Duane McDonald on Melbourne’s One Electric Day going national
Victorian promoter Duane McDonald has already struck gold with the national regional Red Hot Summer Tour.
This season it shifted 181,000 tickets, with an additional 5,500 in New Zealand,” says McDonald.
“Red Hot Summer has grown every year to the point where it’s about to burst.
“We keep adding shows. We’ve gone from six to 27 this year. It is very strong but of course, it’s lineup-dependent too.”
McDonald has also found success with One Electric Day, which he’s been holding in Melbourne on the great lawns of Werribee Park since 2013 and drawing 10,000 a year.
“Everyone likes going to Werribee. John Farnham played two years ago and it sold out in 40 seconds.
“I was actually logging in to get the numbers. By the time I got through, all the tickets were gone!”
There was an attempt some years ago to take it to South Australia.
“We copped a 45 º day which hurt us pretty bad.
“But we find a lot of people are travelling [from intestate] to Werribee Park for it so we thought we’d give it a shot.”
Now in its seventh year, One Electric Day is going national.
The bill is headlined by John Farnham with James Reyne, Jon Stevens, Vanessa Amorosi, The Black Sorrows, and a reformation after 22 years by one of his favourite bands of all time, Southern Sons.
One Electric Day fills in a gap just before Christmas and the influx of international acts.
It’s based on the same premise as Red Hot Summer – what show would he go to see?
“We go for the Baby Boomers market. It’s an audience that’s not going out every weekend to watch bands.
“They’re going out probably once a year.
“It’s also a long day, about seven or eight hours, so you have to be mindful they want a jukebox of hits, they want to relive their childhoods.”
McDonald has his own form of audience research.
“I live on the other side of Ballarat.
“So quite often, I just go into a country pub and stomp their jukeboxes, and see what their Top 10 songs are.
“Quite often they’re John Farnham, Jimmy Barnes, Dragon, James Reyne …”
In partnership with Frontier Touring, One Electric Day’s first national foray will be conservative in size.
McDonald expects the dates will be near sell-outs and shift a total of 35,000 to 40,000 tickets.
It kicks off on Saturday, November 2 at Country Club Lawns in Launceston.
“Just a beautiful spot, we do Red Hot Summer there each year.”
The Domain in Sydney (Saturday, November 9) will be a smaller set up to mega-concerts usually held there.
Similarly, Riverstage in Brisbane (Saturday, November 16) will also be a smaller setup with reserved seating out front and picnic baskets behind.
It’s back to Werribee Park on the Great Lawn on Sunday, November 24.
The final show is at Seppeltsfield, Barossa in South Australia (Saturday, December 7), “a small winery, an intimate show. Again we did Red Hot Summer there and it was fantastic.”