Australasia News: AXS Opens Office, Fans Return To Live, Grass Is Greener; NZ: Row Over Dizzee Rascal


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BEAUTIFUL TRAUMA: P!nk performs at Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Boondall, Queensland, Australia, Aug. 14, 2018. The ASM Global-managed arena is one of several which will soon be ticketed by AXS, which is opening an Australian office. (Marc Grimwade / WireImage)

AXS Opening Office Down Under

Australia’s ticketing landscape is set to change as AEG Presents introduces AXS in 2023.

It will service ASM Global venues including the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, First State Super Theatre at ICC Sydney and RAC Arena Perth.

Live Nation’s Ticketmaster and TEG’s Ticketek are major players of the country’s 21 ticket platforms including Eventbrite, DICE, Oztix, Event Genius, Humanitix and TryBooking.

According to The Australian, AXS chief executive Bryan Perez intends to settle in Australia as part of AXS’S global expansion.

Aussies Back To Live Music In Greater Numbers

Australians are increasingly drawn to live events, said the Victorian Music Development Office’s Consumer Insights Survey 2022 published in December.

“There doesn’t appear to be any reservation for music fans to be in large crowds,” noted director Jas Moore. “Eighteen percent say they are visiting stadiums at least a few times a year to watch live music, which is up from 13% three years ago.”

Nineteen percent of the 2,000 online respondants visited arenas (from 12% in 2019), 22% to mid-level venues (from 16%), 27% to theatres (from 22%) and 34% to bars and clubs (from 33%). Those who regard music as “my life, my number one passion” rose to 37% from 32%.

Pop remained the most-favorite genre at 20%, rock/indie rock at 13%, country music at 11%, Top 40/current hits at 10% and hip-hop/rap at 7% (or 16% of 16- to 24-year-olds).

Grass Is Greener In Administration

Hand Picked Events, promoter of the Grass is Greener festival, went into administration owing A$2.5 million ($1.69 million).Creditors included Cult Artists for A$330,000 ($223,577), the Australian Taxation Office for A$158,340 ($107,276), United Talent Agency for A$117,785 ($79,792), ticketholders for A$120,900 ($81,897) as well as artists and suppliers.

The fest expanded to four cities in October but ticket sales were so dismal the two new additions were canceled and major acts pulled out.

Administrator BCR Advisory is reviewing A$570,000 ($386,119) worth of loans made by the festival to hospitality companies owned by its directors.


Row Over Dizzee Rascal Festival Appearance

A row broke out over the headline appearance at Rhythms and Vines Dec. 29-31 of British rapper Dizzee Rascal, convicted in London in April 2022 of assaulting his ex-fiancée.

After a campaign by activist group Beneath the Glass Ceiling, festival sponsor Vodafone removed its branding during his set.

“We respect Vodafone’s decision on this matter and value their ongoing partnership and support in delivering the best live entertainment experiences for New Zealand fans,” said R&V, which drew 23,000 punters.

Some musicians argued they should have been warned before the bill was announced October.

New Zealand has one of the worst rates of domestic violence, and its music industry has been rocked by sexual harassment incidents.