Dunedin falls off end of Katy Perry's list

Katy Perry
Katy Perry
It appears Katy Perry is longing for a white Christmas rather than a summer concert in the south of New Zealand.

The Billboard Music Awards Top Female Artist for 2014 was tipped to perform at Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium as part of her Prismatic World Tour, but the multi-platinum pop star will perform just two New Zealand concerts - at Auckland's Vector Arena on December 19 and 20.

Concert promoter Dainty Group New Zealand publicist Nancy Blackler said yesterday the Australian tour dates were released earlier in the year, and the New Zealand dates were supposed to be released soon after.

''But the New Zealand dates just got delayed and delayed and delayed until now, and that's because they [her tour organisers] kept adding on dates to her Australian tour.

''So that's why we ended up with our [New Zealand] shows being on December 19 and 20.''

The issue was it had left no time to hold a concert in Dunedin before Christmas, Mrs Blackler said.

''She's [Perry] on tour now, and she's working flat out. She wants to go home for Christmas.

''It's a shame, but it's understandable.''

Mrs Blackler denied the decision to skip Dunedin had anything to do with transporting Perry's set south. It is transported in a Boeing 767, which is unable to land at Dunedin International Airport.

''It's nothing to do with transport logistics, because all of those could have been solved. It's actually because the [New Zealand] concerts fall so close to Christmas time.''

She confirmed DVML chief executive Terry Davies had been in touch with Dainty Group and had been proactive in trying to secure Perry and other international acts for the stadium.

It is the second major concert that has fallen through for DVML in the past month, with the Eagles now playing just one New Zealand show, in Auckland, next year.

Mr Davies said DVML approached all promoters regarding every major artist touring Australia and New Zealand.

Katy Perry was no exception, he said.

''In respect of this particular artist, the obvious challenge is feasibility, given the proximity to Christmas.''

He was unable to name any new international acts being pursued to perform at the stadium, but said it was an ongoing search.

- john.lewis@odt.co.nz


Give Up, says pizzazz

Don't try for the top, don't go for, er, broke, don't dream on. Not without asking pizzazz who has foreknowledge of showbiz outcome. I don't mean to be snippy, but do you have any suggestions to share?

Katy Perry concert

All the comments below are well and good, but somewhat beside the point. When I first heard the 'rumour' that Perry might do a concert in Dunedin, I laughed, loudly. That was never going to happen. Yes, DVML would have contacted the promoters, I'm sure they contact the promoters of all the worthwhile concerts coming to NZ, but there was never any serious chance she would come to Dunedin.

How anyone could think for a minute that a performer like Perry would come to Dunedin is beyond me. Tell me, aside from Elton John and the somewhat aging Aerosmith and the Hollies, have there been any serious contenders to perform at the stadium? Too far to come, airport not big enough, minimal population pool, questionable sound quality. Get real, not going to happen.

My mistake

kiwip: you are correct.

There are only two ex-ORFU employee's and no former CST staff working for DVML now. Most have run off to greener fields.

I mis-read the ORFU finacial statement. Their operating profit is recorded as being $406,800.

As for your assertion "In terms of the University managing to get good line-ups: ... 1. they work together with DVML to do this "

I think you will find that DVML is a very small player in this. OUSA has always contracted it's own acts via a number of other sources.

Real sound issues

Lynden: "The fact that it's covered and they won't have to risk cancellations or low turnouts while being able to host bigger crowds will outweigh the perceived sound issues."

The sound issues are real not perceived. There are certainly places in the stadium where reverberation is not an issue but from experience it is not a great as a whole.

There are solutions to the reverberation problem but they are expensive and given the current financial situation hardly likely to be put in place.

And when the weather cuts up FBS is no better in many respects than an open air stadium in that wind and occasionally rain can blast the seating areas. And that is to be expected with a covered stadium as opposed to an enclosed arena.

As for other arenas worldwide. I agree, but those same arenas have serve massive populations; FBS doesn't.

As for the OUSA gigs, they are in the east stand and are therefore completely different than a total venue concert. And good on OUSA for being able to have concerts thjat serve their target audience(s).

University artists

MikeStk: Actually individual uni's do organise their own artists, at least they did when I was involved in the industry, usually organised by the student council. And you proved my point, they come here because the students are here to make up a large portion in the crowd.

As you said "They come here for the students. They're not coming to Dunedin for the stadium, or in spite of it - they're going to come to Dunedin and play somewhere no matter what. Used to be the wool store, or the student union, or the town hall" so sound isnt the major concern they will come here anyway.

As I said the reasons the don't are more likely to be contractual and timing. ie Katy Perry would have been at a time when most the students have left town and they are a large part of her target market.

As I said show me one artical where the artist or promoter has cited sound quality as the reason for not coming here because after the previous Concerts they didn't have any issues with it.

I suspect they way management dealt with promoters is more of a factor.


My point was

Overit: Of course purpose built arenas will be better but my point was artists play in stadiums around the world quite often with worse acoustics than FB, and that the promoters and artists and most the people actually praised the stadium . The fact that it's covered and they won't have to risk cancellations or low turnouts while being able to host bigger crowds will outweigh the perceived sound issues.


I would really like to know where some posters here get their so called "facts" from:

Couple of things:

Have a look through the current Dunedin Venues staff from their website and identify how many are legacy from CST or Carisbrook - not many if any.

ORFU - where does the fantasy that they have a few million in the bank come from? They recorded a small operating profit last year and are attempting to build cash reserves to secure their financial future and independence, jeez that sounds fiscally responsible doesn't it, can't be right...

Orientation Concerts - Mike you are way off the mark here, each University is an independent entity and has an Events team that looks to put together the best Orientation Week - Ryan Lewis & Macklemore played last year here in Dunedin, not at any other University Orientations. You are right that they used to play at the University Union - capacity for live music around 1000 in the main hall. Six60 this year played to around 6500 at our Stadium, the difference is that the OUSA can attract much bigger acts now as they can sell a great deal more tickets - meaning they have more money in the bank to pay appearance fees - this means bigger acts. Its not that bands are now coming, rather much bigger bands and acts are coming...

In terms of the University managing to get good line-ups:

1. they work together with DVML to do this

2. they are able to take some risk up front with $$ to attract them - historically and currently DVML is not able to do this due to tight purse strings, this looks to be changing as the impact on Dunedin's economy is measured and realised.


Orientation concerts

Lynden: the difference of course is that neither the university or DVML, or even the local student union, book the orientation and post-orientation tours - they're organised nationally. I'm sure the contract says something like "come to NZ and place at this list of universities".

They come here for the students. They're not coming to Dunedin for the stadium, or in spite of it - they're going to come to Dunedin and play somewhere no matter what. Used to be the wool store, or the student union, or the town hall. Orientation bands didn't suddenly start coming here when the stadium was built, nor will they stop if it closes.

Sound management

MikeStk: You will be pleased to know that DVML are restructuring their Dunedin Centre operation i.e. sacking the workers and getting them to reapply for their jobs at a lower pay rate while promoting CST and Carisbrook staff who reside at the stadium.

Lyndon: This has been voiced by you before. Arena concerts generally work better for a variety of reasons and a primary one is better control of acoustics. Vector suffered initially from bad acoustics but now it is a premiere venue. FBS is almost the exact opposite.

It is very unlikely that we will ever know what promoter and artist feedback has been given to DVML over the suitability of FBS for concerts. They are busy trying to keep money pouring in from the hapless ratepayer to prop up rugby and their own inflated salaries to let the truth out.

Hell, we don't even know the details of the extremely generous deal the NZRU and ORFU have that allows them to use the stadium for virtually nothing. Given that the ORFU now has a few million in the bank and the NZRU has reserves in excess of $60 milliion dollars you would think they could start truly paying their way.  If they did that and DVML management was reduced to a more realistic level for a provincial rugby ground with a small and aging population base then maybe the stadium has a chance of getting on a more even keel.


Show me 1 artist or promoter who an issue with the sound quality, most the statements i saw has no issue with the sound.

Most the complaints were froma few individuals who were mostly in cheaper seats which are cheaper because the are not the best view or the best sound etc. It's almost impossible to have a venue where the sound quality is equal in all spots. Even if there were issues artists perform in venues that are less than ideal all the time.

As a person who has spent most of his adult life dealing with sound from little rural halls to nightclubs to concerts my bet is the decision for people not to come here has less to do with sound and sound equipment logistics than with timing, issues with DVML management, and the way the proposals are put together ie come play in Christchurch the people have been through a lot etc.

The telling factor I see is that the university manages to get pretty good lines ups to come and play and even things like rugby games get good artists when they are so inclined, but DVML consistantly fails to do the same - yet the venue used is the same.  

Stadium sound redux

But CST did employ some acoustics experts when the stadium was built. Sadly they spent no time on working on making concert sound sound good, they were hired to make sure that as little sound got out to bother the neighbours as possible. One would guess that the result is that sound bounces around inside rather than escaping - it would seem that CST designed  the rugby stadium to work this way. All the better for that rugby atmosphere, I guess.

Stadium acoustics

OK, I am not going to pretend to be an expert on stadium acoustics, but I believe that the stadium sound is bad because of the way it is shaped and the material used to build it. If these two factors with sound in mind had been taken into consideration from the beginning, no one would be talking about bad stadium acoustics. Instead we built a stadium around rugby and that is exactly what we have - a rugby stadium.
Believe me, in the "sound business" the word does get around. Maybe Katy Perry is not a good example if she had indeed booked her venues a long time ago, but that is not to say that other artists will not take exception. I don't wish the stadium to fail but I do hope that is will soon stop feeding off the ratepayers teats and pay for itself. It would be insane to keep spending in this manner when we are scraping the bottom of the barrel already.

Stadium sound (part 2)

IWAS: Check out the other venues Katy's performing at around Australasia. They're all indoor arena type facilities, that each hold crowds of around 10,000-12,000. Then compare that with FBS' potential stadium (concert) capacity of somewhere in the realm of 30,000-35,000 (depending on how its configured). Katy's current concert was never scheduled to perform at FBS - certainly not in December, immediately before Christmas - when many of her potential target audience (think tertiary students) aren't in Dunedin. What she's offering is a show that's specifically set up for an indoor venue, that holds around 10-12k people. She's not touring Australasia with a stadium type set-up. So when the ODT suggested Dunedin had 'fallen' off her current touring itinerary... they were being cute. We were never on her touring itinerary. 

Biggest mistake

Overit: Yes, DVML have made lots of mistakes, and they inherited lot's of mistakes (and the people who made them) from the CST too - but yes, probably their defining mistake has been to not use the fact that the ORFU was in breach of their stadium contract when they let the Highlanders go. When they found that was happening DVML should have cancelled all contracts and renegotiated with both the ORFU and the Highlanders to their (and our advantage).

Sadly DVML is too close to the ORFU, they're their landlord, a property management company employed to make money for the ratepayers, not their friend. But from day one DVML has hired many of its employees from the ORFU or ORFU's CST. DVML seems to have forgotten who it works for - who its actions are supposed to benefit. DVML seems to be very manager top heavy (just look at their web page) it's probably time to thin the ranks to make it a leaner meaner operation that loses less and makes more, it might also be a good time to weed out those with divided loyalties so we end up with a management company that understands that it really represents the interests of its employees.

ORFU bailout(s)

SRD: How rugby splits itself up financially is really none of my business. I only really care when, be they the ORFU or the Highlanders or both, use the council to reach into my wallet and swipe some more money to subsidise their ticket prices - that still happens year after year.

Apparently you forget the bail out of the ORFU by the council a couple of years ago where the ratepayers and a number of small local creditors were left high and dry as the ORFU approached bankruptcy. TV3 even held an on-air begging session for them - in the end most creditors got something like 50c on the dollar and the council was required to forgive most of what they were owed, including contracted income from the use of Carisbrook after it had been sold, and for use of the rugby stadium for a black tie party for rugby supporters.  Part of the bail out and forgiveness of debts by the ratepayers was a contract between DVML and the ORFU for management of a number of things that the ORFU could no longer afford to do, of which the head of DVML commented on, here in the ODT, saying that ratepayers would be likely be "very angry" if they discovered the details.

So you're right, I don't know the details of that contract that Mr Davies said would likely make me "very angry", the council and ORFU claim it's secret because it is "commercially sensitive" - now in the real world that would have to be because there's a competing rugby union or another stadium in town that might use that information to gain some commercial advantage - we all know that's bunk - instead, as Mr Davies said, if it were made public the details would likely make the ratepayers angry and not want to keep propping up the ORFU ,or their stadium, with more money from their pockets.

I agree with Jonkey's sentiment - rugby (be it the Highlanders and/or the ORFU) forced their rugby stadium on us against our will, and they should be paying enough to use it so that at the very least it doesn't lose money. I just don't feel it will happen if we let them take it over. Their recent track record in running businesses has been abysmal, which is real a pity because their fathers and grandfathers before them, canny Scotsmen, were thrifty enough and smart enough to build Carisbrook and pay for it only to have the current generation whittle it all away to the point where the council had to buy it off them at a giant loss just to save them from their debts.

It's what happens when that whole rugby self entitlement thing gets in the way of sound business acumen, when you believe you're the most important and the world owes rugby a living you stop caring about little things like profits and losses, and being responsible members of the community.


SRD: I am not sure what you meant by "...The ORFU are not financially responsible for the stadium..." but the ORFU were big players in working with CST in getting the stadium debacle started. CST stands for Carisbrook Stadium Trust and was so named as the initial concept was to build a new stadium on the Carisbrook site.

From the ODT 16/03/12: "Mr Cull also said an agreement signed in 2009 did not bind the Highlanders, and DVML had found itself in a "risky situation", with no certainty of revenue streams."

That was after the company took over the stadium with the understanding agreements were in place. When the original 35-year agreement was signed, then-council chief executive Jim Harland said it sent "a pretty clear signal" the stadium would be Otago rugby's home base. The ORFU was "to take all steps to ensure that it retained a management contract for the Highlanders franchise or equivalent".

The Highlanders split with the ORFU in that year. " As a work mate said at the time "what a complete stuff up". Never a truer word spoken.

And DVML is responsible for "ticketing, sponsorship and commercial activities would be all taken over by the Dunedin City Council-owned DVML." (ODT 2/12/11) and "Mr Graham said yesterday from Auckland, where he was attending a New Zealand Rugby Union meeting, commercial responsibilities and marketing would go to DVML" (ODT 2/12/11)

So I guess you are 100% wrong, SRD.

Stadium sound

The word spreads fast in the concert and venue world, especially about lighting, acoustics and a variety of functions that makes a venue a desirable place for an artist to want to perform. Many of the international performers have certain preferences that have to be met.

Bon Jovi for example will not perform in venues that have a record of noisy feedback and fast buildup of low frequency amplified sound. Many operators have a preference for open space/no ceiling, especially for a more natural environment. One of the first questions an artist will ask is: "How are the acoustics?" or, "What is the venue like?" I could go on and on....

Unfortunately, the word is out on FB stadium. Katy Perry's team would have found out a long time ago and once that word spreads, it stays there forever. So I guess that means the stadium is only good for rugby and trinket markets, that is unless they make the roof removable or cork the surrounding walls and ceilings. 


I have refrained form commenting on this thread but I can keep my 'mouth' shut no longer. Some of the 'facts' written here are totally ludicrous and absolutely incorrect.
MikeSTK - I would be intrigued to know where you get your facts from? You may want to look for a new source, because the one you've got ain't too hot. The ORFU are not financially responsible for the stadium - you don't mention the Highlanders? I suspect that's because you think they are part of ORFU? Wrong, they are totally, 100% separate. You say that ORFU have been 'forgiven most of their debts' - how do you know this? Again, you are 100% wrong. 'DVML do their marketing - how do you know this? Again - 100% wrong.

I tell you what, come back when you have got some real, worthwhile facts. I could go on but I'm just going rugby training - heaven!


Should have been left

No. They (ORFU) should have been left to go down the toilet. Maybe then they would have learnt something.

Not a good solution

Jonkey: it would be a nice solution, but frankly I don't think it would work. Remember that many of DVML's employees were previously employees of the ORFU, or its CST, and the ORFU went close to bankruptcy two or three times, largely by charging less for tickets at Carisbrook than it cost to run, continually for many years,  being bailed out by the ratepayers first with a $2m loan at a sweetheart interest rate, then by buying Carisbrook at a huge loss, and finally by forgiving most of their debts. It almost semms that they believe that charging less money than it costs to run a venue will finally make them a profit if they kept at it long enough.

DVML has followed on with the same brilliant economic plan, with the same result - it has been bailed out by the ratepayers to the tune of millions every year since it was created, in part because they are subsidising the ORFU by doing things like their marketing for free, but largely it's because they are not charging them enough for tickets.

Given their history do you really think the modern ORFU is capable of running anything without showing up at the council rooms with its hands out?

Scrap DVML

We need to scrap DVML. It is bad enoough we have to pay for rugby's stadium, but let's end the madness and stop pretending it will ever make a profit. The cost of running DVML could be put to better use, like paying the interest on the loan for the stadium.

Let the ORFU run the stadium with thier own money and volunteers, and if they can get in music acts and other entertainment all the better. It may even increase thier popularity from hated to disliked.

Stadium report a twelve month project

When Dr Bidrose became CEO one of her first acts was to implement an internal enquiry into the stadium, its finances and its future. Dr Bidrose made it clear that this project would take twelve months to complete. It is astounding given the endless debate and acrimony caused through the lack of information. available to rate payers. It certainly does seem a very long time to wait and one wonders how long it takes to gather the relevant information? It would be interesting to know what Paul Simon and Aerosmith were paid by rate payers  to appear. Were these concerts profitable? These questions have never been answered and need to be addressed before any more big acts are invited to appear. It is pretty pointless usuing the facility as a concert venue if it can't turn a profit. There will be those on both sides of the argument that will speculate re concert profitability. The quicker the facts relating to all facets of the stadium's operation are on the table the better.

Bazzini Brothers

Yes, keep the boss on. Also a hardnosed shxt entrepreneur, like the Manager in 'Water for Elephants'.

Yes it is rugby's fault

qsrc: it's rugby's fault we have a rugby stadium that  isn't economical to run, because they're too cheap pay more to rent it than it costs to run it.

It's rugby's fault because they couldn't run a lemonade stand at a profit having never figured out that you have to charge more than you spend, and leaving it to the ratepayers to bail them out.

It's rugby's fault because they built a stadium with crappy sound that's great for a rugby because it magnifies crowd noise but sucks for live concerts.

It's rugby's fault because they didn't raise the $55m in private fundraising they promised to contribute to the cost of building the stadium  leaving the ratepayers holding the bag.

It's rugby's fault because they promised to contribute Carisbrook for free to help pay for the new stadium, then changed their mind and insisted the ratepayers buy it at a loss of millions of dollars.

Continuing proof of a poorly planned project

The stadium simply can't attract paying shows and events in the number needed to make it pay "fact" as predicted by thousands.  This despite good professional management.

Major shows can't land at Dunedin airport as has always been the case? There has never been any accountablity from those who planned the stadium, were to raise the millions in public funding, pushed this project through.

We need a positive from these people to paying the stadiums costs more than ever. The easy part, building it is completed. Paying for it was alway going to be the hard part to which they have no promised effect responce.

University funding, Majority support, CST who?

"Fact" Stadium supporters, planners and users will not pay their way. Ratepayers are increasingly expected to carry all costs after being assured that wouldn't be the case.

As to the future.

There must be an oppotunity to call time on this ever increasing liablity. The council's coming report into the stadium maybe the time to give the ratepayer such relief.

All who support and use what they discribe as a great city asset need to pay their share to make this discription true, as was always the planned intention.

Our council needs to make it so.


A drull is what you roll when you don't have a drum.

9 months more??

Stevesome57: When was this delay announced. Surely it cannot be. If so then one can only wonder why. More high level incompetence uncovered. Illegal actions on the part of some? The system rorted by a priviledged few?

The DCC has never been able to deliver competently complete reports on time, ever.

Just to be pedantic

Stevesone57: Just to be pedantic - rates have not been set at twice that of inflation - it's rates increases that have been higher than inflation, in some years much much higher (~10%) - like interest and inflation rates increases grow exponentially - compounding year on year (sadly the council never raises rates in one year and the drops them back down again the year after) - a 5% yearly increase for a decade compounds to a 60% increase that never goes away.

It may seem a radical idea but I think that rates ought to go up by about inflation year on year, if the council raises the rates by 5% and  inflation is 1% then the next year when they say are going to raise rates again they should be comparing the amount with the previous year's base rate plus the inflation - if the council wants to raise the rates by 5% in a second year and inflation is again 1% we should say that rates are going up by 8% over inflation, not '5%' - do it a third year - '12% over inflation'.

Do this for a while and eventually the council might realise that they are increasing their burden by far more than just '5%'.

RE: Showbiz management

Albert Square   i think you misunderstood , i meant downsize the management staff , not the facility or staff required on event days  

Making it work

Lyndon: I agree that tendering out the running of events to a private company makes sense. The reason people are as you say "going over old ground" is because there is a still a lot of new ground to be uncovered. The costs continue to escalate and the financial cover ups are slowly being unearthed. Dr Bidrose's enquiry into the stadium which we amazingly have to wait another 9 months for will be about as ugly as I think we are all expecting it will be. Rates have been set at twice the rate of inflation and this situation is set to worsen. The argument will never go away until all the facts are on the table and a permanent solution is put in place. Untill then the debate will continue to rage each and everytime the ODT release yet another statement telling rate payers the stadium still requires yet more rate payer funding.

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