Australasia News: AEG Global Partnerships Expand; ASM Global Renews At Suncorp Stadium; Sydney Opera House Plots 50th

Matthew Zeck


AEG Global Partnerships Expanding Into Asia Pacific

AEG’s sponsorship division Global Partnerships is expanding into the Asia Pacific.
Matthew Zweck, a 10-year veteran of the division, will lead the growth under his new title of vice president, Global Partnerships, APAC.

Based in Melbourne, Australia, he will focus on developing strategic partnerships for AEG’s portfolio of assets in Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.

These assets include recently announced Bangkok’s 6,000-seat theatre Em Live, multi-purpose arena projects in Nagoya and Osaka, Japan, and a 20,000-seat arena in Seoul, Korea.

The new regional office will also oversee partnerships and marketing programs for assets such Shanghai’s Mercedes-Benz Arena, and work with Melbourne-based JV partner Mushroom Group for concert tours, festivals and other live entertainment properties produced by Frontier Touring.

Speaking on the expansion, AEG Global Partnerships EVP Paul Samuels said, “With a world-class network of more than 350 owned and affiliated venues, sports and music brands, our Global Partnerships business is unmatched in terms of our ability to offer partners access to platforms that cut through the clutter and create innovative campaigns and sponsorships that enable brands to build deeper relationships with their customers.

“Having worked with him for more than a decade, I’m thrilled to announce Matthew’s appointment and excited to see the growth and value he drives on the ground for not only our business, but for our future business partners across APAC.”

AEG’s Global Partnerships generates more than $550 million in annual revenues and over $2 billion in contractually obligated income.

Adam Wilkes, AEG Asia Pacific president and CEO stated: “The exponential growth of the APAC entertainment market is one I have been privileged to witness first-hand for over two decades.

“From first entering the market off the back of the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, our Asia Pacific business has gone from strength to strength.

As we look to continue our investment footprint in this pivotal region, I am thrilled to have Matthew on hand to lead our Global Partnerships business on this new journey.”

ASM Global Renewed To Manage Suncorp Stadium

The Queensland government reappointed ASM Global to manage Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium for a five-year period from Jan. 1, 2023.

It began with the 52,500-seat venue’s 2003 redevelopment, after which it hosted 750 sports and entertainment events for 19 million fans.

Suncorp Stadium was named Best Queensland Experience 2022 out of a list of 4,700 venues, and sole local finalist in the 2021 International Stadium Business Awards in Manchester, England.

Stadium general manager Alan Graham paid tribute to his team as well as to being part of ASM Global’s network “which has assisted us in continuing to take advantage of the latest innovations and cutting-edge technology ensuring the Suncorp Stadium team remains amongst the most elite in the world.”

The concert slate for 2023 includes Elton John, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Ed Sheeran.

Sydney Opera House Unveils 50th Anniversary Concerts

The Sydney Opera House unveiled the first 230 music, theater and comedy events of a year-long celebration of its 50th anniversary. Many are free or low-priced, arts minister Ben Franklin said.

There will be no single gala event “that only the elite get to go to. That’s not what this is about. This is about ensuring that there are over 200 events that everybody can go to because this is an Opera House for everybody.”

The celebration starts with projections of a film of the SOH’s history on its sails at dusk Oct. 19-30 with outdoor sets by local choirs.

Its Forecourt hosts sets by singer-songwriters Vance Joy and Tim Minchin, soul singer Ngaiire with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, dub-reggae band Fat Freddy’s Drop, First Nations LGBTQIA+ artists and desert women choirs.

A seven-day festival features the London Symphony Orchestra, Australian Ballet, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and Australian Chamber Orchestra. Each set inside the venue will be broadcast to audiences outside in an open-air cinema setting, with tickets costing just $10.

La Niña Warnings See Festivals Cancel

The Bureau of Meteorology’s warning of the La Niña weather pattern returning for a third consecutive summer bringing heavy rainfall and flooding saw music festivals immediately cancel.

Two were from regional New South Wales (NSW) which already has ongoing flooding.
Strawberry Fields (Oct. 28-30) near the Murray River, contributes A$6.7 million ($4.3 million) to the local region.

Festival of the Sun in early December was to inject A$2 million ($1.28 million) to Port Macquarie.

In July, rain created a mudbath, and camping and transport chaos at Splendour In The Grass in Byron Bay. The first day was canceled amid a public backlash demanding to know why the event had not been abandoned ahead and authorities wanting to know how the site was allowed to increase capacity to 50,000 from 35,000.


Laneway Sells Out Within Hour

Returning after a nearly three-year hiatus, the Auckland edition of Australia’s Laneway sold out all 13,000 tickets within an hour. It takes place Jan. 30 at Auckland Park with Phoebe Bridgers, HAIM, Joji, The Beths, Turnstile, Mallrats and Slowthai.

NZ’s summer season continues in strength, with Rhythm & Vines (23,000), Bay Dreams (20,000) and Northern Bass (12,000) flagging strong sales; the usually sold-out Splore returns Feb. 24-26 after cancelling 2022 with USA’s Santigold headlining; and the first Beach Break set for Whangamatā Jan. 28 and Nelson Feb. 5.