Live Nation Australia has secured a multi-year lease to operate Melbourne’s historic Festival Hall.
The promoter will now operate the venue in West Melbourne located at 300 Dudley Street. It has hosted countless concerts and sporting events across its 100+ year history. The space was purchased by Hillsong Church in 2020 with a plan to create a community hub for live music and entertainment.
Live Nation has been snapping up venues across Australia including The Palais Theatre in Melbourne, the Fortitude Music Hall in Brisbane, the Hindley Street Music Hall in Adelaide, and Anita’s Theatre, in Thirroul, a northern seaside suburb of Wollongong.
“It’s a privilege to be part of an organization that values the protection of existing heritage music assets and sees the importance that these venues play in the ongoing growth of the live entertainment sector and the communities they’re a part of,” says Roger Field, president Live Nation APAC. “Our vision is to ensure that Festival hall remains a cornerstone of the state’s live music scene for artists, industry, and fans alike.”
Festival Hall has a maximum capacity of more than 5,000 people and has hosted performances from The Beatles, Justin Timberlake, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against The Machine, Foo Fighters, The Script, Lily Allen, Ed Sheeran, and Lorde.
It was built in 1915 and served as a place for sports like boxing and wrestling matches, with large meetings on the side in its early days. A fire in 1955 gutted the building, but it was rebuilt in time for it to play a part in the summer Olympics of 1956. In 2018, the building secured heritage status preventing it from being demolished for apartments to be built.
Live Nation’s continued expansion of its venues means more of them are subject to Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster’s dynamic pricing and Verified Fan programs are wreaking havoc for concert fans who want to attend at a reasonable cost. So much so that The Cure shamed Ticketmaster into issuing refunds to fans who feel they were gouged by fees.