Australasia News: Taylor Tour Furor; Titus Day Released; NZ: Christchurch Noise Plan Update

Kevin Mazur Getty Images for TAS56 1
Taylor Swift performs onstage at State Farm Stadium on March 17, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management )


Furor Over Taylor Swift Tour

A furor followed Frontier Touring’s June 21 announcement that Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” would land in Australia in early 2024 but only in two venues: Melbourne Cricket Ground Feb. 16-17 and Sydney’s Accor Stadium Feb. 23-25.

State ministers, mindful that a concert’s economic impact could be up to A$30 million ($20.4 million), urged Frontier and Swift’s management to reconsider. Western Australia’s Patrick Gorman called the bypass of Perth a “gross injustice,” and Queensland Parliament member Andrew Wallace sent a message: “Taylor, I’m asking you, begging you, I’m pleading with you. Please come to Queensland.”

Fans in New Zealand face the prospect of spending thousands of dollars to see the show, with flights alone to Australia costing between NZ$600-$950, and tickets from A$79-$379 (NZ$85.85-411.95) with premium packages between A$899.90 ($977.90) and A$749.90 ($814.90).

Nick Sautner, CEO of the 60,000-seat Eden Park in Auckland, admitted New Zealand couldn’t compete with the “significant investment” from the two Australian states and the federal government in securing the Swift tour. “It’s an extremely competitive market,” he told Radio NZ.

New Zealand has a $50 million ($30.7 million) events fund, but finance minister Grant Robertson ruled out using taxpayer funds to reel in Swift.

Titus Day Released On Bail On Appeal Outcome

Artist manager Titus Day was released on conditional bail June 26 after his attorneys successfully argued a point of appeal in court three days prior.

The 50-year-old Sydneysider was serving a two and a half year jail sentence after a New South Wales District Court jury found him guilty last year of embezzling over A$620,000 ($414,237) of R&B singer Guy Sebastian’s earnings over eight years.

His attorney, Brett Walker SC, had three points of appeal: the first being that the prosecutor had in his closing address “illegally” referred to Day as not having given evidence. Another point to be argued is if the trial judge erred when he accepted Day had been a “clerk or servant” of Sebastian rather than his company Six Degrees, which was a fundamental legal definition of the charges against him.

Deaths In The Biz

Melbourne artist manager and promoter of 50 years, Graeme McKee, succumbed to cancer. His company Westside Talent repped country stars James Blundell and Tania Kernaghan.

Des Ritchie, president of the Woodford Folk Festival for 20 years and ardent environmentalist, died at the age of 91.


Christchurch Venues Call For Noise Plan Update

Venues in Christchurch renewed calls to Christchurch City Council to update noise levels and protect them from resident complaints.

In December, Dux Central had to pull live music after a single complaint, and 12 Bar is closing July 1 with co-owner Matt Kemstra explaining it was partly due to worries about future complaints with 18 townhouses being built across the road. 12 Bar was a signatory of an April petition asking for the maximum permitted decibels in the inner city to be raised from the 60 decibels set up in 2012 to 140.

“A car on the street is louder than what we’re allowed to be,” a club owner said.
Christchurch City Council is considering plans such as subsidizing acoustic engineers or soundproofing and relocating venues to leased council land. However, long-term changes to such plans are expected to take at least two years.