Just the beginning: promoters shoot for the stars

Chart-topping music sensation Lorde has confirmed what is expected to be a sellout show in Dunedin's Town Hall later this year - but that could just be the start.

The artist's promoters are already considering a second show in the city, and plans for a ''much bigger'' concert at Forsyth Barr Stadium - featuring an as-yet-unnamed artist - are also close to being revealed.

The events were the first signs of success stemming from a new approach by Dunedin Venues Management Ltd, which runs both venues, chief executive Terry Davies said yesterday.

DVML had moved away from chasing individual artists and instead opted to partner with international music promoters Frontier Touring and Dainty Group, both based in Melbourne, he said.

Frontier Touring, headed by Michael Gudinski, was involved with Lorde's New Zealand tour but was also organising Australasian tours by top acts including the Rolling Stones and the Eagles.

Dainty Group, headed by Paul Dainty, was organising tours by Queen (with Adam Lambert), Katy Perry and Kenny Rogers.

No contracts had been signed, but, as part of the new approach, both companies' production teams had visited Dunedin in recent weeks for three-day tours of the city and its facilities, he said.

That included visiting the stadium, but also talks with University of Otago staff, hotel operators, airport officials and other parties.

The aim was to build the promoters' trust in what the city could deliver, and secure more headline acts for the stadium and the city's other venues.

That included the town hall but also involved the university, which used the stadium for smaller O-Week concerts.

''And we will see the fruits of that moving forward.''

''The industry's a bit old school. Certainly, you sign contracts when you get to the detail [of individual shows] but this is about understanding each other's business, and a relationship, and trust.''

The first sign of the new approach bearing fruit was securing Lorde's Dunedin show, Mr Davies said.

Lorde would also perform in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland as part of the tour, but had chosen Dunedin's town hall for a more ''intimate'' show in front of up to 2200 fans.

A second Dunedin show was being considered - subject to the artist's approval - if the first was a sellout, Mr Davies confirmed.

The first Dunedin show would be staged on October 29. Tickets costing $91 plus fees would go on sale via the Ticketdirect website from 9am on September 1.

Mr Davies agreed the town hall was a better choice for the show than the stadium.

''If she plays a stadium, you do lose that intimacy,'' he said.

However, DVML was also hoping to announce next month a stadium concert, to be staged in the first half of next year.

He hinted it would be ''much bigger'' than the town hall shows.

Dainty announced yesterday Miley Cyrus would perform in Auckland on October 8.



This story is a good pitch if you are selling snake oil.

Hopeless hope

It's always about something in the pipeline that never seems to eventuate. Keeping Hope Alive might be important during a war, but with the stadium it is tiresome and self defeating.

I remember the best one, ages ago, was the Rolling Stones were coming to the stadium. Joke on those of you who believed that one. 

New approach?

The 'new' approach is basically what every other big venue in the World already does, but good to see they have caught up.

Shooting for the stars

A major concert in the first half of next year equates to a two-year period between major concerts, the last being Aerosmith April 2013. This is hardly what was promised when FSB was built and one wonders what we pay a DVML CEO $240,000pa for? The new CEO Mr Davies took a chance on underwriting a soccer match with Ratepayer funds which failed by some $130,000 to break even. Will the headline act proposed for next year be underwritten by Ratepayers? It is only fair that given the huge sums involved that Mr Davies tells us what liabilty we could be faced with. So far Mr Davies is big on rhetoric and offers nothing by way of details. interesting too that Mr Davies (hopes) that he can snare a headline act. its all pie in the sky Mr Davies, we the owners of the stadium want details.

Happy Talky Talky Happy-talk....

The ODT's optimism about the usefulness of the FB Stadium has always been fulsome, but today the glass is not just half full, it has become a gushing fountain of positivity and prosperity for the City and Otago and the country. There is a point, however, where positivity can be delusional and misleading. The ODT's exuberance combined with the tendency of Terry Davies to over-egg the pie seem to have led to an unlikely claim:

It is reported that "The artist's promoters are already considering a second show in the city". This appears to be a creation of the ODT because the claim is not attributed to any source and the ODT haven't talked to the promoters to get first-hand information.

As for the "as-yet-unnamed artist" that might be playing at the stadium next year - we can hope so, but we should not forget that over the last financial year the venue has been severely underused and made a large loss, costing ratepayers about $20 million, including DVL losses and other DCC costs and subsidies. The following 12 months will be just as bad, even with the "as-yet-unnamed artist". One big concert per year will not solve the stadium problem.

The soon to be announced stadium restructuring plan will not change the hideous congenital financial defects of their creation: I think the proposed changes will be aiming to hide the seriousness of the problem. The DCC needs to be more honest with the citizens about the size of the continuing losses and costs. They claim that these are only $9.8 million per year (DCC Annual Plan). This figure is a lot less than the real cost, but a lot more than the $5 million per year that they told us at the start (2008).

[DVL and DVML annual reports have not been released yet]

Stop it!

Please don't tease us with the these rumours. We all know DVML lacks the competence to pull it off.

Great stadium shame about the management. 


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