How UK drums and bass star Wilkinson performs arena shows in a pandemic | Live


The BRITs were the first small step towards bringing live music back to the UK.

But in New Zealand, big shows are still going on thanks to the country’s control over the Covid-19 pandemic. This opened up an opportunity for British drummer and bass artist Wilkinson to perform in the country where he has established a loyal following.

According to his management at Insanity Group, Wilkinson sold 20,000 tickets on the first day they went on sale and an additional date was added in Auckland. Tour organizers Endeavor and Live Nation NZ described it as the biggest sale of a dance / electronic act in the country, ahead of Calvin Harris, Fatboy Slim and Disclosure.

It follows strong ticket sales at recent New Zealand shows in Q1 2021 for non-Insanity electronic acts including Netsky, Sub Focus and Andy C.

Wilkinson kicks off the series of dates at the Wellington TSB Arena (May 13), followed by Trusts Arena, Auckland (May 14-15) and other shows next week in Dunedin, Christchurch and Hastings.

Here Jon Bailey, senior talent manager of Insanity, talks about touring opportunities for the drum & bass star …

How has Wilkinson built his vibrant business over the past few years in terms of the size of places and territories?

“It has built up very well over the last few years around the world. In the UK we’ve gone from Brixton Electric, The Forum and the Roundhouse to two Brixton Academy shows, and across the UK he’s sold all the big venues at the O2 Academy now and is a star regular festival. Internationally, it sells heavily in the EU, US, Australia and especially New Zealand – which has just taken to a whole new level! ”

With limited live opportunities, how did you get this Australasian touring opportunity for Wilkinson? What are the logistics of a second quarter down tour?

“It was really tough but we managed to get his visa and two week quarantine place a few months ago, with the help of Live Nation NZ. New Zealand has been its most successful market in recent years, headlining festivals like Rhythm & Vines and Hidden Valley, so we’ve worked hard to make sure we can provide a full niche for, essentially, the only one. current market for active tours in the world. ”

Were you surprised by the magnitude of ticket sales? What is behind the success?

“We always knew he was one of the biggest bands out there in New Zealand and we are very confident to do our first NZ hard ticket arena level tour. But at the same time – we never take anything for granted. So seeing the arenas go on sale on day one, and additional arena dates on sale with immediate phenomenal sales, was amazing. Our promoters have rang the bell to say that this is the biggest electronic actor sale in the history of the country. So after such a tough year from a live standpoint, it was a tremendous morale boost and it was nice to come back to ticket sales and the adrenaline that comes with that aspect of the business. .

What are the UK tour opportunities for Wilkinson when the restrictions disappear?

“This summer and fall it’s just festivals, mostly in the UK and we’ll be waiting to see if European festivals are viable for us with Covid, travel and Brexit factors taken into account. In Q4 its club and indoor festival offerings are strong before we embark on its sixth UK national tour with its live show in Q1 2022, its biggest UK show to date is Brixton Academy in February 2020. continue to build. ”

How did the other electronic and dance acts on the list come about as touring? How are they ready to return to life in the UK?

“Our other clients have all established themselves at different levels. David Rodigan and Outlook Orchestra have sold Somerset House and Royal Albert Hall, and they are returning to UK festivals this summer. Shy FX has always adopted a less traditional touring model which has resulted in a fantastic year-over-year world touring business. It is a true festival favorite and sells extremely strongly regionally. Friction sold Village Underground just before the lockdown and returns to this Q4’s rough tour as we head into its next album cycle. Garage Classical sold the Royal Albert Hall and Kew The Music, and now has a sub-game at the Roundhouse in October. And some of our young artists like Tiffany Calver, who sold Village Underground in January 2020, Alewya and Jvck James are at this exciting stage of construction.

“They’re all restless now and can’t wait to get back on the road, doing what they all love most… playing!” But in general, from a drums and bass standpoint alone, the scene seems – oddly – louder than ever. The releases have been fantastic and seeing tickets and engagement across the genre continue to grow shows just how strong, expanding and exciting this local British scene is. May this continue for a long time!

Subscribers can click here to read our Music Week interview with Insanity Group Founder and CEO Andy Varley.

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