HotStar: Hillsong United

Christian music collective Hillsong United from Sydney, Australia, has visited the U.S. several times over the past three years, drawing crowds from 3,000 to 6,000 wherever they went.

But it wasn’t until they became the first Christian artist to sell out the Staples Center that the band caught some people’s attention.

“I’m still getting, ‘Hillsong who?’” promoter Shane Quick told Pollstar. “I’m still getting a little bit of that but after the Staples Center, after having to call people and tell them about Hillsong United, I’m starting to get calls from building managers asking me about them. It’s been really cool to see the interest explode. It’s a fun ride already.”

Quick of Premier Productions has handled many roles for the band in the U.S. Because the band is self-managed and doesn’t have an agent of record, Quick has not only promoted or co-promoted Hillsong United, he and EMI’s Christian Music Group have helped cover those duties.

So, with all of the Christian bands out there that have built solid touring foundations over the years, why would a band from Sydney be the first to draw 12,804 to Los Angeles?

“They’re not only a worship team. Churches around the world, every Sunday morning, are singing their songs,” Quick said. “Very few of the songs you hear at a Hillsong United night are played on the radio, until recently.

“Another thing is this band is very committed to all nationalities. When you go to a Hillsong United event you’ll see white, black, Asian and Latin lined up like no Christian band I’ve ever seen. And they’ve also invested in those demographics by touring in Asia, touring in South America, and writing songs and doing full albums in Spanish. And they’ve given worship songs to different countries that really didn’t have any made for them.”

Hillsong United was formed out of the Youth Movement of Hillsong Church, which has about 3,000 members. United recorded its first album, Everyday, in 1999.

Hillsong Church has a congregation of more than 25,000 in Australia and has evangelical churches in London, Cape Town and Kiev.