Australia: Perth Arena, Hangout, Viagogo, 123 Agency, Veronicas

Perth Arena
Peter Bennetts
– Perth Arena

Perth Arena Changing Name To RAC Arena
Perth Arena becomes RAC Arena Sept. 1 after the Western Australian government struck a five-year agreement with the 113-year-old Royal Automobile Club (RAC). Published reports valued the deal at A$10 million ($7.3 million).

Since Elton John launched the sports and entertainment venue in 2012, it has drawn nearly 1 million patrons a year, and hosted The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Pink, Celine Dion and Katy Perry, with Queens of the Stone Age in September, and Cher in October. In Pollstar’s Q1 report this year, it ranked No. 35 globally for sales of 81,447 tickets.

Sport and recreation minister Mick Murray stated, “Perth Arena is recognised by promoters, artists and sporting teams as one of the greatest entertainment venues in the world. We are delighted RAC has been able to beat out national competition in securing this deal, making sure the State’s world-class arena is attached to a truly local organisation.” 

Naming rights for Perth Arena was a contentious issue. The former premier of the state, Colin Barnett, was insistent the name Perth be retained for the sake of international tourism. A reported A$1.4 million ($1.07 million) annual bid by finance company Suncorp was rejected, and arena operator AEG Ogden financially compensated for not being able to sell the rights.

Report: Aussie Version Of Alabama’s Hangout Fest Delayed A Year
The inaugural Australian version of Alabama’s Hangout Fest has been delayed 12 months, the Gold Coast Bulletin reported. SandTunes was to take place Dec. 1-2 on a stretch of the iconic Coolangatta Beach, in a partnership with TEG Dainty, AEG and Queensland’s Cross Promotions. It was heralded as the biggest event of its kind in the region, expecting 35,000 to see up to 50 international and Aussie acts and generate A$14 million ($10.2 million) to the local economy. A source told the Bulletin the plan is to now stage it December 2019, while local businesses were also said to be relieved as it would give them more time to prepare for the massive event.

NZ Commerce Commission Taking Viagogo To Court
The New Zealand Commerce Commission is about to begin civil proceedings in the High Court against Viagogo, it announced. It will be under the Fair Trading Act, and the Commission will claim that Viagogo breached the Act and wants an injunction preventing it from further breaches.

It will allege that Viagogo made false or misleading representations when it claimed to be an “official” seller, “guaranteed” consumers of valid tickets, and did not add fees to advertised prices. It is also testing the clause in the contract that says in the event of a dispute brought about by a consumer, it would have to be heard in a court in its native Switzerland but Viagogo can take court action against consumers in the consumer’s own country. Commission head of consumer, Stuart Wallace, explained that the investigation had taken so long “in large measure … because of the complexity of pursuing a case against an online trader based offshore.”

123 Agency Sets Up Label With Sony 

A month after launching its VVV MGMT management division, 123 Agency entered into a joint venture with Sony Music Entertainment Australia. Announced Aug. 20, 123 will sign acts from a variety of genres, with the major label tie-in to get them international attention. Sony Australia’s global strike included Midnight Oil, Men At Work, Tina Arena, Human Nature, Guy Sebastian, John Farnham, and currently, Gang of Youths. Damian Costin, who founded 123 10 years ago,  said the label was a further offering “for our clients. We really can’t wait to launch 123 Music and create some legacy acts together.”  123’s agency clients include Tash Sultana, Kingswood, Dear Seattle and Hollow Coves.

Artist Managers Strike Deal With Ibis Hotels
The Association of Artist Managers (AAM) has partnered with AccorHotels’ ibis brand to give members benefits under its new ibis ‘Play ‘n’ Stay’ offer. AAM co-chair Greg Carey revealed that the deal included flexible check-in/check-out times, unlimited free WiFi, access to its loyalty program, 10 percent off all food and beverages, and free parking for 12-seaters. “Touring is a buzz for artists, (but) it can be expensive, tiring and a strain on the mental health for all involved,” he said.

Veronicas Sign Worldwide Management With RED 

The Veronicas
Owen Sweeney / Invision / AP
– The Veronicas
Rockford Park, Wilmington, Del.

Sydney-based RED mgmt’s Grant Gillies told The Music Network that it has signed a global deal with The Veronicas. Twins Lisa and Jessica Origliasso are one of Australia’s biggest names, with 16 Top 10 singles and the only domestic act to score two No. 1s in the past four years. After delaying making their fourth album, The Veronicas are in Los Angeles in the studio. “Their brand is really strong, so it’s not a rebrand, but we do need to remind people of just how successful they are and how diverse they can be musically,” said Gillies