Two giants of the Australian music scene, promoters Paul Dainty and Vivian Lees, have announced a new partnership that was formalised in Melbourne this week.
Dainty who has toured the likes of Eminem, U2, Prince and others; and Lees who was the founder and co-promoter of Australia’s biggest music festival Big Day Out; have agreed to work together on select concerts and entertainment-related project.
The new company, dubbed Two Worlds Touring, will operate as a side business for the two titans who will both continue to operate their respective core businesses.
The joint venture will bring together a wealth of promoting depth, combining Paul Dainty, who was recently named by SportsBusiness Magazine as one of the 20 most influential promoters on the planet, and Viv Lees, whose experience and knowledge in promoting across the gamut of contemporary talent is enviable.
The move comes after Lees made a very swift and unceremonious exit from the festival he helped build, Big Day Out, after poor ticket sales and a backlash from fans for changes to the creative direction proved too much to handle.
“I loved being in the Big Day Out and it was a very poor outcome for me,” Lees said at the time. “It was appalling. I feel like I’ve been in an abusive relationship. It was the culmination of 10 years of tension involving a lot of telephone screaming between Sydney and Melbourne.”
Co-founder Ken West recounted his own version of events of the infamous split saying “when we went through the process, I said ‘It has to go forward’. My business partner decided after it went on sale — he looked at all the figures and decided that he didn’t want to do it ever again. It was over.”
Get the latest Eminem news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more
“I was prepared to wear whatever losses might be involved this year to get through, [Lees] wasn’t. So I ended up with twice the amount of losses to get through.”
The new venture will pursue concert promoting opportunities from both the existing client base of each promoter and from outside opportunities, allowing Dainty and Lees to combine their unique experience and skills on select Two Worlds Touring projects.
“I am really looking forward to working with Paul as he is someone I have held in high esteem for many years. He has a great work ethic and is a great dealmaker. As I see it, the idea of merging skills with him and building this venture with an open-ended outcome will lead to a very productive enterprise in the near term,” Lees said.
“Viv’s fantastic track record with contemporary live entertainment in this country speaks for itself,” added Dainty who is equally upbeat about the collaboration.
“I have hoped the opportunity to work with Viv would arise at some point and so now we are very excited about Two Worlds Touring, which will allow us to jointly pursue some select acts of mutual interest while it will be business as usual for Dainty Group.”
Two Worlds Touring will be based at Dainty Group’s offices in Southbank, with Viv Lees set to move in shortly.