2021 at the Aotea Centre, Auckland.

The 2021 Asia Pacific Venue Industry Congress event scheduled to be held in Melbourne on 10th June 2021 has been postponed because of the current Coronavirus lockdown in the state.

For more information go to www.vma.org.au/congress 

Images: Qudos Bank Arena hosts the Sydney leg of the hybrid Asia Pacific Venue Industry Congress (top and below) and TEG Chief Executive Geoff Jones (middle).

About the author

Nigel Benton

Co-owner / Publisher, Australasian Leisure Management

Nigel Benton is the co-owner and publisher of Australasian Leisure Management, Australia and New Zealand’s only magazine for professionals in all areas of the leisure industry. Having established the magazine in 1997, shortly after his relocation to Australia, he has managed its readership rising to over 11,500 and its acceptance as the industry journal for professionals in aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues.

As of 2020, he has launched the new Asian Leisure Business website.

Among a range of published works and features, his comments on a Blog (blogspot) from 2007 to 2011, when this website went live in its current form, may be interesting to reflect back on.

Click here to connect with him via LinkedIn.

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