Australasia News: Elton John Hits Newcastle, ASM Global Makes Asahi Deal, Return Of Woodfolk Folk, Falls Fests; NZ: Second Year For Snow Machine

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ELTON DOWN UNDER: Elton John performs at Allianz Stadium on Jan. 17, 2023, in Sydney. His “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” visit to Newcastle, Australia, became a destination event.


Falls, Woodford Folk Festivals Return

Two of Australia’s biggest festivals, Falls and Woodford Folk, made triumphant returns after three years, following COVID-19 cancellations.

Falls drew nearly 65,000 patrons to Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne (Dec. 29-31), North Byron Parklands in Byron Bay (Dec. 31, Jan. 1-2) and Fremantle Park in West Australia, promoter Secret Sounds revealed.

Performers included Arctic Monkeys, Lil Nas X, Peggy Gou, CHVRCHES, Jamie xx, DMAs, Ocean Alley, Spacey Jane and King Stingray.

Preliminary figures showed Woodford Folk had more than an aggregated 120,000 over six days (Dec. 27-Jan. 1) at its Woodfordia site in Queensland for music, First Nations culture, dance, circus, ceremony, debates and workshops.

The event generates A$25 million ($17.5 million) for the local Moreton Bay region.

Elton John Triggers Newcastle Events

The success of Elton John’s Jan. 8-10 shows in Newcastle – his first in Australia’s seventh-largest city despite touring Australia since 1971 – was a boost to its branding as a global events city and showbiz and sports destination.

The shows were part of Chugg Entertainment, Frontier Touring and AEG Presents’ 10-date Australasian leg of the “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour, and were an alliance between City of Newcastle and Venues NSW under a Major Events Partnership.

The first music shows in 30 years at the 33,000-capacity McDonald Jones Stadium injected A$12 million ($8.4 million) into the local economy.

The success of John’s concerts renewed calls for more investment in the proposed 63-hectare Hunter Park sport and entertainment precinct which will include a 11,000-seat stadium.

ASM Global Strikes Deal With Asahi

Asahi Lifestyle Beverages signed a five-year deal to supply non-alcoholic beverages to nine ASM Global venues, whose 5.2 million annual patrons consume 1.5 million non-alcoholic drinks.

They include Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney; RAC Arena, Perth; Brisbane Entertainment Centre; and International Convention Centre Sydney.

Harvey Lister, chairman and chief executive of ASM Global APAC, called the alliance “in step with a strengthening trend in Australia and aligns with ASM Global’s own policies regarding the health and safety of fans and visitors to our many venues across Australia.”


Snow Machine Returns For Second Year

A host of Australian live staples including Hilltop Hoods, Peking Duk and Art Vs Science join BENEE, Broods, Shapeshifter, and Stace Cadet are scheduled to appear at Snow Machine in the adventure resort town of Queenstown in September.

The five-day event offers a music festival, ski trip at the Remarkables and Coronet Peak ranges, and adrenaline junkie activities such as heli-skiing, bungee jumping, and canyon swinging.

After launching in Japan in 2020, Snow Machine made its local debut in 2022. The event was responsible for selling 5,000 tickets and providing a NZ$10 million ($6.4 million) boost to the local economy.