Australia: Hangout, Drake, The Killers

Drake Sells Out Down Under

The initial shows in Drake’s sudden announcement for Boy Meets World dates in November sold out in minutes after going on sale Sept. 15.

Frontier Touring, Illusive Presents and Live Nation added third shows in Melbourne at

In related news, Frontier Touring announced seven shows in Australia and New Zealand for The Killers, April 20 to May 4.

The band’s biggest here so far, Frontier Touring set up the tour by booking The Killers to play the pre-show and premiership party at one of Australian sports’ biggest events, the Australian Football League’s grand final day Sept. 30.

Hangout Fest Heads Down Under As ‘SandTunes’

John Davisson
– Hangout
The VIPs hit the pool at the sold-out Hangout Beach Music & Arts Festival in Gulf Shores, Ala., May 21. The May 19-22 event featured acts like The Weeknd, Calvin Harris, Florence + The Machine, Alabama Shakes, Ellie Goulding, Cage The Elephant, and Flume.

An Australian version of Alabama’s Hangout Music Fest will stage Dec 1-2, 2018, on the Gold Coast’s Coolangatta Beach.

Under the name SandTunes, it will be staged by major Australian promoter

The exact involvement of Hangout in the new festival is not known. But SandTunes expects to draw 35,000 with a similar offer of major acts performing on two stages on opposing sides of the beach. It is expected to inject A$14 million ($11.2 million) in tourism dollars.

Cars will be banned from the precinct during the two days, with 330 shuttle buses to be used. The event is based on a five-year deal with a further five-year option.

It is understood that other beach areas with buoyant music scenes, such as Melbourne’s St. Kilda and Perth’s Fremantle, had also flagged interest. But SandTunes is exclusive to the Gold Coast, TEG Dainty CEO Paul Dainty stressed to the Gold Coast Bulletin.

“This will be a destination event exclusive to one site within Australia,” he said. The event was pitched to the Gold Coast Council in 2016, which was eager to fill a A$60 million ($48 million) hole after the demise of Big Day Out and Summafieldayze, which staged locally on their national runs. But some councillors showed concern on the impact of a major festival on the iconic beach.

SandTunes is one of the events being staged to draw tourists in the wake of its hosting the Commonwealth Games April 4-15 to an expected global audience of 1.5 billion. Among facilities upgraded for the Games is the 25,000-capacity sports and concerts venue, Metricon Stadium, which will host the opening and closing ceremonies, has begun a dramatic transformation.

Among features to be added are extra seating and grandstands surrounding the scoreboard.

Steve Romer To Exit As VMA CEO

 Steve Romer is exiting the role of chief executive of the Venue Management Association (Asia and Pacific) Limited late October after 3.5 years. Its president, Steve Harper, said he left the association “elevated to a new level of professionalism, along with the delivery of significant membership growth, increased membership benefits, the further development of professional and educational programs and a strong financial position to enable the organisation to return even greater benefits to its members.”

Romer, a VMPA president from 2008-11, was general manager of the Sydney Entertainment Centre 2009-13 and held senior management posts at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre, Blacktown International Sports Park and at Gold Coast theme parks Dreamworld and Sea World.

Twickets Australia Lands More clients UK face-value ticket resale service Twickets is expanding its client list after setting up Australian operations in Melbourne under Danny Hannaford. It’s the official site for the “4th Unified: A Heavy Music Gathering” in January, which sold out in five days, and the Australian leg of platinum-spinning singer-songwriter Vance Joy’s his Lay It On Me World Tour. 

Steve Romer – Steve Romer

Twickets earlier struck a partnership with Frontier Touring for its blockbuster Ed Sheeran run in March 2018, as well as with acts including Midnight Oil and .

Splendour Site Gets Extension

North Byron Parklands was given a 20-month extension to its five-year trial to host the Splendour In the Grass and Falls Byron festivals.

Its five-year pilot was to end Dec. 31 2017. However, the state’s Planning Assessment Commission agreed that the Parklands had shown it could control its environmental, noise and traffic footprint.

“The decision certainty, not only for the two world class festivals held at this site, but for hundreds of local businesses and individuals who generate income from these events,” said its general manager Mat Morris.

The extra time will also give Parklands an opportunity to apply to become a permanent venue for the festivals, and to also expand Splendour’s capacity from 35,000 to 50,000.