Australasia News: Untitled Group Grows; Gudinski Movie Nears Release; Tina Turner; NZ: Ticketing Layaway

BEYOND THE VALLEY: The festival’s producer, Untitled Group, has expanded its team after experiencing 25 percent growth over the 2022-23 summer season.


Untitled Group Expands, Promotes

Festival and tour promoter Untitled Group expanded its team across the board, following a 2022-23 summer that saw a 25 percent increase year over year in ticket sales for 112 events to over 250,000. After Andrew White (Live Nation, Three Six Zero) recently began as general manager, Georgia Madden was promoted to the newly created role of head of touring operations.

The touring team is expanded with Jessica Phillips, Harriet Page and Paige Roy.
Stephanie Mrmacoski became senior marketing manager for festivals overseeing Beyond The Valley and Pitch Music & Arts – which together draw 25,000 – with Courtney Tahar coming over from Ticketmaster as ticketing manager.

Pete Sofo was upped to director of festivals and major events, and Pantjiti Lawrence joined him as workforce coordinator.

There was further movement in the customer experience and financial divisions.
Untitled Group spread its footprint to Europe and the Asia Pacific in 2022.

August Release For Michael Gudinski Movie

“Ego: The Michael Gudinski Story” makes its debut in August, in what would have been the showbiz svengali’s 71st birthday.

Made by Mushroom Studios and helmed by award-winning Paul Goldman, the docu-movie has input from A-listers from Frontier and Mushroom Group.

They include Ed Sheeran (“Michael had this unique gravitas around him that attracted people”), Sting (“the energy of a rock drummer”), Dave Grohl (“I imagine being a rock promoter as the biggest f nightmare. There has to be a reason why he did it”), Bruce Springsteen, Kylie Minogue, Vance Joy and Jimmy Barnes.

“Ego” premieres at Melbourne International Film Festival Aug. 10 and opens in cinemas Aug. 31.

In May, “Finding The Voice,” about best-selling singer John Farnham, became the biggest theatrical Australian music documentary taking in A$1.15 million ($749,541) opening weekend.

Remembering Tina Turner

“Honorary Aussie” Tina Turner’s Australian roots were deep, with Melbourne-born Roger Davies taking over management in 1981 and reviving her career, Terry Britten co-writing her comeback single “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” and a starring role in the 1985 film “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.”

After her passing, “TINA: The Tina Turner Musical,” which began in May at Theatre Royal Sydney, said it will continue. “We look to one another to share the love, respect and kindness she shared with us,” said producers, including TEG Dainty.

Promoters of remote festival Birdsville Big Red Bash expect to set a new dance record with 5,000 fans joining its “Nutbush City Limits” dance routine.

The danceathon raised A$500,000 ($325,887) for the Royal Flying Doctors since 2016.
The July 6 event below the Simpson Desert’s 40-metre-high Big Red sand dune will have to beat the festival’s 2022 record of 4,084 to be adjudicated by the Australian Book of Records.

Turner was also the face and voice of the National Rugby League when it adopted “Simply The Best” from 1989 as its theme song.

She starred in its TVCs and performed at various grand finals, with the NRL acknowledging she played a major role in drawing women to the game for the first time.


Eventfinda Introduces Buy Now Pay Later

Full-service ticketing and marketing platform Eventfinda, which has been operating in
New Zealand for more than 16 years, teamed with New Zealand “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) provider Laybuy.

It allows ticketholders to spread costs across six weeks, interest-free, and is likely to increase attendance at festivals and clubs.

Eventfinda chief executive James McGlinn noted, “Our event organisers receive payment in full (at the time of purchase)” while Laybuy managing director Gary Rohloff added promoters and event organisers could choose to pass on the Laybuy transaction fee to customers.

Eventfinda has 1.3 million active website visitors each month, according to its website.