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“Big Four” Music Promoter Michael Coppel Advises Future Generations: “Don’t Be a Promoter”

Network of music teachers in Melbourne, Perth, and across Australia reveals why international musicians are gaining the upper hand over promoters, and what this means to Australian bands.

Perth, March 28, 2013 - Michael Coppel is a giant in the Australian music industry. He is one of Australia’s top four music promoters, and is currently President and CEO of Live Nation Australasia. Generally, when Michael Coppel talks, everyone in the music industry listens. Coppel was recently interviewed by Billboard about the current state of the live music business in Australia.
Coppel’s answers were definitely an eye-opener for everyone who cares about the music business in Australia. Live Nation Australasia is currently promoting Pink’s 42-date tour of Australia, which is producing staggering numbers. The tour, which kicks off 25th June of this year, has already sold 450,000 tickets. This includes 16 dates in Melbourne at the Rod Laver arena.
The 450,000 tickets would be a great number anywhere, but are mind-boggling when you consider that Australia’s population is roughly 22,000,000, and even when you add in New Zealand, a population is still less than 30,000,000. Doing the math, this means that one out of every 60 people in Australia and New Zealand combined have bought a ticket to see Pink.
While Coppel is very happy with these numbers, he says that tour in Australia can be problematic for artists who are not “triple-A” acts like Pink. According to Coppel, Australians are becoming more selective in who they see, and sales for second and third level acts have declined sharply from 1 to 2 years ago.
According to Coppel, the fact that Australia’s dollar is high, compared to most of the world, has turned Australia into a high demand tour for international artists. However, those artists are demanding more money, and Coppel fears that Australian promoters will get into a bidding war to procure the artists that they want.
Coppel also said that promoters are currently being pushed to buy 12 shows by many international acts, but only 6 to 8 of the shows are producing profits for the promoters. Coppel also lamented what he sees as a very saturated festival market, and the mergers between promoters to try and keep festivals alive.
Danny Achurch, owner of Monster Music, a network of music and piano teachers in Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne, and most cities across Australia, agrees with Coppel, but would like to see Australian artists share a larger slice of the pie: “It is great that these international artists are coming in and making so much money, but we would like to see more Australian artists getting paid well, too. While we understand that we don’t have very many Australian artists who could sell out 16 consecutive dates in Sydney, there are plenty of Australian bands that would provide a great product for promoters like Coppel.”
Achurch continued, “Ironically, while music festivals with international acts are failing at an unprecedented rate, smaller festivals, with well-defined themes and mostly Australian artists, with one or two international headliners, are very successful and are making money for promoters. I am a music teacher and not a math teacher, but mathematics like this are quite easy to understand.”
Achurch concluded, “Promoters like Coppel should promote more Australian artists and bands; it certainly can’t hurt.”
Monster Music is a network of music teachers in Melbourne, Perth, and across Australia. They provide guitar, piano, voice, and other music lessons in Melbourne, Perth, and most cities across Australia. For music lessons or more information, please call 08 9335 8881 or visit their website: http://www.monstermusic.com.au/.