AEG Presents, the giant concert and festivals in the United States, is preparing a strategic piece that could change the Australian tourism market, say several sources TIO.
The live entertainment club of the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), based on L.A., is essentially a silent partner in this noisy, billions of dollar entertainment space through a long-lasting relationship with Michael Gudinski's Frontier Touring.
This scenario serves both sides well, with AEG providing Frontier Touring with a series of excursions to Australia and New Zealand.
The company broke its silence last week when it attributed to Frontier Touring's director of travel, Michael Harrison, for the post of global vice president of global AEG tournaments based in L.A.
Harrison's lease accompanied David Rappaport's arrival as global AEG tour operator, an obvious sign that the company is stepping up its global efforts with AEG President Gary Gersh.
Today, Frontier has filled the gaps left by Harrison's departure with the Sahara Herald's appointment as tour director.
Sahara, who joined the Frontier team in 2014 after an 18-year Big Day Out party, joins director Gerard Schlaghecke along with Michael Gudinski, the chairman of the Mushroom Group, to produce productions for the independent company.
"Sahara has proven its true passion for live music and hard work over time," Gudinski said in a statement.
"Since joining Frontier, she has played a key role in the success of a number of tournaments and I am incredibly pleased to see her take this step with the company as we continue to grow and diversify."
The Melbourne entrepreneur also spoke for the first time with Harrison's departure from his company and suggested more appointments.
"Michael Harrison has been a central part of the Frontier team for nearly two decades," Gudinski said.
"It's not easy to see a great staff member, but I'm happy to be friends of AEG Presents. With the recently announced departure and the rapid expansion of Frontier in recent years, it was a good time for us to revisit our situation and I am pleased to say that we will soon have some interesting announcements about adding to the Frontier team. "
The Frontier Touring calendar is loaded with tournaments for Kylie Minogue, Norah Jones, Bryan Adams, Arctic Monkeys, Bryan Ferry, Rodriguez, Lily Allen and many others. Australian foot of David Byrne's stream American Utopia trek is produced by Frontier.
In what form and shape AEG Presents would have in Australia is unclear. AEG Presents (known as AEG Live by 2017) is the second biggest promoter of Live Nation concerts to operate a wholly owned company in Australia since 2010.
Live Nation has spread its wings in these parts with the purchase of Michael Coppel. Introduced in 2012, a business that set in motion a series of acquisitions of places on both sides of Tasman, launches the festival and a seemingly endless flow of hot tickets. LN traveled to a winning scene, and AEG Presents wants, sources say.
AEG already has a presence here through its AEG Ogden joint venture, which manages and operates a number of venues, including Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Newcastle Entertainment Center, Arena Perth, Brisbane Entertainment Center and Suncorp Stadium in the Queensland capital.
TIO has arrived at Frontier for further comments.
Look at this space.