Christchurch Town Hall makes Top 50 in worldwide theatre venues in for ticket sales – the only venue in Australasia It’s official – we are a great entertainment centre! The Christchurch Town Hall is the only performing arts or theatre venue in Australasia to make it onto the Top 50 Theatre Venues for 2004 year end worldwide ticket sales list compiled by international trade journal POLLSTAR. It came in at No 49 with 76,008 ticket sales. The top selling venue was The Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas with 778, 977 tickets. Mike Kelly, Executive Director of venue manager NCC (NZ) Ltd, said he was absolutely delighted with the result, especially as the Auditorium has 2534 seats and the James Hay Theatre has just 1006 seats, making it a relatively small venue by international standards. “Pollstar is the authoritative industry trade publication so the entertainment industry sits up and takes notice when a venue like this makes it into the big time listing,” Mike Kelly said. “The Westpac Centre missed out on a Pollstar Arena Rankings but with a 8888-seat capacity it finds it difficult to compete with the far larger 20,000 seat arenas in major cities which can support multiple concert dates.”
“However, the New Zealand exclusive Andrea Bocelli single concert on 15 September 2004, featuring Hayley Westenra, sold 8,058 tickets ($US1.119 million in sales) which ranked it 72nd in the world, although we do lose something in the fiscal translation. We were edged out by the Amsterdam Arena (14,000 seats) with two concerts with gross sales of $1.147 mill and the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre (10,939 seats) also with a double concert with gross sales at $1.166 mil (10,939 seats).” The Christchurch Town Hall also made the Venues Today Top 5 rankings for venues with 5000 seats or fewer, for the period 16 November – 15 December with 24 shows, attendances of 20,637 and ticket sales of $909,456. Again, it was the only venue in Australasia to make the cut. Performances during this time included Saturday Night Fever, Last Night of the Proms, The Chieftains, Christchurch Symphony, Town Hall Organ Concert, Finn Brothers, Peter Powers, Messiah, and Yulia Townsend.
Mike Kelly predicts 2005 will see ticket sales for the venues surpass $10 million gross for the first time. “The year starts with an incredible list of international acts coming to both the Town Hall and Westpac Centre – Rod Stewart, Cher, Neil Diamond, Velvet Revolver, Crusty Demons, Mark Knofler, R.E.M., Norah Jones, Moody Blues, Cleo Lane and others still to be confirmed.” “We’ve also got the excellent concerts presented by the resident performing arts companies, and they are world-class too – Canterbury Opera, Christchurch Symphony, Christchurch City Choir, Chamber Music New Zealand, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Showbiz Christchurch and the Town Hall Pipe Organ Concert Series.”
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa will be presenting a recital to a sold out house with Brian Castles-Onion on 29 January in the Auditorium. “We’ve got entertainment across the full spectrum – from ballet to extreme motor sports to the great tennis we’ll see from Martina Navratilova and Monica Seles early February.” “Every year I warn people to plan their entertainment budget based on what’s on show in the venues we manage because there is so much on offer – and again this year it’s clear that Christchurch will be almost spoiled for choice,” Mike Kelly said.