Live Nation Australia has signed a multi-year lease agreement to operate the historic Festival Hall in Melbourne.
The promoter will now manage the venue in West Melbourne, located at 300 Dudley Street. Over its more than 100-year history, countless concerts and sporting events have been held here. The premises were purchased by Hillsong Church in 2020 with the aim of creating a community center for live music and entertainment.
Live Nation is buying up venues across Australia, including The Palais Theater in Melbourne, Fortitude Music Hall in Brisbane, Hindley Street Music Hall in Adelaide and Anita’s Theater in Tyrrula, 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 these venues play in the continued growth of the live entertainment sector and the communities they are a part of,” says Roger Field, president of Live Nation APAC. “Our vision is for the Festival Hall to remain the cornerstone of the state’s live music for artists, industry, and fans alike.”
The festival hall accommodates more than 5,000 people, The Beatles, Justin Timberlake, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against The Machine, Foo Fighters, The Script, Lily Allen, Ed Sheeran and Lorde performed there.
It was built in 1915 and served as a venue for sports such as boxing and wrestling, and in the early years of its existence — for large meetings. A fire in 1955 gutted the building, but it was rebuilt in time to play a role in the 1956 Summer Olympics. In 2018, the building was granted heritage status, which prevented its demolition for the construction of apartments.
Live Nation’s constant expansion of its venues means that more and more of them fall under Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster’s dynamic pricing and Verified Fan programs are wreaking havoc among concert fans who want to attend concerts at a reasonable price. So much so that The Cure shamed Ticketmaster, forcing them to return the money to fans who believe they were cheated.