SIX60 Usher In New Era For NZ’s Touring Circuit: Australia/New Zealand Special

Test Case:
– Test Case:
The Claudeland Oval in Hamilwwton, NZ that SIX60’s Feb. 27 show served as a successful test for its expansion into concerts.
On Saturday April 24, 2021, the band billed as the biggest in the world at the time, New Zealand’s SIX60, stood before 50,000 fans at sunset.
“So, what’s up Eden Park? We’re finally here!” singer Matiu Walters shouted out. “We did it New Zealand. We are the first band to play Eden Park.”
SIX60 had used their massive drawing power and profile to spearhead the push for the Auckland sports stadium – home of the revered All Blacks rugby team, which had been captained by Walters’ grandfather in the late 1950s – to introduce music events. 
Australia/New Zealand Top 20 Artists
– Australia/New Zealand Top 20 Artists
The decision to allow six concerts a year was only made on Feb. 9, a testament to the country’s low coronavirus rate. 
In 2020, the venue had a loss of NZ $700,000 (U.S. $506K) after major sporting events were cancelled.
Eden Park chief executive officer Nick Sautner said NZ artists and promoters had been in touch already. “We’re also working with international promoters to secure international names.”
Eden Park was not the only venue that made a game-changing decision because of SIX60’s success. When the act kicked off its SIX60 Saturdays Summer Tour, which ultimately drew 125,000, sporting venue Claudeland Oval in Hamilton also made their Feb. 27 show there a test for its expansion into concerts.
“We have ten hectares of green space, and we’d always thought about diversifying,” explains Gary Taylor, business development manager for Impact Events at H3 Group. 
The company is a unit of Hamilton City Council responsible for overseeing event venues Claudelands, FMG Stadium Waikato and Seddon Park.
“We got a growing city. That complemented a 6,000-capacity indoor arena, conference centre, and an exhibition hall with 10,000 square meters of indoor space.
SIX60’s show there drew 25,000 and put 300 people to work and launched the venue’s move into major concerts for both domestic and international headliners.
Taylor points out that Claudelands’ inner city location – “about eight or nine minutes from the hospitality, nightlife and retail strips” – makes it a natural draw for music fans.
“We’ve already booked some major NZ acts, and we expect international names to come after mid-2022. We believe there’s a big 
appetite for people to get out and see big shows.”
Auckland Stadiums’ venues, which include the 55,000-capacity Western Springs Stadium and the smaller Mt Smart Stadium, are also emerging from a quiet period. 
Their only concert in the past 12 months was reggae band L.A.B. who drew 17,000 to Mt. Smart. Earlier Metallica had cancelled because of a band member’s health issues, Elton John’s two farewell shows rescheduled to 2023, and My Chemical Romance are now in March 2022.
“It was going to be a great summer,” says Auckland Stadiums’ head of commercial Scott Couch. “One of the proudest things was there were no redundancies. We kept everyone employed, and created our own small events, drive-in movies, markets and partnered with football clubs in tournaments, while waiting for concerts to come back.”
Promoters are booking dates going into 2022 and 2023 in particular. “We hope to be at 100% capacity by early 2022,” Crouch says.
Australia/New Zealand Top 10 Promoters
– Australia/New Zealand Top 10 Promoters
When the shows return, he adds, venues will remain as safety-conscious and crowds will be more appreciative of domestic talent and continue to attend them in big numbers.
Business is also heating up at Auckland Live’s venues which include the 2,300-cap Great Hall at Auckland Town Hall, the 2,130-seated Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre at the Aotea Centre, the 2,370 seated Civic Theatre and Shed 10 at Queens Wharf which holds 2,500.

320 events were cancelled. There were still sell-outs including those by The Beths, Shapeshifter and Th’ Dudes, international and local comedians as Bill Bailey, Russell Howard and Urzila Carlson, EDM festival Beacon and a 17-performance run of Mary Poppins which drew 28,500.

Staff again were retained. “Our bookings and sales staff never stopped,” relates Auckland Live’s presenter services manager Glen Crighton. Others were moved to other divisions as the zoo and galleries until regular concerts returned.
That began in April when Australia and New Zealand opened borders to each other. “Virtually overnight the amount of inquiries from local and international promoters were up fourfold, for 2021 and 2022,” says AL account manager Damon Newton.
Audiences are growing confident about returning to mass gatherings but it is noted that ticket sales are spiking closer to show day just in case the unthinkable happens and there’s a COVID outbreak.