Australia: Elton John, Perth’s Optus Stadium, Human Nature, Peter Posa

Elton John
AP Photo / Invision / Evan Agostini
– Elton John
Elton John tickles the ivories at Gotham Hall in New York City Jan. 24.

Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road For Dec.-Feb.
Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour will spend December 2019 to February 2020 in Australia and New Zealand. Chugg Entertainment, in association with AEG Presents, booked an initial 15 shows in Australia Nov. 30 to Jan. 31. They are a mix of indoor arenas, outdoor parks, A Day On The Green winery shows and regional cities.
Michael Chugg, chairman of Chugg Entertainment told Pollstar, “Australia’s such a strong market for Elton. We’ve toured him in 2012, 2013 and 2017 but always in selective places. On the last run, he did mostly regional areas that he hadn’t done before and moved 70,000 tickets. This is going to be his first national tour since the early 2000s, and he shifted few hundred thousand tickets then.” Chugg confirmed more dates will be added. Since playing his first Australian show in October 1971, John has played 196 shows to 1.5 million Aussie fans. 
The farewell also includes three New Zealand stops, February 4 to 9, include stadiums in Dunedin and Auckland, and a winery in Hawke’s Bay.
Perth’s Optus Stadium Draws 2 Million In First Year 
Perth’s 60,000-seat sports and entertainment Optus Stadium attracted more than 2 million patrons in its first 12 months, to 43 major events. Operator VenuesLive noted that the full 2,068,109 figure included 57,776 attending 420 meetings and special events and 31,550 who undertook stadium tours.
Optus Stadium CEO Mike McKenna said the figures “exceeded expectations” and cited three aspects he was particularly pleased about: six customer surveys that gave the venue a 94 percent to 98 percent fan satisfaction, 122,000 regional, interstate and international visitors that “make this venue a genuine tourism attraction” and the high (1.46 million) use of public transport for events. Other statistics included the sale of 1 million liters of beer and 500,000+ buckets of chips, the use of 21,546 rolls of toilet paper, 80 percent of transactions cashless and 61,000 app downloads. Eminem plays in March to 50,000 fans.
Qudos Bank Arena Tops 1M In 2018 
The AEG Ogden-managed Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney drew 1,066,607 patrons to 110 ticketed events in 2018. It was the largest ticketed crowd for the 21,389-seat arena for live entertainment since opening some 19 years ago. General manager Steve Hevern says he expects “that level of event activity likely to continue in 2019.” The figures do not include business events guests at functions, conferences, seminars and exhibitions.
Last year saw a number of attendance records set. Pink’s nine shows as part of the Beautiful Trauma World Tour broke three –total ticket sales for any artist, total ticket sales for a female solo artist and longest run of shows ever for a solo artist. Bruno Mars’ five shows as part of the 24k Magic World Tour set a new milestone for total ticket sales by a male solo act, while Kevin Hart’s two shows on The Irresponsible Tour did the same for a comedy act.
Human Nature Extends Vegas Residency 
Sydney-hailed R&B vocal outfit Human Nature will stay at Sands Showroom at The Venetian Las Vegas for a further three years, to March 2022. “Human Nature is a true Las Vegas success story and a wonderful part of The Venetian family,” said Venetian president and CEO George Markantonis. “They continue to inspire audiences with their award-winning vocals and extraordinary take on Las Vegas entertainment.”
Following on from the multi-platinum success of Motown-themed albums in Australia, Human Nature bowed in Vegas May 2009 at the Imperial Palace (now The Ling Hotel), initially with a Motown-themed show endorsed by Motown’s Smokey Robinson. Their next show, again produced by SPI Entertainment, will expand their Jukebox stage format.
School friends Toby Allen, Phil Burton and brothers, Andrew and Mike Tierney, who formed 30 years ago, moved to The Venetian in 2013. They extended their stay in 2015 after an offer from Caesars Entertainment Corp for its Harrah’s Showroom. On Australia Day January 26, the four were awarded Order of Australia medals for their entertainment and charity work.
New Zealand Guitar Legend Peter Posa Dies
New Zealand guitar legend Peter Posa, whose chart topping signature instrumental tune “White Rabbit” in 1963 led to tours through the United States, died Feb 3 in hospital aged 77. Posa released 28 singles and 23 albums. His popularity in Fiji saw him awarded the honorary title of chieftain while New Zealand made him a member of its Order of Merit in 2008. Posa’s career was curtailed by a 1970 car crash which wrecked his neck and a stroke in 2016.  In 2013, the release of White Rabbit: The Very Best Of Peter Posa debuted at #1 where it stayed for six weeks, and took highest selling album of the year at the New Zealand Music Awards over Lorde, Aaradhna and Fat Freddy’s Drop.