October 24, 2017


At Live Nation, employees are continuously hard at work on compelling initiatives – from the latest concerts, ticketing technology , to VR partnerships and more. In Career Chat, we're gaining insight into the many professions at the com pany and how an employee's day-to-day produces the most sought after experiences around the globe. For the next installment, we spoke with Mark Kneebone, Live Nation Australasia's only promoter, to learn more about promoting in Australia & New Zealand markets and the key to getting a deal done. Check out the interview below.

What's your title at the company?

Promoter – Live Nation Australasia

Tell us about your career trajectory so far.

I caught the bug for music when I was at University – I played in a bunch of bands with some friends and we started throwing parties and giving away CDs for anyone with a ticket. After a while it became popular and we ended up starting a small record label. From there I started an independent promotions company and worked with labels like Universal, Roadrunner and a bunch of local acts. Pretty soon we were touring some of their acts and that's how I started out as a promoter. Things escalated when I had the chance to set up the New Zealand leg of Laneway Festival. The show has seen great success and it's been going on for nine years.

What landed you at Live Nation?

I worked with a Sydney based promoter called James Browning and he moved over to LN Australasia. I started partnering with his team more and more and when Live Nation acquired Vector Arena in Auckland, the business also set up an Auckland office and I came on board.

As the only promoter in New Zealand, give us some insight on the state of the touring industry there.

Overall the market is really healthy and we're promoting shows beyond Auckland to include cities like Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. The festival market is the healthiest it's been in years with multiple shows selling out and some even setting new records. The biggest challenge is managing the scale of the market and making sure we don't promote too many shows for a country that only has 4.5 million people.

What's one aspect of your job that people would be most surprised by?

The variety – my job title is promoter but as the only Live Nation promoter in the country, you end up doing a lot of different stuff. We have a lot of partnerships with suppliers, venues, marketing partners and local acts that need to be developed and maintained. It keeps it interesting.

Any exciting tours/projects you're currently working on that you can share?

A great tour we have on sale for a brilliant local artist called Aldous Harding. This is one of the first tours LN has done with a New Zealand act and we have delivered a sold-out theatre run, establishing Live Nation as part of the local NZ music scene. That makes me really proud.

What skillset has been most vital to the success you've experienced? 

At the end of the day this is a people focused industry and luckily, I have always found working with other people really easy. I've also had a fairly developed sense of empathy which is helpful when you are working on projects and offers. It's a huge help if you can put yourself in the shoes of the person you're negotiating with.

What's the most memorable tour you've worked on?

Easily the Adele tour – we did three sold-out stadiums shows in Auckland. For a guy who started off charging $5 to see bands play in his garage, it was quite a step up.

Most memorable concert you've been to?

The Guns N' Roses Use Your Illusion Tour. Watching Slash run down the catwalk made me want to work in music.

Any New Zealand based bands we're missing out on?​

Aldous Harding, Conan Mockasin, Nadia Reid – all left of center and totally brilliant.

Are there shifts you're expecting to see in the touring industry across markets in New Zealand?

We're seeing other Australian and international promoters beginning to increase their presence in the country. We weren't the first to open up here but when we did it definitely made others take notice and start their own plans. One of the biggest changes this brings is more investment in local acts, which is great for the industry as a whole. Outside of new players in the market we are also adding pressure to put on extra shows. Part of this is the pronounced softening of the Perth market, meaning international tours need an extra date, and part of it is success begets success.

What advice do you have for people who want to break into your field?

As corny as it sounds, you have to have a passion for music, people, and getting deals done. If you have those three passions, then don't let anyone else tell you how to do it, start off with some friends and give it a go. Being your own DIY promoter is an incredible learning curve – there are things you will only ever learn by having your own money on the line. You learn a lot about yourself very quickly and it becomes a huge advantage when you graduate to theatre & arena level tours.

Take your seat at Live Nation Entertainment – click here to apply
Search and Apply