Concert quest ongoing despite setbacks

Black Sabbath playing at Forsyth Barr Stadium in April. Photo supplied.
Black Sabbath playing at Forsyth Barr Stadium in April. Photo supplied.
The man running Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium says the venue is still hunting for sell-out concerts, despite being overlooked by a string of top international acts.

After a bumper period last year in which Rod Stewart, Fleetwood Mac and Neil Diamond all performed at the stadium, the venue's international concerts have dried up, the last being Black Sabbath's show in April.

Hopes more big acts would stop in Dunedin this summer were dashed when performers such as British rockers Coldplay and pop superstar Adele opted for shows in Auckland instead.

Bruce Springsteen also overlooked Dunedin in favour of Christchurch, where his song, My City of Ruins, became an unofficial anthem for the recovery effort.

Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive Terry Davies told the Otago Daily Times the stadium had been in the running to secure all three acts, as well as others, including Justin Bieber.

The fact it had drawn a blank reflected the nature of the touring concert market at present. Big-name artists were on the road but working to more constrained timetables, he said.

That meant there was less flexibility in their schedules to include a stop in Dunedin, and it was more profitable to add extra shows in a bigger city such as Auckland.

He believed that would mean this summer's ''dry'' period for concerts in Dunedin would continue for the first half of 2017, Mr Davies said.

But, beyond that, the stadium already had bookings pencilled in from September next year into 2018, and he was confident of securing more big acts for the period.

''We are, no question, the preferred venue in the South Island, and even we're the preferred destination over Wellington, because Auckland's taking North Island [crowds].

''We haven't gone backwards at all. We are what we are. We know where we sit in the pecking order ... because of just market size and location, but we punch above our weight.''

He was in contact with promoters every week, and they were well aware Dunedin was ''in the market'' and capable of delivering strong ticket sales and returns from concerts under the roof, Mr Davies said.

''It's a case of us putting our best foot forward at all times ... You're going to win some and you're going to lose some.

''It's just the way it is.''

chris.morris@odt.co.nz

Comments

Build it and they will come, or something like that, was the dribble that came out of Malcolm Farry"s mouth I do believe. Where are the acts and where's Mr Farry?

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