Australia: Live Nation Boosts NZ Operations, ICC Sydney Naming Rights, New Sydney Opera House Chief

Live Nation Ramps Up New Zealand Operations

Live Nation made senior appointments for the New Zealand market effective May 4.

Biz veteran of 40 years, Stuart Clumpas, was named chairman of Live Nation New Zealand. In his native Scotland, he ran live music events and co-founded T In The Park festival.

Operations manager Rick Latham was appointed head of operations and production manager, Steve Wheadon is now head of production and Mark Kneebone was upped to head of promotions, overseeing strategic event and talent development, as well as marketing.

The move followed LN taking a controlling interest in Rhythm & Vines festival, signaling plans to grow its footprint in the region. In 2015 LN also bought into 12-000-capacity Spark Arena in Auckland: Clumpas is director and part-owner; Latham and Wheadon continue to oversee in their respective roles. A partnership with C3 Presents sees the staging of Auckland City Limits.

Clumpas said, “I emigrated down under from Scotland 16 years ago supposedly to retire from the business, but I’m clearly not very good at that. Seriously though, I’m very positive about this new challenge. The New Zealand music business has grown in leaps and bounds over the past two decades, and this new role gives me the opportunity to make sure that Live Nation is at the forefront of ensuring that growth continues in the future.”

Roger Field, Melbourne-based CEO of Live Nation Australasia, added: “New Zealand is a valuable and vibrant entertainment market, and it’s time it is recognized for its importance and growth potential it the region. These appointments demonstrate our commitment to New Zealand, and our objective of bringing more events, to more people across the country.” 

ICC Sydney Negotiating Naming Rights

International Convention Centre Sydney officials are negotiating the venue’s first commercial naming rights partner for the ICC Sydney Theatre.

The 8,000-seat venue opened December 2016 as part of the A$3.4 billion ($2.55 billion), 20-hectare transformation of Darling Harbour. The ICC says that in the first year, the theatre drew 250,000 patrons to 56 entertainment events including Jerry Seinfeld, Ariana Grande, k.d lang, Nick Cave and PJ Harvey. A Deloitte Access Economics study found delegates attending events there generated $785 million ($589,630) in direct expenditure for New South Wales.

 ICC Sydney CEO Geoff Donaghy said, “We are in discussions with a number of high profile Australian and international brands.” He added that negotiations through the venue’s operator, AEG Ogden, are emphasizing the theatre’s contemporary design, state-of-the-art facilities and technology, its fan-shaped seating bowl that facilitates closer and unobstructed views for all, as well as the fact that the Darling Harbour drew1.3 million visitors, delegates and attendees last year.

Pink Sets Record In Auckland

Pink set a new record for Auckland’s 12,000-seat Spark Arena with Live Nation announcing a fifth show Sept. 10. She previously tied with Bruno Mars, Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake and Roger Waters – all LN tours – with four consecutive dates.

Brett Schauf
– Pink
Pink and her “Beautiful Trauma World Tour” stops at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kan.

The “Beautiful Trauma Tour” dates in NZ now totals six, with a date in Dunedin at Forsyth Barr Stadium Sept. 1. Opening in NZ are Australia’s The Rubens.

The 35 shows of the Australian leg pulls her total ticket sales Down Under over the years to 2 million, LN said. 

New Programming Head For Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House appointed veteran arts leader Fiona Winning as head of programming.

She will program for the venue’s live events arm, Sydney Opera House Presents, which handles about 700 performances each year in the areas of contemporary music, contemporary performance, First Nations, families and more.

Winning’s diverse experience includes stints as head of programming at Sydney Festival 2012 to 2017 and director of national contemporary arts hub Performance Space 1999 to 2008.