Live Nation Australasia is teaming up with Australian music company UNIFIED on a venture both parties anticipate will be a force in the heavy music touring space.
The partnership, entitled Live Nation & UNIFY Presents, will get underway with the launch of Bring Me The Horizon’s six-date That’s The Spirit Australian Tour this September, and a second touring announcement will be made in the coming days.
“We’re not limiting ourselves by number, but we’re certainly not looking to flood the market with tours for the sake of it,” Luke Logemann, who heads up UNIFIED’s touring strategy, tells Billboard. “Our quality over quantity approach I feel will mean we could do anywhere between five and 10 tours a year – but don’t hold me to that. That’s how it has looked in its early days.”
Under its founder and CEO Jaddan Comerford, UNIFIED has developed a strong track record of touring for its management clients including Vance Joy, The Amity Affliction, Violent Soho, Northlane, In Hearts Wake and Illy, in addition to running sold-out UNIFY events in 2015 and 2016.
Logemann, booker and promoter for UNIFY, has worked with Comerford for a decade running the recorded music arm of the company and managing key acts in the rock space.
The launch of the touring venture follows last December’s collapse of AJ Maddah’s heavy music touring titan Soundwave, which at the height of its powers sold 280,000 tickets nationwide (Bring Me The Horizon was booked as a headliner for the now- scrapped 2016 trek).
The decision to form Live Nation & UNIFY Present predates Soundwave’s surprise folding, Logemann explains. “The goal was never to emulate their business. Our goal was to continue to develop our relationships with many overseas agents, managers and artists who were looking for a promoter they could trust to care about them both short term and long term,” he explains.
Live Nation’s Australasian business, helmed by veteran promoter Michael Coppel, is no stranger to the heavy music scene. The concerts giant has a reputation for working heavy music tours for the likes of Metallica, Black Sabbath and Linkin Park on a global basis and LN produces the U.K.’s Download Festival. Joining Live Nation Australasia as a promoter is Nigel Melder, who comes from Destroy All Lines, where he served as the head of touring for the past eight years.
Despite the messy downfall of Soundwave, Logemann insists Australia’s heavy music space is in great shape. And there’s never been a better time to dive into the touring space. “Last year was the hallmark year for this music in Australia, both for local artists and internationals,” he says. “Northlane, Parkway Drive, Bullet For My Valentine and Bring Me The Horizon all had No. 1 charting albums, and a slew of other acts made the top five. The Amity Affliction and A Day To Remember co-headlined arenas, and the UNIFY Gathering sold out for the second year running. It’s all growing rapidly and showing no signs of dropping off. It is really healthy.”