City in line for more top acts

Rod Stewart plays Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin tonight.
Rod Stewart plays Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin tonight.
Promoters for some of the world's top musical performers say Dunedin is now firmly on the radar as a destination for a steady stream of headline acts.

The glowing endorsement comes as Forsyth Barr Stadium prepares to host 25,000 fans at tonight's Rod Stewart show.

The concert, being brought to Dunedin by Frontier Touring, has also attracted three of Australasia's top music promoters to Dunedin, eager to evaluate the event and the venue.

Frontier Touring founder Michael Gudinski will be joined at the stadium by Tim McGregor, group managing director of Dainty Group, and Michael Coppel, president and chief executive of Live Nation Australasia.

Together, the three Australia-based promoters represent acts ranging from Bruce Springsteen to the Foo Fighters, Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry.

Dainty Group is also bringing Neil Diamond to Dunedin in October, while Live Nation Australasia, part of the world's biggest promotional company, is behind Fleetwood Mac's sellout Dunedin show.

Speaking ahead of tonight's show, all three men agreed stronger-than-expected ticket sales for Dunedin's stadium concerts meant the city was now well positioned to secure more headline acts.

Mr Coppel told the Otago Daily Times from Melbourne the speed of ticket sales for Fleetwood Mac's sellout Dunedin show, in particular, would cause the industry to sit up and take notice.

There had been some nervousness that staging the concert on a Wednesday night would hurt sales, but it now appeared a second show could have been considered, he said.

That was not possible due to ''availability issues'' elsewhere, but more big concerts were expected to follow in Fleetwood Mac's footsteps, he predicted.

''It's sold sensationally well ... I don't think anyone in the industry would have thought that Dunedin ever had the capacity to mount major concerts.

''I'm sure our competitors have sat up and taken notice ... and I'm sure it's going to lead to even more events coming through.''

Mr McGregor said word was already spreading and the city was now on the radar of promoters, agents and artists internationally.

''You find every time one of us promoters is going in to meet with an agent in Los Angeles, they're asking about it [Dunedin].

''We don't have to introduce people so much to the city - it's on the radars .. . I think you'll see more and more shows going through.''

That would include more acts aimed at a younger audience, which could see the city rivalling Auckland and Wellington as a destination ''within the next couple of years'', he said.

''I think you'll see artists of that younger demo[graphic] starting to line up to go through.''

Mr Gudinski agreed the future looked bright, as ticket sales for Dunedin's concerts were ''astounding''.

Another successful show tonight would only further enhance the city's appeal.

''It's certainly on the way now, and success breeds success.

''If everything goes right, and the deal was right, would I go to Bruce Springsteen's people and say. 'We should play Dunedin'?

''I obviously would.''

• The Otago Daily Times understands Stewart is staying at the Scenic Hotel Southern Cross in High St, and that he arrived on Thursday night.

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