By Dunedin Venues | Posted: Wednesday June 22, 2016

Meet the new Dunedin Venues CEO, Terry Davies

New CEO Terry Davies has started with a bang securing four big music acts for Dunedin – Lorde on 29 October, Broods on 7 November, Jimmy Barnes on 29 November and Rod Stewart on 11 April 2015. It’s all about being inclusive Terry says, attracting performers who appeal to a range of age groups and setting up magical experiences.

The flow on for the city is huge when there’s a big concert in town with accommodation, restaurants, bars, retail and tourist attractions all benefitting. Then there’s the atmosphere and buzz around town and the feeling that Dunedin’s a great place to live. But it has to work in a business sense for the promoters before they will even consider bringing acts to town.

Terry and his team work behind the scenes up to 18 months ahead to find acts which will appeal to Dunedin audiences and smooth the path for the promoters so they will view Dunedin as a trouble free venue. It’s all about hotel beds, planes to deliver the gear, ticket sales and minimising risk.

Working at the Adelaide Oval and Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium gave Terry the opportunity to build a relationship with promoter Frontier Touring which has Lorde, Jimmy Barnes and Rod Stewart in its stable as well as The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams. Since he arrived in Dunedin Terry has also been working with the Dainty Group which has Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Eminem and Bon Jovi.

He brought these two promoters to town and showed them the hotels, airport, venues and support systems which would be in place for them and their performers, and busted a few myths like the supposed lack of accommodation in Dunedin. Local hotels are happy to hold rooms for the night of a big show, Dunedin Airport can handle 737s and 767s potentially making it easier for a band’s equipment to be flown in, and there are local companies which are prepared to put money up to secure a show, sharing the financial risk.

Dunedin Venues has even come up with creative ways to reduce the cost of moving a band’s gear, like flying it in then shipping it out via sea, if the concert is at the end of a tour and time isn’t a factor.

If Dunedin Venues can engage with the promoter, understand their needs and come up with a package which suits them, then the promoter can sell the idea of a concert in Dunedin to the band’s management when an Australian tour is planned.

Forsyth Barr Stadium can hold an audience up to 45,000 for a big concert or 6,000 if just the ODT Stand is used. Dunedin Town Hall has a maximum seated capacity of 2,300 and is suitable for artists like Lorde who prefer a more intimate venue. Terry is hoping to secure two big concerts at the stadium per year plus several more at the Town Hall which is an exceptional concert hall.

When asked about memorable concerts he’s experienced, there were two which Terry especially rates; Michael Jackson’s show at the Adelaide Oval in 1996 as the best for stage presence, production and professionalism, and AC/DC in the same venue in 2010, with an audience of 65,000, as the greatest for the fanaticism of the fans and the magic of the night.