Australia: Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, Stadiums, Winery Tour Canceled

Taylor Swift Announces Down Under Shows

Taylor Swift
Darron Cummings/AP
– Taylor Swift
Performing on the eve of the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix auto race at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Taylor Swift has extended her northern hemisphere dates to include an Australian and New Zealand run. Live Nation has her at Perth Optus Stadium (Oct. 19), Etihad Stadium Melbourne (Oct. 26) ANZ Stadium, Sydney (Nov. 2), the Gabba, Brisbane (Nov. 6) and Mt. Smart Stadium, Auckland (Nov. 9).

Live Nation also has jazz instrumentalist Chris Botti returning Feb. 16-20 for five theatre dates; true crime podcast Dirty John creator Christopher Goffardat four theatres March 14-22; and L.A based social media multi-instrumentalist and singer phenomenon Alex Aiono makes his Australian debut with a single show Feb. 17 at Sydney’s Oxford Art Factory.

Seal and his orchestra take in five theatres March 30 to April 12 behind his jazz album Standards for TEG Dainty.

Frontier Touring teamed LCD Soundsystem and fellow New Yorker, Aussie expatriate Nick Murphy (previously known as Chet Faker) for five outdoor or stadium appearances Feb. 12-24.

After their Australian debut at the Stereosonic festival in 2015, Frontier has EDM act Clean Bandit on their first headliners in three cities in the last week of January.

Syrian-born, Los Angeles-based Bedouine makes her Australia debut with two club shows early March for Chugg Entertainment.

Nightmare Music has the Robert Cray Band at three theatres after their Blues On Broadbeach festival appearance in Queensland in May.

Metropolis Tours teamed Sepultura and Death Angel for five club appearances May 15-20.

Belle & Sebastian return after three years with four theatre stops May 2-7 through MJR Presents.

Sergio Mendes And Brasil ’66 take in four theatres April 5 to 10 for their first appearances in a decade, booked by Roy Ortuso and Metropolis Touring.

Lemonheads return to their second home, Australia, with a four clubs run March 1 to 8 for Handsome Tours.

Sir Paul Helps Two Fans Say ‘Love Me Do’

At the Dec. 2 start of the Australian leg of The One On One Tour at Perth’s nib Stadium, Sir Paul McCartney helped two fans get engaged onstage.

He spotted Perth man Martyn Davison holding up a sign “Can I propose to my love on stage?” and brought him up and girlfriend Saya Imai during the encore. Davison and Japanese-born Imai met 10 years ago on a Kon-Tiki tour and bonded over a love for Beatles music.

Paul McCartney
Scott Legato / Getty Images
– Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney acknowledges the fans during the first of two shows at the new Little Caesars Arena in Detroit Oct. 1.

McCartney instructed Davison to go down on one knee to propose before the crowd of 23,000, and signed Imai’s Sgt. Peppers jacket, quipping “It’s going straight up on eBay.”

When the Frontier Touring-booked tour hit Melbourne, Sir Paul reunited with Jimmy McGeachy, who as a 15-year old growing up in Scotland’s near Mull of Kintyre played drums as part of the pie band on Wings 1977 hit of that name. He moved to Australia in the early ‘80s and still plays drums in a local band.

Backlash Over Sydney Stadiums; $2B Price Tag

A public backlash has begun over plans by the New South Wales government to spend A$2.3 billion ($1.74 billion) on two stadiums in Sydney to increase tourism.  The 30-year-old Allianz Stadium at Moore Park will be demolished and rebuilt in 2018.

It will have a capacity to hold 45,000 fans. The ANZ Stadium in Olympic Park will begin renovations in 2019 and will open in 2022 as rectangular-shaped and with a 75,000— 80,000-capacity.

But the Sydney Morning Herald reported Dec. 4 that an online petition launched Dec. 2 on opposing the plan had more than 50,000 signatures in 24 hours.

It said the money should be used instead on youth sports, education and health services. The petition stated, “We are tired of taxpayer dollars being lavished on building facilities for sports big business, while community sport withers on the vine for lack of facilities and resources.”

Winery Tour Canceled

One of New Zealand’s most popular summer events, The Winery Tour 2018, has been abruptly cancelled. It would have seen Tami Neilson, Annie Crummer, Che Fu, Jason Kerrison, Betty-Anne Monga (Ardijah) and Hollie Smith play ten locations Jan.19 to Feb.10.

Promoters Brent Eccles and Campbell Smith cited “unforeseen circumstances” but did not explain what they were and why the tour could not be rescheduled.

The tour was in its eleventh year utilising the performers using a “songbook” format, before the same band, often collaborating onstage and throwing in cover versions in between their own hits. Full refunds were offered.