Two short films commissioned by Ticketmaster – Radical Hope and Back To Live – explore the impact the pandemic has had on the live industry here in Australia. 

The documentaries give a behind the scenes look from the perspective of promoters, artists, production crew, ticketing agents, and all those involved in getting shows back on the road across the country amidst lockdowns and imposed restrictions on mass gatherings.

But where there is darkness, there is also hope. And the live industry in Australia is one of the most resilient – bolstered by the passion and determination of all the amazing people that keep it running.

This is a critical time for our industry, and we wanted to put the spotlight on the incredible people working behind the scenes on the journey back to live, while shining a light on the huge benefits live entertainment brings to our society.

Gavin Taylor, Managing Director of Ticketmaster Australia

Radical Hope

The first film, Radical Hope, follows WA-based promoter John Zaccaria as he staged the first national tours in early 2021, SummerSalt and ByTheC, following the nationwide lockdown. 

The film takes viewers on an emotional journey showing how John, his team, and all those involved in producing these shows overcame COVID-19 restrictions to tell a compelling story based on “radical hope”. 

The film highlights the complex process of putting on shows in the current climate while also serving as a celebration of the incredible work the industry is doing to return to live events. The film stars an array of Australian music stars, including Missy HigginsJohn Butler, and Felix Riebl (The Cat Empire), and industry legends Icehouse tour manager Larry PontingPresident, Live Nation Asia Pacific Roger FieldTicketmaster Head of Strategic Partnerships, Rob D’Orazio and Event Health Management, Managing Director Hugh Singe

The journey was wild, but the main take away is that it was possible – thanks to the support of all the bands, managers, Ticketmaster…and I can’t forget my great team. I’m hopeful it can serve as a model as we all strive to bring shows back at scale in the right way.

John Zaccaria recounts the hurdles in staging a national tour

Back To Live

The second film, Back To Live, takes a broader look at the industry,focusing on the importance of touring for artists, the need of community for fans, and a look to the future of our industry.

In this film, artists and performers including Missy HigginsJohn ButlerTim Rogers (You Am I)Emily Wurramara, and British comedian Russell Howard, alongside industry figures Larry PontingRoger Field, and Rob D’Orazio reflect on the sacrifices and challenges of the return to touring, the importance of community and coming together, and look to the future of our touring industry.

Roger Field, President of Live Nation Asia Pacific homed in on the resilience of the live industry in the way they are mobilising and working together to help navigate a pathway back to live entertainment, and comedian Russell Howard and musician John Butler talk about the importance of the audience to the live experience, and in turn, the importance of live performance for fans.  

We continue to see huge pent-up demand from fans, and with artists keen to get back on the road, we know live music will see a boom like never before – we just need to work with government on a solid roadmap for the path back to live.

Gavin Taylor, Managing Director of Ticketmaster Australia

This series of films was commissioned and supported by Ticketmaster Australia. It was produced, directed, filmed and edited by the team at Jam TV Australia.

We’d like to thank everyone involved in bringing these films together:

Production: Jam TV Australia

Director: Graham Watson, Jam TV

Videographers: Jye Jones, Jam TV and Billy Steele, Jam TV

Editor: Billy Steele, Jam TV

Producer: Gloria Brancatisano, Ticketmaster Australia

Featuring (in order of appearance): 

  • Felix Riebl, Artist – The Cat Empire
  • Missy Higgins, Artist
  • John Zaccaria, Promoter – Zaccaria Concerts & Touring
  • Hugh Singe, Managing Director – Event Health Management
  • Larry Ponting – JPJ/Icehouse Production & Tour Manager
  • John Butler, Artist
  • Rob D’Orazio, Promoter Relationship Manager – Ticketmaster
  • Roger Field, President – Live Nation Asia Pacific
  • Russell Howard, Comedian
  • Tim Rogers, Artist – You Am I
  • Emily Wurrumara – Artist