AEG, Mushroom Unveil New Frontier Touring Structure

Frontier Touring Leadership Team (L-R): Marshall Nu, Matt Gudinski, Reegan Stark, Andrew Spencer, Dion Brant, Gerard Schlaghecke, Susan Heymann, Adam Wilkes, Michael Chugg (Photo Credit: Ian Laidlaw)

Australia’s Frontier Touring marked the first anniversary of the passing of its founder Michael Gudinski with a new executive structure and an increased alignment between its Australian, Asian and New Zealand operations.

Frontier returned to blockbuster action in March spearheaded by the announcement of Ed Sheeran and Foo Fighters tours.

The fresh leadership set-up was unveiled by Frontier’s Melbourne-based parent company Mushroom Group, and AEG Presents which acquired a 50% stake in the tour firm in 2019.

The executive team comprised of four members of the current leadership team who are now given elevated roles.

Newly appointed CEO Dion Brant joined 2013 as COO and was a key in negotiating strategic partnerships with AEG Presents and Michael Chugg’s Chugg Entertainment.

Susan Heymann, former managing director of Chugg Entertainment, took over as COO, working with in-house promoters Chugg, Gerard Schlaghecke and Sahara Herald to expand the business.

After two decades at Frontier and Mushroom, Reegan Stark became CMCO, responsible for all aspects of Frontier’s brand, marketing, communications, digital and sponsorship.

New CCO Andrew Spencer, who joined Chugg Entertainment in 2017, will oversee business affairs, strategy and business development.

In a dual role Spencer will also work with the AEG Presents Asia’s executive team.

Adam Wilkes took over the role of Frontier Touring chairman in the restructure, in conjunction with his role as president and CEO, AEG Presents Asia Pacific, a position he has held since 2016.

He oversees AEG’s concert touring, sports and venue development business – spanning 15 countries throughout Asia and the Pacific Rim – and played a key role in forming the joint venture between AEG Presents and Frontier Touring.

They report to the Frontier Touring board, which comprised of Jay Marciano (chairman and CEO, AEG Presents and COO, office of the chairman, AEG), Matt Gudinski (chairman and CEO, Mushroom Group), Wilkes and Brant.

“Michael Gudinski was a man of endless passion, energy, and creativity, with an innate sense for the business, and it was clear no one person could replace him,” noted Marciano.

“All of us who worked together on this new structure were bound by the same sense of duty: we’re committed to properly and thoroughly stewarding Michael’s vision for the future of Frontier.”

Gudinski added: “Frontier was founded on strong relationships, an artist-first approach and a never-ending passion for music and I know Dad’s legacy and the future of Frontier is in safe hands.

“There are exciting times ahead for the company.”

Wilkes, who called the Frontier team “some of the most talented individuals in our business” went on to explain the changes: “Our mission is to maintain Frontier’s dominance as the market leader, and we’re looking ahead to a bright horizon for the live event business.

“In addition, AEG Presents’ expanded partnership with Frontier combined with its presence throughout APAC provides us the opportunity to more closely align our businesses across Australia, New Zealand and Asia.” 

Brant, Heymann, Stark and Wilkes also join a Frontier leadership team, comprised of Gudinski, Chugg, Schlaghecke, Wilkes and AEG Asia COO Marshall Nu. Aside from Sheeran and Foo Fighters, Frontier’s 2022-23 slate includes Robbie Williams, Billie Eilish, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, Lorde, Justin Bieber, Midnight Oil, Leon Bridges, Tyler, The Creator, The Killers, Paul Kelly, Tame Impala, Wallows and Courtney Barnett as well as the sold-out country and roots CMC Rocks festival and the RNB Fridays stadium concert series which grossed over A$11 million (US$8.15 million) in 2019.