Live Music

Australia and New Zealand witness live entertainment boom

Featured Image: Hanna Tche on Unsplash

The Australia and New Zealand live entertainment market is continuing to boom with concert records tumbling, setting up a strong summer in the two countries, according to a report from Pollstar. 

Pollstar’s report noted that a 2022 PWC forecast predicted a 30.8% compound annual growth rate between 2021 and 2026, meaning Australia would be the second fastest growing live sector globally.

Dion Brant, chief executive of Frontier Touring, told Pollstar that he believed the company could equal its best performance in 2018, this year.

British singer Ed Sheeran was Frontier’s biggest tour, with the ‘Mathematics’ run of dates welcoming 900,000 across Australia and New Zealand. This is just shy of 2018’s ‘Divide’ tour, which welcomed one million fans.

Sheeran did, however, set new venue attendances in five cities, including at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in March, with 109,500 – the singer’s largest crowd across the globe.

Sir Elton John was also set to reach one million tickets sold until torrential rain forced his final show at Auckland’s Mt. Smart Stadium to be cancelled in January. The rest of the year will see Frontier bring Sir Paul McCartney, Robbie Williams, Foo Fighters, Sam Smith and The Chicks to Australia and New Zealand.

Taylor Swift’s multiple dates across Sydney and Melbourne in 2024 saw four million fans attempt to secure tickets. Pink is also set to tour next year, with 16 stadium concerts in February and March which have sold over 750,000 tickets. Roger Field, president of Live Nation Australia and New Zealand, told Pollstar that this made it “the biggest selling Australia tour ever by a female artist”.

He added: “LN Australasia is having a record year and we are on track for the biggest year ever. We’re seeing unprecedented attendances at all levels from clubs to arenas. More artists are visiting us Down Under.

“We’ve also seen several arena acts take the huge step up into stadiums and sell phenomenally well, and we’re having our biggest stadium years thanks to artists such as Pink, Harry Styles and our Coldplay shows in Perth.”

TEG Group CEO Geoff Jones also told the publication that he was impressed with all levels of performances.

He said: “We wondered for a while there what would happen as stadium acts got older and retired. But there are replacements lining up very strongly, which gives us great confidence going forward at the stadium level.”

TEG’s success this year came in the form of touring festivals Laneway in January and February, which hit a record of 100,000 guests over five cities, and Knotfest, which also welcomed 100,000 fans across three locations.

Independent business Untitled Group achieved its target of 400,000 tickets from 373 events between July 2022 and June 2023, according to Pollstar. The target for the year between July 2023 and June 2024 is 500,000 tickets from 400 events.

The company’s co-founder Nicholas Greco told Pollstar that being independent sometimes made it tougher as costs rose, but Untitled still witnessed great success with its festivals, including the flagship Beyond The Valley, the multi-city Grapevine Gathering and Wildlands.