January saw the announcement of several Australian bushfire fundraising concerts, including Sound Relief and TEG’s Fire Fight Australia.
More than 65,000 tickets were sold in five hours for TEG Dainty and TEG Live’s Fire Fight Australia relief concert, which starred British rock legends Queen, among others.
The event, which took place on February 16 at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium, was organised to raise money for those impacted by the bushfires which ravaged Australia over several months.
The Sound Relief 2020 was cancelled as organisers claimed the concerts wouldn’t “produce the impactful result that we believe these events can – and should – have.” The fundraiser, which was scheduled to take place over two weekends in March, was pulled together by major promoters such as Frontier Touring, Live Nation Australasia, Chugg Entertainment, Secret Sounds and IMC.
In January, a US court finalised the five-and-a-half year extension and modification of Live Nation’s consent decree, which allowed it to merge with Ticketmaster in 2010.
The original consent decree, which was originally set to expire in 2020, allowed Live Nation and Ticketmaster to combine but required them to follow a set of conditions designed to keep consumer prices in check by preserving competition in the industry. One of those conditions included prohibiting Live Nation from “retaliating” against venues for not using Ticketmaster, or threatening venues.
The court allowed Live Nation and Ticketmaster to continue to operate despite testimony from the DOJ, which claimed the live entertainment giant “repeatedly” broke the decree. It presented evidence it claims demonstrates that Live Nation threatened at least six venues.
In a year plagued by COVID-19, January was one of the only months to be mostly free of cancellations and closures. However, there were beginning to be signs of its impact across Asia.
Shanghai Disney Resort revealed changes to its ticketing policy with ticket-holders told to reschedule their visit to any date in the next six months due to the coronavirus outbreak in the region. Customers were eligible for a refund if they are unable to find a date that works in the six-month period.
In addition, Chinese online ticketing platforms Maoyan and Taopiaopiao informed its customers that they could cancel their cinema tickets and request refunds due to the outbreak in the region.
Meanwhile, MoviePass, the troubled cinema subscription firm that pledged to provide unlimited tickets for under $10 a month, filed for bankruptcy.
Helios and Matheson, the parent company of MoviePass, revealed it would be liquidating after asking the court to oversee the sale of its remaining assets and the wind-down of the business.