Major Venues Play Catch-Up as Demand for Concerts Rises
With Australian venue operators and promoters confident that concert attendances are heading to pre-COVID levels, investigations in two cities are looking at demand exceeding capacity.
The Queensland Government launched an online survey for feedback on increasing the number of concerts at Brisbane’s 52,500-seat Suncorp Stadium.
In Melbourne, the City of Port Phillip green-lighted a feasibility study on a new music venue being built next to the Palais Theatre in St. Kilda.
These moves come in the wake of a September 10 report in TMN that the City of Gold Coast is investigating a new 8,000 to 12,000-seat stadium for a greater amount of mid-ranged shows, and the Victorian Government embarking on a program of turning old regional buildings for music and arts purposes.
The Queensland survey asks how the community feels about the annual volume of concerts at Suncorp Stadium doubling to 12 in 2023 and 2024.
Citing the tsunami of Australian and international acts hitting the road, Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe stated, “We need to make sure we can flex our capability to respond to that re-emergence and the numbers that can come and provide great event opportunities for our visitor economy.”
The stadium began hosting major concerts in 2006.
But the current cap of six was imposed in 2014 under the Major Sports Facilities Regulation following concerns over traffic management, noise, pitch condition and operational hours.
Hinchliffe stressed the 12 shows were only for the next two years.
Acts listed on the venue’s website are Guns N’Roses (Nov), Justin Bieber (Dec), Elton John (Jan), Red Hot Chili Peppers & Post Malone (Jan) and Ed Sheeran (Feb).
Melbourne might get a new music venue as part of the St. Kilda Triangle, the land between Luna Park, the Palais and the foreshore.
The City of Port Phillip voted on September 7 for a $558,000 feasible study into a new live music venue next to the Palais.
An art gallery and performance space will also be considered in the study, which is scheduled to be presented next year.
Council stated, “The St Kilda Triangle has a rich history of buildings and entertainment venues including Palais de Dance, Palais Pictures, The Palace Entertainment Complex, the Palais Theatre, the Stardust Lounge and a casino.”
Various multi-million dollar suggestions since the early 2000s have been abandoned after fierce community backlash that it would destroy the area’s “village vibe”.
But Council stressed it would result in “a flourishing economy, where our community and local businesses thrive, and we maintain and enhance our reputation as one of Melbourne’s cultural and creative hubs.”
Also preparing for greater concert demand is Mt Duneed Estate in Geelong, Victoria.
It has lodged plans requesting its concert patron capacity go from 20,000 to 25,000 and increase the number of concerts from six to 10 a year.
Aside from festivals such as the Tent Pole: A Musical Jamboree on March 4, the winery hosts Roundhouse Entertainment’s A Day On The Green series, which is set to host Elton John, Sting, Crowded House and The Killers.
On the weekend, the Tasmanian Government revealed its new $750 million sports and entertainment stadium in Hobart will be built at Macquarie Point.
As part of Tasmania’s bid to get its own Australian Football League team, the stadium was marked for six potential sites and should finish construction by 2027.