Boxoffice Insider: Australia & New Zealand Bands Fare Well In 2021

Collaborators join Midnight Oil
Sam Tabone / WireImage
– Collaborators join Midnight Oil
on stage at Mt Duneed in Melbourne, Australia, March 20, 2021. The show grossed $1.2 million.
New Zealand band Six60 made quite an impact earlier this year as the first touring act to perform for stadium crowds at full capacity after crippling months of the live industry shutdown, and now they are front and center again after performing for thousands of fans in another packed venue. Auckland’s Eden Park, New Zealand’s national stadium, hosted the group along with five opening acts for an historic music event on April 24. It was the first concert ever held at the stadium, which is the largest sports venue in the country and has a history that stretches beyond a century.
With 48,159 fans in attendance and $4.7 million (USD) in sales, the April performance was the final stop on the band’s 2021 “Six60 Saturdays” tour that began in mid-January with six consecutive Saturday shows played in stadium-sized venues and outdoor concert sites. Box office figures reported by promoter Eccles Entertainment from each performance show the overall gross from the tour’s seven concerts totaling $14.5 million from 167,621 sold tickets.
Ticket counts varied considerably among the venues on the tour schedule with Eden Park producing the largest total. Wellington’s Sky Stadium followed next with a 30,022-ticket tally for a concert on Feb. 13, while the smallest number of tickets was tracked at the tour opener on Jan. 16. That first show at Waitangi Sports Grounds, near the city of Kerikeri, registered 12,393 sold seats.
The other four shows on the tour’s initial run during the first quarter of the year were at Tomoana Showgrounds in Hastings (Jan. 23), TSB Bowl of Brooklands in New Plymouth (Jan. 30), Hagley Park in Christchurch (Feb. 6) and Hamilton’s Claudelands Oval (Feb. 20).
Also impacting Pollstar’s Live Boxoffice Database is the Sydney-based rock band Midnight Oil with five performances during February and March reported by Australian concert promoter Frontier Touring. The group was on the road in support of their latest album, The Makarrata Project, released last October.and the veteran band’s first new music since 2002’s Capricornia.
The tour opened with a smaller warm-up performance at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre on Feb. 25. Only 960 tickets were offered for the concert that drew a sellout crowd. Outdoor shows followed at Sirromet Winery in Mount Cotton on Feb. 28, Hope Estate Winery in Pokolbin on March 13 and Stage 88 in Canberra four days later.
The best-attended show was the final one in the five-city stretch, a March 20 event with 12,613 tickets sold at Mt Duneed Estate in Waurn Ponds, about an hour from Melbourne. With a gross of $1.2 million, that event makes Midnight Oil one of only three musical acts from Australia or New Zealand to top the million-dollar mark in box office earnings from a single performance since the beginning of the year.
Along with Six60 and Midnight Oil, New Zealand reggae band L.A.B is also part of that trio, based on results from a March 27 concert at Mt Smart Stadium’s Upper Field, also in Auckland. Their performance there brought in $1.2 million from a sold-out show with a crowd of 16,000 present.
Australians and New Zealanders have played a predominant role in worldwide concert activity (see Australia/NZ special beginning on page 22) during the first five months of the year, according to box office data reported to Pollstar. Of all the concerts and live events since the beginning of January, 22% have occurred in these two countries.
The number of concert tickets sold in Australia and New Zealand is 445,031 at 240 performances with an overall gross just over $29.5 million. That’s an average of 1,854 tickets sold and $123,032 earned per show. Comparing that to the rest of the world, the average sold tickets globally per show is 1,060, while the gross average from all shows reported is $57,045 – considerably less than half of the gross per show at venues Down Under.