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News March 22, 2022

Frontier Touring looks to the future with new leadership structure: ‘We’re ready to get back to shows’

Frontier Touring looks to the future with new leadership structure: ‘We’re ready to get back to shows’

With a year shaping as one of the brightest in its storied history, Frontier Touring restructures its executive and leadership teams for the busy road ahead.

Today (March 22), Frontier unveils a new, four-strong leadership setup, in which Dion Brant (CEO), Susan Heymann (COO), Reegan Stark (CMCO), and Andrew Spencer (CCO) are all promoted.

Going forward, the executive team reports to a new-look Frontier Touring Board, notable for the inclusion of two high-ranking AEG Presents executives, one of whom — Adam Wilkes — adds Frontier duties.

The Board consists of Jay Marciano, Chairman and CEO, AEG Presents and COO, Office of the Chairman, AEG; and Wilkes, President and CEO, AEG Presents Asia Pacific, who additionally assumes the post of Frontier Touring Chairman; alongside Matt Gudinski, Chairman and CEO, Mushroom Group; and Brant.

Marciano and Wilkes have been regulars on the Frontier Board since AEG Presents acquired a 50% Stake in Frontier back in 2019, and formed a joint venture, expanding on a long-standing relationship through which AEG would partner with Frontier on its tours to Australia and New Zealand.

Frontier Touring, the company co-designed and built in 1979 by the late, great Michael Gudinski, is one of the world’s great independent concerts specialists.

The new structure, reads a statement, is designed to “ensure the legacy, mission, and culture of Frontier is preserved and nurtured,” following MG’s passing a year ago.

Image of Michael Gudinski

Michael Gudinski

The leadership squad will plug into a wider Senior Leadership team at Frontier, which features Matt Gudinski, Wilkes, Michael Chugg (Executive Chairman, Chugg Entertainment), Gerard Schlaghecke (Senior Promoter, Frontier Touring), and Marshall Nu (COO, AEG Asia).

“I couldn’t be happier announcing our new Frontier Executive team,” comments Matt Gudinski in a statement. “Mushroom Group is built on our great people, which is something we’ve always valued first and foremost.”

Frontier was founded on “strong relationships, an artist-first approach and a never-ending passion for music,” he continues, “and I know Dad’s legacy and the future of Frontier is in safe hands. There are exciting times ahead for the company.”

With Wilkes more involved in the operation of the company, “our initial plan to partner more closely with AEG, something that was interrupted by COVID, is finally coming to fruition,” Gudinski tells TIO. “It’s good times.”

The executive team has a wealth of experience and runs on the board.

Brant joined Frontier Touring and Mushroom Group in 2013 as COO, was a key player in negotiating strategic partnerships with AEG Presents and Chugg Entertainment, and helped guide the business through the pandemic.

Heymann, one of the top guns of the live industry and an executive coveted by the late Gudinski, rises from Managing Director of Chugg Entertainment to COO of Frontier, a role that sees her working closely with Frontier’s other JV partners and in-house team of promoters, Chugg, Gerard Schlaghecke, and Sahara Herald, with a view to growing the business.

Another longstanding Chugg Entertainment employee, Spencer, now CCO, is tasked with business affairs, strategy and business development, a dual role which seems him work with the AEG Presents Asia’s executive team.

Meanwhile, Stark, a company veteran with almost two decades’ service, joins the Frontier Executive as CMCO, with duties across the business’s brand, marketing, communications, digital and sponsorship.

It’s full steam ahead for Frontier and Mushroom Group, which, just last week, announced a multi-tier alliance with Universal Music Group’s Virgin Music label and artist services division, and the launch of an artist management division prior to that

Frontier Touring leadership team

“While you can’t replace Michael and that was never the intention, we have an incredibly group of talented people who’ve mostly been at the company for many years prior,” Wilkes tells TIO.

“We’re incredibly excited about how it looks going forward and the team that’s been put together and how the sum of the parts make for a very strong organisation.”

As borders reopen and the concerts machine revs into action, Frontier Touring pumps out a series of announcements the likes of which hasn’t been seen in years.

This month alone, Frontier has set a full-scale stadium tour for the Foo Fighters and Ed Sheeran, a run with Leon Bridges, exclusive dates at the iconic Hanging Rock with Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, a one-off night with Robbie Williams in Melbourne, and more.

“It’s been a really tough couple of years, we’ve had the industry pressures of COVID and lost Michael,” Brant tells TIO.

“Now we are generally feeling like we’re on the other side of that, the team is up and about and energised. They’ve got that experience and history that Michael instilled in everybody, and we’re ready to get back to shows and in front of big stages, and big crowds who just love the bands in front of them.”

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.

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