Australasia News: A Day On The Green; Santos Ends Darwin Fest Deal; NZ: WOMAN Announces 22 Acts

RED HOT DAY ON GREEN: A Day On The Green at Mt Duneed Estage in Geelong, this day featuring Red Hot Chili Peppers, reached the milestone of its 500th show. Photo by Shotz By Jackson


A Day On The Green Marks 500th Show

The successful A Day On The Green (ADOTG) winery concert series marks its 500th show Nov. 19 at Mt. Duneed Estate, outside Melbourne.

Playing are Crowded House, folk acts Angus & Julia Stone and The Waifs, and Maistrato, whom Crowded House leader Neil Finn discovered playing in a tavern during a holiday in Greece.

More than half the 18,000 tickets available were snapped up in 24 hours, Roundhouse Entertainment director Mick Newton said. The winery will have on sale nearly 5,000 bottles branded for the 500th of the Sauvignon blanc, rosé and Shiraz varietals.

In 2019, patrons bought an estimated 315,000 wine bottles at shows from nine wineries. That year, the series had 210,000 patrons –  equal to mega-tour festivals Big Day Out and Soundwave.

The first show was in January 2001 with 1,800 at Morning Star Estate, also outside Melbourne. The early days had no infrastructure such as roads or stages. “The wineries were pretty much paddocks then,” Newtown recalled.

“The larger ones have been helping us by making the sites more weather-resilient and user-friendly with more roadways into car parks, more paths on the venue, and ways to get people in and out of the site quickly and efficiently.”

With Michael Gudinski’s Mushroom Group as a partner, over the years, ADOTG drew over 4 million punters, booked 1,960 artists, and sold 63,000 T-shirts and 172,000 stubby holders.

The audience is mostly cashed-up millennials. “But in recent years, with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Florence + The Machine, and Robbie Williams, we’ve had a younger set coming just for the experience,” Newtown noted.

Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine recalled their Mt. Duneed appearance five years ago as “a really beautiful thing. There were people as far as I could see, it kinda had like a Woodstock feeling to it.”

Energy Giant Axes 25-Year Run With Festival

Energy giant Santos ended a $100,000 per year sponsorship deal with Darwin Festival after 26 years, saying the festival has “alternative sponsorship options, which has not been the case in previous years.”

Anti-fossil fuel artists and the First Nations community had called for Santos to cut ties, and now told Darwin festival to “show leadership and make a clear commitment to end all ties with fossil fuel money and develop an ethical sponsorship policy to avoid these controversies in the future.”
This August’s festival drew 62,000 patrons and sold out 62% of shows.

Name Change For Metricon Stadium

The Gold Coast’s 22,500-seat Metricon Stadium will change its name by year’s end after Metricon Homes opted not to extend its naming rights deal with the home ground of the Gold Coast Suns football team.

The partnership was valued at $11 million (US$6.97 million) since 2011 but a replacement is expected to be unveiled within weeks.

Guns N’ Roses play there Nov. 24, followed by Festival X Nov. 27; Metallica, Dec. 27; and Harry Styles, Feb. 28.


WOMAD 2023 Announces Acts From A-Z

WOMAD New Zealand announced 22 new acts, from Afghanistan to Zambia.

It celebrates its 20th year March 17-19 at Bowl of Brooklands, a natural amphitheater over a lake, and Brooklands Park in New Plymouth.

The musicians, dancers and speakers include Youssou N’Dour & Le Super Étoile de Dakar (Senegal), Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn (U.S.), Taj Mahal’s NZ-based daughter Deva Mahal, Cimafunk (Cuba), Kefaya and Elaha Soroor (Afghanistan/UK) and Zambia-born Australia-based Sampa The Great.

The event attracted 51,000 in 2020. It was canceled in 2021 and 2022.