Australasia News: AXS Taps CEO Travis, Festivals Canceled; NZ: Ed Sheeran Breaks Record, Lorde Adds Marlon Williams to Lineup


Andrew Travis (Photo courtesy AXS)

AXS Names Andrew Travis CEO

AXS, which announced its entry into the Australian/New Zealand market in December, named Andrew Travis its CEO. He is based in Melbourne.

Travis was most recently COO of the Melbourne and Olympic Parks entertainment and sport precinct, which includes Rod Laver Arena, AAMI Park, John Cain Arena, and Margaret Court Arena.

He also held senior executive roles at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, and with the Gold Coast Suns and Essendon AFL teams.

Travis said, “I look forward to super serving venues to optimize their ticketing operations and drive improved customer outcomes and satisfaction.”

Los Angeles-based AXS chief executive Bryan Perez welcomed Travis, saying, “His extensive experience as an industry leader in sports and entertainment venues gives him a keen insight into their goals and ambitions and the challenges they’ve had realising them. ​

“He is the right person to help AXS address those challenges in a new and innovative way to the benefit of fans, artists and teams throughout the region.”

Uncertainty Topples Two Festivals

Uncertainty about post-pandemic ticket sales and costs toppled Jungle Love and Grass Is Greener.

Jungle Love, set for September on the Sunshine Coast, cancelled its 10th edition after three years of financial struggle.

“The ongoing inflation is driving supplier costs up to amounts that aren’t feasible for us,” promoters said. Early soft ticket sales at $300 each added to their reluctance to stage.

Hand Picked Events, the company behind Grass Is Greener, went into administration owing up to A$3.9 million ($2.69 million) to 1,035 creditors.

The festival, which launched in 2016 and was to take place in two Queensland cities, ran into difficulties because of pandemic-related restrictions on large gatherings.

When these were lifted in 2022, Hand Picked expanded to two more cities to generate income. But these were axed after low ticket sales.

Administrator BCR Advisory is seeking the return of loans made from the festival to hospitality venues operated by its promoters.

Memphis Tourism, Blues On Broadbeach, Team Up

Memphis Tourism and the May 18-21 Blues On Broadbeach in Queensland finalized a three-year partnership.

Memphis Tourism becomes official support partner from 2023-25, supplying acts to the free festival. It draws 50,000 each day to venues, parks and streets and pumps A$25 million ($17.3 million) into the local economy.

Don Bryant and The Bo-Keys are first to be booked under the new deal, on a bill including Tommy Emmanuel, Don Walker and Emma Donovan & The Putbacks.


Ed Sheeran Breaks Record At Sky Stadium

Ed Sheeran’s “Mathematics Tour” set a new record at Wellington’s Sky Stadium Feb. 2, drawing 48,000 and trumping Eminem’s 46,474 attendance in March 2019.

“It was the single largest day event the stadium has ever held,” CEO Shane Harmon said.
Its central layout allowed audiences to view the stage from all angles, with 16,000 fans on the ground and 32,000 in the stands. With 35% from outside the region, it marked a significant economic boost to the city.

During the show, the British star appeared to forget the words to his hit “Galway Girl.” After a couple of efforts, he asked for a fan to come up onstage and sing it with him.

Lorde Adds Marlon Williams To Western Springs

After touring the UK together last summer, Lorde added R&B superstars Marlon Williams & the Yarra Benders to her March 4 show at Western Springs Auckland.

The six “Solar Power World Tour” shows, three of which have sold out, were postponed from mid-2022.

Brent Eccles, whose Eccles Entertainment co-promotes the tour with Frontier Touring, told Pollstar the 26-year old will play to 60,000 in her home market – 25,000 with her own shows and 35,000 when she headlines Electric Avenue Feb. 25 at Christchurch’s Hagley Park with Flume, L.A.B., Fat Freddy’s Drop, Supergroove, Teeks, Peking Duk and Future Islands.