Australasia News: Melbourne Named Live Music Capital, Executive Moves, Suncorp Stadium Tops 20M, NZ: Katchafire To U.S.

2 AUS Melbourne
MUSIC CITY: The Palais Theatre is but one of many venues that helped Melbourne retain its title of Live Music Capital of Australia, if not the world, with a record of one music venue per 8,785 inhabitants.(Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)


Census Confirms Melbourne As Live Music Capital

Despite the lingering effects of COVID, the 2021-22 live music census for Melbourne and the state of Victoria reconfirmed what the previous ones in 2012 and 2017 had stated.

Not only was Melbourne the live music capital of Australia but it also had the most live music venues per capita in the world.

It had one per 8,785 inhabitants, the report said, against Austin, Texas’s one per 11,050, Sydney’s one per 11,126 and New York City’s one per 18,500.

The report stated that in 2020 and 2021, more than 75% of events were cancelled or rescheduled, affecting 74% of performers, cutting 74% of casual/part-time jobs and 71% of crowd spend.

The cancellation of 51,000 gigs translated to a loss of A$901 million ($601.2 million) in revenue, with venues operating at 8% of 2019 capacity and most of the 2,670 full-time workers losing their jobs.

Music Victoria CEO Simone Schinkel admitted the Victorian live music industry is still in uncharted waters in 2023, saying, “We are still managing the ripples of the pandemic.

“We have a three-year back log of events, and significant government investment bolstering us up.”

Between 2019 and 2021, the state and city’s small venue box office was put at A$141.2 million ($94.2 million) with onsite spend totaling A$984 million ($656.4 million).

The state’s festivals turned over A$102.3 million ($68.2 million) while concerts generated A$395.3 million ($263.7 million).

Executive Moves At ICC Sydney, Adelaide Cabaret, NZ Festival Trust And More

The ASM Global-managed International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) tapped Adam Smith as director of building services.

ICC CEO and ASM Global APAC group director of convention centers Geoff Donaghy said his 20-year track record in major events and leading multi-disciplinary teams would help him “drive continued enhancement of key venue services that include security and venue presentation.”

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the 2023 edition (June 9-24) of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival is curated by nine previous artistic directors including singers Tina Arena, David Campbell and Kate Ceberano.

Marnie Karmelita, creative director of the New Zealand Festival Trust (which includes the Wellington Jazz Festival) will helm Tasmania’s Ten Days On The Island festival in 2025 and 2027.

The Melbourne performing arts Green Room Awards appointed as new president Anton Berezin, veteran actor, producer and co-founder of Life Like Touring and The Entertainment Store.

20M Patrons At Suncorp Stadium

Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium welcomed its 20 millionth patron since its redevelopment almost 20 years ago at the April 8 National Rugby League match between its home team Brisbane Broncos and Canberra Raiders.

Venue GM Alan Graham expected “the next 20 million (as) going to come around a lot quicker” citing greater content planned for the ASM Global-managed, 52,500-seat stadium.

In November 2022, it was allowed to double its annual concert rate to 12 in 2023 and 2024.

In late summer it hosted Ed Sheeran, Elton John, Guns N’ Roses and Red Hot Chili Peppers.


Katchafire Returning To U.S.

After being stay-at-homes during the pandemic, major reggae live drawcard Katchafire return to the United States May 4 to June 18.
The 24 dates take in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Austin and Seattle with a set at the May 25 Monterey Cali Roots Fest.
They then head to the UK, where they toured last year in a run that included Australia, Europe, Canada, South America and Bali.
The act is managed and booked through Mikki Selton at Lion House Music.