Australia: Live Sector Addresses Senate Hearing; Billie Eilish Show Tally Rises & More

Aussie Live Sector Addresses Senate Hearing On Insurance Scheme

Promoters, artist managers, musicians and association heads addressed a Senate committee Oct. 14 about the urgency of a national insurance underwriting scheme.
The idea of a Federal Insurance Guarantee to kickstart the live performance and event sectors was moved by Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, arts spokesperson for the Greens Party.
Calling lack of help from the insurance industry “a clear market failure” which the government had to fix, she said, “The sector isn’t asking for a hand-out, it is asking for a product that simply isn’t available right now so that they can plan gigs, festivals and events with confidence they won’t keep taking massive financial hits with ongoing restrictions and lockdowns.”
Adelle Robinson, co-founder of promoter Fuzzy explained that the sudden cancellation of the 35,000-seat Sydney leg of its Listen Out festival would cost it A$4 million ($2.96 million) while co-founder Ming Gan warned “Our capital has depleted to the point where one cancellation will be the end of us.”
Tasmania and Western Australia have their own state-based schemes for the live sector. But with state border closures causing many Australia-wide tours, the industry urged a national solution.
Frontier Touring’s Dion Brant recounted he had to reject an international tour for January 2022. 90% of the tickets had to be sold to break even and he couldn’t guarantee all 40 members of the entourage would be allowed into the country, or to cross its five borders.
The committee will report back on the bill by November 3 before it is voted on.

Billie Eilish on the Other Stage at Glastonbury 2019.
Joseph Okpako/WireImage
– Billie Eilish on the Other Stage at Glastonbury 2019.

Billie Eilish Show Tally Rises To 14

The Down Under run of Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever World Tour” Sept. 8-30 has gone from its initial five to now 14 shows.
Chugg Entertainment, Frontier Touring and Live Nation have the total slate at three shows each at Auckland’s Spark Arena, Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena and Brisbane Entertainment Centre, four at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena and two at Perth’s RAC Arena to wind up the dates.
COVID Question Mark Over NZ’s Summer Festival Season
Uncertainty over the New Zealand government’s plans for international arrivals and mandatory vaccine plans put the NZ$50 million (US$35.4 million) summer events season at risk. 
The biggest event has been canceled while three other major festivals are ready to reschedule.
Bay Dreams pulled its two dates at Tauranga (Jan. 3) and Nelson (Jan. 6).  It has a total draw of 40,000, and worth NZ$4 million ($2.83 million) to Tauranga.
This year’s bill included Australia’s Tones and I and Tash Sultana and European EDM acts Chase & Status and Netsky. Promoter Audiology Touring has offered refunds but will replace the dates with a series of small events.
Rhythm and Vines (Dec. 28 to Jan. 1) and Rhythm and Alps (Dec. 29-31) get 21,000 and 10,000 respectively while Northern Bass (Dec. 29 to Jan. 1) gets 6,000. 
Callam Mitchell, director of Team Events, is waiting for more details.  He has five major summer events in Christchurch from Dec. 4, one being the Lorde-headlined Electric Avenue at Hagley Park Feb. 26.