Australia: Elton Extends Aussie Run, U2 Adds Two; Falls Festival, Vivid Sydney

Elton John
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
– Elton John
Performing before announcing final world tour at Gotham Hall in New York.

Elton John Extends Aussie Run, Opening Four Stadiums

Chugg Entertainment announced June 14 six more outdoor shows were added to Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour. The piano man’s tally Down Under, with AEG Presents, is 32 Australian and six New Zealand dates with total sales approaching half a million, said the company. The trek begins November 30 in Perth and wraps March 2020.
Four new shows see John christen new regional stadiums. He is the first music act at Coffs Harbour’s 20,000-capacity C.ex Coffs International Stadium February 26; and the first international name at the 12,000-capacity Sunshine Coast Stadium March 3. He is the first music act at Western Sydney’s rebuilt 30,000-seat Bankwest Stadium March 7, with the venue set to open a permanent Yellow Brick Road to commemorate.
John opens the A$250 million ($171.8 million) 25,000-capacity North Queensland Stadium in Townsville. The Feb. 29 show is hailed a coup for the region’s tourism and economic development. The Queensland government, Townsville City Council, Stadiums Queensland and Townsville Enterprise Ltd. (TEL) worked to secure the date. John played Townsville for the one and only time in 2007 and set a new local attendance record with 22,000.
The other dates are in Victoria, bringing the superstar’s state tally to 11. The A Day At The Green winery show is Dec. 7 at Mt Duneed Estate outside Melbourne and the fifth show at Melbourne’s AAMI Park is Feb. 22. It will be John’s 50th performance in the city since his 1971 debut at Kooyong Stadium. Chief executive Michael Chugg said,  “Demand has been absolutely incredible, we know the Rocketman is going to create magic memories for Australia and New Zealand when he arrives later this year.”
Two More For U2 
U2 added two more dates Down Under for The Joshua Tree Tour, now making a total of eight. These were the second Auckland show at Mt. Smart Stadium Nov. 9, and the second Sydney Cricket Ground date Nov. 23. Live Nation declined to comment on how fast tickets sell out but Stuff reported that Ticketmaster’s website showed no more tickets for Auckland by 2.02 pm, two minutes after sale.

Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for NLM
– U2
U2 plays Madison Square Garden Arena in New York

Falls Festival pays out settlements over 2016 crush
Ash Sounds Pty Ltd, owner of Falls Festival in Lorne, Victoria, agreed to payouts for six of the 76-person class action over an incident December 30, 2016. A stampede and crush resulted just before 10 pm, when patrons departing the Grand Theatre tent to see London Grammar on the main stage, resulting in injuries to more than 70. 
The first settlement, with those claiming  “serious injury”, came before a Supreme Court hearing. Maddens Lawyers, for the claimants, told the Melbourne Age they expected all claims to be settled before the next hearing, Sept. 10. About 25 are listed in the “serious injury” category, and, said Maddens, are in line for settlements up to A$250,000 (US$171, 732). Others would most likely receive between $3,000 ($2060) to $10,000. ($6867) to cover medical expenses or loss of income.
Frontier Touring Leads Helpmann Noms
Frontier Touring led the noms in the three contemporary music categories of Live Performance Australia’s 19th Helpmann Awards. Announced June 12, Frontier was behind three of four international concert noms (David Byrne, Celine Dion, The Killers) and Kylie Minogue and Paul Kelly for best Australian contemporary concert.  This section included composer Tim Minchin (Live Nation) and a rap showcase by RPM Records and Bad Apples at Darwin Festival.
Vying for contemporary music festival are WOMADelaide (WOMADelaide Foundation), Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Vivid Live (Vivid and Sydney Opera House) and CMC Rocks (Chugg Entertainment and Rob Potts Entertainment Edge). Winners of 42 categories are unveiled July 14-15 at Arts Centre Melbourne. Already announced are indigenous socio-political singer songwriter Kev Carmody for the JC Williamson contribution to the sector, and Tasmania’s mid-winter Dark Mofo for best special event.
Executive Moves: Café Del Mar, Melbourne Recital Centre
Rodd Richards of Rodd Richards Presents, head promoter and booking agent for Café del Mar Sydney the last five years. Is now music director for Café Del Mar Australasia.  It includes Café del Mar Bali and Café del Mar Maldives.  
Cultural leader and educator Professor Andrea Hull is new chair of Melbourne Recital Centre. The ten-year old venue’s diverse live music program sees it host 600 events a year.
Vivid Sydney pulls serious crowds
Vivid Sydney 2019, the largest festival of Light, Music and Ideas in the southern hemisphere, has drawn major crowds, organisers revealed. Two million attended its exhibition May 24 to June 15. Over 600,000 experienced its lighting spectacles over the three day Queen’s birthday long weekend in June, “the largest crowd of the past three years,” said minister for tourism Stuart Ayres.