Last week, Melbourne’s live music scene welcomed a ream of new law reforms designed to better protect inner-city venues and this week the Victorian capital has more cause for celebration.
The worldwide concert and ticketing analyst has published the results of their annual Top 200 list, recognising the biggest ticket-shifting venues across the world in the last 12 months, and for the second year running, Melbourne has reclaimed it’s title as Australia’s music capital with the results.
The Clubs section of the 2013 breakdown sees Pollstar ranking iconic Richmond venue, The Corner Hotel, as the best performing in the country. The Corner sold 136,357 tickets through 2013 and landing just outside the Top 10, at #13, in the world. Falling at the other end of the list, at #91, is fellow Melbourne venue Northcote Social Club – selling 40,158 tickets.
The presence of the both the Northcote and Richmond venues – the only Aussie venues listed in the Clubs section – represent a huge win for live music company Corner Presents, who recently announced they’d be adding a third Melbourne venue to their folio; renaming Billboard The Venue in the CBD to 170 Russell as part of a new partnership. Six Melbourne live music venues have been ranked among the most successful in the world, alongside 14 Aussie venues total.
Over in the Arenas category, Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena was the highest ranking Australian name, ranked #6 worldwide with ticket sales of 894,629, jumping up one spot from last year’s edition of the Pollstar poll.
Other successful Aussie arenas in the Top 200 list include Sydney’s Allphones Arena (ranked #11 worldwide with ticket sales of 640,328) – up nine spots from last year – the Brisbane Entertainment Centre (#20 worldwide with ticket sales of 493,601), and Sydney Entertainment Centre (#55 worldwide with ticket sales of 267,730).
Other Melbourne venues that also performed strongly on the world stage included the Sidney Myer Music Bowl (ranked #43 in the Amphitheatre section with 131,582 ticket sales), the Palais (at #37 in the Theatres section with 152,497 tickets), and Etihad Stadium (at #30 in the Festivals/Outdoor Sites section with 151,244 tickets) – each being the highest performing Aussie venues in their respective categories.
Brisbane was the second strongest performing city, with Riverstage making it to #97 on the Amphitheatre list (23,960 tickets), along with the city’s Convention and Exhibition Centre (79,999 tickets), and Suncorp Stadium (at #63 in Festival/Outdoor sites with 81,223 tickets).
Sydney’s ANZ Stadium landed at #89 in the Festival/Outdoor sites rankings (60,150 tickets), but landing well behind Bluesfest and Boomerang festival site Tyagarah Tree Farm’s position at #44, selling 104,244 tickets from both of the flagship events.
Bluesfest has also been nominated in the 25th Annual Pollstar Awards, taking place next month in Nashville, along with nods for Aussie promoters Michael Chugg (of Chugg Entertainment) and Michael Coppel, president of Live Nation Australasia, are both in the running for the coveted International Promoter Of The Year award. “The Corner Hotel sold 136,357 tickets through 2013 and landing just outside the Top 10, at #13, in the world.”
Rod Laver Arena is also in the running for International Venue Of The Year and Sydney-bred, LA-based Roger Davies is up for the Personal Manager of the Year honours.
As for Pollstar’s 2013 rankings, Mushroom’s Frontier Touring was named as the most successful Australian promoter, sitting #20 worldwide with 972,062 tickets, followed (in order) by Chugg Entertainment (480,328 tickets), Nine Live (471,553 tickets), Dainty Group (325,301 tickets) and Adrian Bohm Presents (260,104 tickets).
Live Nation Australasia’s results were merged with their parent American company’s but given the success of their international tours in 2013, it’s likely they performed equally.
The news of the combined success of Melbourne’s live music venues in the Pollstar rankings emerges amongst the State Government introducing a raft of policy reforms aimed at cutting the red tape that currently entangles live music venues and inner-city licensees, which contributes $1.04 billion annually (more than AFL) to the state economy according to a 2013 Music Victoria report.
Conspicuously absent from the 36 new reforms however, was the much-touted ‘Agent Of Change’ principle policy that essentially protects venues from the noise complaints of neighbouring residents. Despite assurances he’d introduce the Agent of Change reform, Planning Minister Matthew Guy says the policy is still a ‘work in progress.’
Minister Guy also has the final word on approval of a proposed $70 million redevelopment of The Forum Theatre to construct an adjoining 32-storey boutique hotel and office complex to the live music venue.