The Brag Media
News October 19, 2022

A Day On The Green Looks to the Future With 500-Show Milestone In Sight

Senior Journalist, B2B
A Day On The Green Looks to the Future With 500-Show Milestone In Sight

Bands, buddies, the great outdoors, and wine. It’s a mix you could get used to, and Australians have lapped it up by the millions.

Next month, A Day On The Green, the summer winery concerts brand, will uncork its 500th show, an occasion that isn’t lost on its organisers.

“It’s probably the longest running touring festival in the country that has never stopped,” comments Mick Newton, director of Roundhouse Entertainment, a division of Mushroom Group.

“We’ve never had a hiatus, we just kept going.”

That perpetual motion machine kicked into a gear 21 years ago, at a time when Big Day Out was still the dominant player in the festivals space, and the likes of Livid, Soundwave, Future Music Festival and Stereosonic were active and growing.

All are long gone.

ADOTG’s point of difference was in its experience and its line-ups, which would draw out many 40-somethings who might otherwise have been lost to armchair sports action.

More than four million have passed through the gates since the first show on Australia Day, Jan. 26, 2001, when 1,800 punters took their spot at Mount Eliza’s Morning Star Estate.

Day one featured a homegrown bill with James Morrison, Renée Geyer, Stephen Cummings and others.

The tally of artist performances has since ticked over to 1,960, and counting.

“So much has changed in the way we run our shows. The budgets are higher, obviously we’re a lot more organised, but with insurance and safety, that side of the business has changed so much,” Newton tells TMN.

“One of the biggest factors in how we plan is about weather, and trying to make sure the concert sites are more robust and weather resilient. And talking to the wineries about having hard stands for all the bars and toilets and footpaths on the venue, hard roads going into the car parks.”

What a concert promoter could get away with 15-20 years ago, “you just don’t get away with now.”

Time has changed Newton, too. The impresario is no longer obsessed with his premium meteorology app, though he pays attention when the weather sours ahead of showtime.

And Newton’s team has found the goldilocks zone with volume.

Ten years, ago, the team would produce 40 outdoor shows during its summer run. “For anyone who has put on an outdoor show of some magnitude, it’s a fuckload of shows,” he admits.

“We’re probably doing 20-24 shows a year, instead of 40 or 30; we’ve learned over time that number feels like the sweet spot for us. We’re focusing on winning shows, too. And not trying to do too much.”

Crowded House, the ARIA Hall of Fame-inducted folk-rock heroes, will have the honours with their show Saturday, Nov. 19 at Mt Duneed Estate in Geelong, another win for a city that hosted the Foo Fighters in a one-off stadium show earlier in the year, and whose football club won the 2022 AFL premiership.

Angus & Julia Stone, The Waifs and Maistrato are among the special guests on the day.

“It’s a remarkable milestone that A Day On The Green have reached,” comments Crowded House frontman Neil Fill.

“We were there at 220 and now it’s our good fortune to be able to mark their special occasion, the big 500. We will be fully energized and singing our hearts out, under the stars with all the good folk on the Green.”

The cost of doing business continues to rise, and competition is keeping their show producers “on their toes.”

The more outdoor shows taking place around the country, “the more cancellations that are going to happen with the weather we’ve got, and then everyone’s insurance premium goes up across the board. That’s what we’re finding,” Newton explains.

Australians “have such a big appetite to see shows, thank goodness,” he adds. “It makes a promoter’s life easier in some ways. Because you know people like going to shows but also it’s a double-edged sword.”

With more competition comes a greater challenge to produce good shows for the right price.

Attention turns not just to the coming summer, but to summers ahead.

“Doing shows in wineries was a unique concept when A Day On The Green first launched 21 years ago, so to have now hit 500 shows is an amazing feat,” comments Matt Gudinski, chief executive of Mushroom Group. “There’s no slowing down and we are looking forward to the next 500.”

Triple figures might not be a pipedream. Tours by Robbie Williams, Sting, The Killers, Jackson Browne and others are booked, more will be announced in the months ahead.

“We’re starting to book well into 2024 now, there are some big artists coming,” says Newton.

“Touring is just relentless, it’s a machine.”

A Day On The Green: By The Numbers

Most shows: Jimmy Barnes (44 – 36 solo, 8 with Cold Chisel)
Most shows by an international act: Pretenders (16)
Number of artist performances: 1,960
Number of venues that have hosted a day on the green shows across Australia and New Zealand: 48
Number of stubby holders sold: 172,000
Number of T shirts sold: 63,000
Biggest show – Show No. 446 – Robbie Williams at Mt Duneed Estate, Geelong, 3 March 2018
Fastest-selling show – No. 464 – Red Hot Chili Peppers at Mt Duneed Estate, Geelong, 2 March 2019

A Day On The Green has donated more than $1.5 million through its support of local charities and community groups at every event.

Visit for more.


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