Australasia News: P!NK Nears 3 Million Tix Mark; Bluesfest Headliners; NZ: Wellington Venues Get Earthquake Notices

BluesfestFRIDAY 12
BLUES BY THE BAY: Byron Bay Bluesfest announced its headliners for the March 28-April 1, 2024 edition, which will once again take place at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm in New South Wales, Australia.


P!NK Heading For 3M Tickets

Live Nation Australia chairman Michael Coppel says his lengthy association with P!NK reaches a milestone when the “honorary Australian” wraps up her “Summer Carnival Tour” here in March 2024.

“It’s been the thrill of a lifetime to promote P!NK’s six Australian tours since 2004, and the 20th anniversary of that association will see P!NK surpass 3 million tickets sold in Australia and New Zealand.”

Coppel was speaking at the announcement of her final show, taking place at the 25,000-seat Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville in Far North Queensland March 23.

He and Luke Hede, Live Nation Australasia VP of touring, were joined by stadium GM Tom Kimball, Townsville mayor Jenny Hill, politicians and tourism executives.

According to Live Nation, P!NK now plays 16 stadiums this leg, with more than 725,000 ticket sales making it the biggest-selling Australian tour by a female artist.

The Townsville show is a test for the city as an events destination, and for the stadium that opened in 2020 but has only hosted Elton John this year. A KISS show was moved in July to the Gold Coast after a sports scheduling clash.

Speaking on radio in June, mayor Hill said, “You can’t build a stadium worth well over $300 million and just have it for sporting events.”

A study found 80 percent of Townsville locals wanted more music events, with P!NK high on their wish list.

The singer was offered a tropical holiday to clinch the deal. Media estimates expect the show to generate A$8 million ($5.1 million) to the economy.

Jack Johnson, Peter Garrett, Tom Jones Return For Bluesfest

Jack Johnson, Peter Garrett and Tom Jones return to Bluesfest for its 35th anniversary over the Easter holiday March 28 to April 1.

Johnson, who debuted the festival 2001 as an unknown, is an Australian exclusive. So too are Tommy Emmanuel and Finland’s Erja Lyytinen and Nashville’s Here Come The Mummies.

Director Peter Noble revealed that after Jones’ last appearance in 2016, “he had his manager personally contact (us) to ask to return in 2024.”

The first announce included Aussie act The Teskey Brothers (“the most requested artist to return”), former Midnight Oil frontman Garrett’s The Alter Egos, Elvis Costello & The Imposters, New Zealand reggae band L.A.B., and the debut of 14-year-old Australian blues guitarist and social media hit Taj Farrant.

This year’s event lost major names to illness and a boycott at inclusion of Sydney indie band Sticky Fingers and its polarizing lead singer Dylan Frost, and a drop in attendance to about 70,000 from the 100,000 mark as rising living costs hit even the most loyal of crowds.

NSW Cops Close Down Hip-Hop Act

For the second time in four years, New South Wales police canceled gigs by a hip-hop act from Western Sydney.

Two August shows, part of a national run by rising stars 046 behind their acclaimed Rhythm & Gutta album, were axed after venues were warned to hire more security and user-pay police, as they could create gang violence at the shows.

046 hoped to show authorities “our music and our shows are about celebrating and uplifting our community – but that opportunity has been taken from us.”


Wellington Venues Hit With Earthquake Notices

Wellington City Council issued the Opera House and Michael Fowler Centre with earthquake-prone building notices after seismic assessments showed parts of their buildings below a safety threshold.

The 100-year-old Opera House holds 1,400 fans for ballet and classical, theatre and comedy shows while the Fowler Centre caters for 1,800.

They will have seven and a half years to rectify the problem.

Council’s chief infrastructure officer Siobhan Procter advised, “They are both much-loved venues that play key roles in Wellington’s entertainment district and, we have concluded, that there is nothing within either assessment that indicates both buildings cannot continue to operate as normal.”