2012 'thin year' for stadium-filling acts

The economic impact of Elton John's Dunedin concert will assist negotiations with other major artists, but those touring acts capable of filling the venue appeared to be "thin" this year, the stadium's boss says.

Last week, Dunedin Venues Management Ltd released to the Otago Daily Times the economic impact report from the November 25 concert.

Chief executive David Davies said the study by Howard Research would be used to help entice other acts to the venue.

"It is a valuable tool when putting your proposals together for secured events, because you have now got a 360deg view of the effect of it."

He remained tight-lipped on potential acts for the stadium, but the "reality is it's likely to be a thin year compared to previous years".

"The number of people on the road is fairly limited. It is not an industry problem; it is a trend for this year."

One touring artist is Lady Gaga, who would perform at Auckland's Vector Arena on June 7 and 8, but whose production was suited to a smaller indoor venue, rather than a larger "outdoor" venue such as Forsyth Barr Stadium.

While the sold-out Elton John show proved the artist could draw a crowd to the stadium, Mr Davies said, "the number of shows that can genuinely pull fifteen to twenty thousand [fans] outdoors is pretty limited".

"Elton John proved beyond doubt that he was able to draw."

DVML was continuing to have conversations with other acts, and "we have been able to gather pictures, experiences and now financial projections from Elton John to show what sort of returns we are talking about ... and that is a strong argument".

"You can't do that at the end of [a] phone ... You would look like a biscuit salesman if you did that.

It is about sitting in front of people having those conversations with a figure at hand, so it is a long process ... Elton John took a long time to come to fruition."

That concert and subsequent research also showed people had an appetite for live music, and would travel to Dunedin to watch a show.

DVML would continue to use research to gauge the potential of the stadium, and determine how DVML would mould offers to future events.

The research also provided impetus to a whole-of-Otago approach when bidding for events, given the economic impact for the whole region, he said.

He acknowledged some people would call into question the findings, which estimated the concert contributed $14.9 million in local economy spending.

He said multipliers were used to determine the total expenditure, which took into account such things as $1 spent on food and the related cost of staff, who would not be required if the event was not on.

"We recognised at the start that there is no single agreed method of trying to reach a measurement of economic impact. We fully accept there will be differences of opinion."

hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz

 

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