Australasia News: Ed Sheeran Breaks Record, New Venues For Sydney, Aussies At SXSW, VMA Meets In Melbourne; NZ: Gabrielle Relief

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RETURN FOR THE RECORD: Ed Sheeran, shown here with late promoter Michael Gudinski in Perth, Australia, returned to set a record – twice – for single-show ticket sales with 107,000 moved at Melbourne Cricket Ground on both March 3 and March 4, fulfilling a goal envisioned by Gudinksi. (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)


Ed Sheeran Breaks Single-Concert Record

Ed Sheeran set a new Australian record for most tickets sold for a single concert on his “Mathematics Tour,” twice at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

His March 3 show reached the milestone first, shifting 107,000 stubs, according to Frontier Touring.

The following day’s show unexpectedly also hit 107,000 a few days later thanks to a last-minute sales spurt.

The previous record of 98,364 was Adele’s 2017 set at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium.

The MCG’s biggest concerts were Eminem in 2019 (80,708), the Sound Relief benefit in 2009 (80,518), Billy Joel in 2022 (76,339) and Guns N’ Roses in 2017 (73,756).

When late Frontier chief Michael Gudinski began touring the unknown Sheeran, his strategy was for him to set a new record at the iconic MCG.

Sheeran told the audience at the March 3 show: “The reason I’m here, and in the middle of
the MCG, is because of an idea Michael thought of eight years ago.”

“I really wish he was here to see this tonight,” he added before playing “Visiting Hours” which he wrote for Gudinski’s state memorial service.

To celebrate the achievement and mark the second death anniversary March 2 of his mentor and father figure Sheeran and Mushroom Group CEO Matt Gudinski drank a toast at Gudinski’s statue outside Rod Laver Arena.

Shell-Shaped Venues For Sydney

Entertainment building developer Cedar Mill Group has proposed permanent shell-shaped outdoor venues at three Sydney parklands

The Domain, Parramatta Park and Thompsons Creek Regional Parkland would be the locations of the permanent buildings.

Cedar Mill’s business case, made with Business Sydney and Business Western Sydney, forecast the expansion of outdoor entertainment would generate 2,300 permanent jobs and A$450 million ($304.3 million) to its economy each year.

Aussie Showcases At SXSW

Sounds Australia showcases 32 acts at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, March 16-17 at Australia House, at the site of Lucille’s on 77 Rainey St.

Among the artists traveling to SXSW are King Stingray, Jaguar Jonze, INXS member Andrew Farriss, Nat Vazer, Germein and RVG.

Australia House also hosts tech showcases, keynote speakers and interactive displays by the film, thought and innovation sectors.

VMA Asia Pacific Holds Congress In Melbourne

The Venue Management Association (Asia and Pacific) holds its 30th industry congress May 21-23 at Centrepiece, Melbourne Park.

It includes keynotes, an almost sold-out exhibitor trade floor, the venue industry awards acknowledging the year’s venue and allied professionals.

The event also honors an under-30 achiever, and includes a 20-session education program with 50 speakers.

Headlining international presenters is Skarpi Hedinsson, CTO at the Los Angeles Rams, who leads technology implementation at the NFL team’s 298-acre Hollywood Park in Inglewood, California.

He will provide global insights into the convergence of innovation and technology in the venue business.


Second Cyclone Gabrielle Relief Concert

A second relief concert for the victims of Cyclone Gabrielle sees NZ’s top acts as R&B singer Stan Walker, dub reggae Fat Freddy’s Drop, hip hop influenced pop act Drax Project and rapper Che Fu – at Auckland’s Parr’s Park March 25.

The seven-hour concert will be broadcast live on television and online, calling on donations.

An earlier impromptu concert in Christchurch with Lorde, L.A.B. and Neil Finn raised NZ$200,000 ($124,488) for Red Cross.

The category 3 mid-February cyclone killed 11 people including two firemen, with clean-up costs estimated at between $8 billion ($4.97 billion) and $13 billion ($8.09 billion).