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News July 26, 2022

Tributes Flow For Acclaimed Promoter Colleen Ironside

Tributes Flow For Acclaimed Promoter Colleen Ironside

Tributes are flowing from around the world for Colleen Ironside, one of the first globally acclaimed Australian promoters.

Ironside died on July 22 in Thailand. She was managing director of her Asia wide tour company Live Limited based in Hong Kong.

With a laugh almost as loud as her smoker’s cough, Ironside was remembered by friends and colleagues as equally loved and feared.

This was first as a formidable women’s role model in the Australian music industry, and later as she helped break open the Asian market to major international acts when it was a tricky job.

Dennis Argenzia, SVP of talent & touring at Live Nation APAC, recalled, “She was an absolute legend in our industry and everyone who knew/worked with her, knows what a truly unique individual she was. 

“There are endless stories and I’m grateful for the hard work and knowledge she passed on to all. 

“She was a pioneer and paved the way for so many of us and will be sorely missed but not forgotten.”

Jimmy Barnes, a friend of 45 years, considered her part of his family.

“Through all we went through you were always there for me, you never changed. I will miss you.”

Record producer Mark Opitz also regarded her as a member of his family.

“The countless times Col has been there for us is immeasurable, this is beyond sad. 

“When my daughter Alex who had been with Colleen in Thailand the day before she died told me I was shocked and inconsolable. 

“Her work in the music industry was more than outstanding but as a person, you could not find a better friend, she would do anything for you. 

“Her loss will be felt by so many of the world’s great artists and other industry figures yet the public knew little of her achievements.”

Jasper Donat, president of Asian music conference Music Matters, recalled, “She was indestructible. She gave Chuggi (Michael Chugg) a run for the Swear Jar. She will be smoking Marlboro Lites in Heaven.”

Ironside started out as a booking agent for the Harbour Agency in Sydney. 

She branched out with her own booking agency APA, with clients such as INXS, Ratcat, Jenny Morris, Wendy Matthews, James Reyne and Def FX. 

In 1994 Frontier Touring hired her as head of its Asia division.

She was in charge of tours through the region by Pearl Jam, REM, Tom Jones and Hootie and the Blowfish. 

In 1999 she set up Live Limited through which she toured the Rolling Stones (Mick Jagger dedicated “Angie” to her at a festival), Elton John, David Bowie, Sting, Suede, Scorpions, Deep Purple, Coldplay, The Cranberries, Pet Shop Boys and No Doubt.

In 2005 Live Nation made her SVP of bookings for Pan Asia.

She managed Live Nation joint ventures in Beijing and Shanghai and booked further tours for Coldplay, Elton John, Gwen Stefani and Christina Aguilera.

Five years later she left Live Nation, and revived Live Limited, promoting Janet Jackson in Hong Kong, Bruno Mars in Malaysia and Bob Dylan in Hong Kong and Vietnam.

Her funeral is to be held in Bangkok in mid-August, with Music Matters planning a tribute gathering in Singapore.

Neil Thompson, CEO at Live Nation Thailand, and deputy MD of Tero Entertainment, asked friends and colleagues to send pictures and anecdotes to [email protected] by August 1 in order to compile a book in her honour.

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