Eccles Entertainment and Auckland’s Eden Park have made history twice in April 2021.
After submitting an application to stage live concerts in December 2019, New Zealand’s largest sports stadium hosted homegrown chart-toppers SIX60 for the venue’s first-ever concert.
New Zealand continues to lead the way internationally in its return to live events, and the 50,000 strong crowd also marked the historic live music event as the world’s largest concert since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“We did it New Zealand. We are the first band to play Eden Park,” SIX60 lead singer Matiu Walters told the crowd.
The 118-year-old stadium, established in 1903, is steeped in history. Mostly used for rugby union in the winter and cricket in the summer, it has also hosted iconic moments in the All Blacks’ history, as well as the Dalai Lama’s 2002 visit.
Now, this SIX60 concert is set to usher in a new era for the venue, with their successful application granting permission for Eden Park to host up to SIX concerts a year.
With the pitch carefully covered up, and more than 3.5 thousand staff on hand, more than 50,000 fans were treated to a night celebrating New Zealand talent. Joining SIX60 were a selection of established favourites and Kiwi up and comers including Drax Project, Sir Dave Dobbyn, JessB, Troy Kingi, and Maimoa.
A kapa haka group also performed a haka before the sell-out crowd, and later – during their set – the New Zealand Defence Force band joined SIX60 on stage for an Anzac Day eve tribute.
“The concert was the perfect finale to SIX60’s huge summer tour, and we feel very privileged to have been a part of this history making experience. It’s been our largest event with digital tickets in New Zealand and the team worked hard with the venue on new multiple entry/exit points, to accommodate the egress for a crowd of this size,” Justin Pule, Managing Director Ticketmaster New Zealand says.
“It was pretty courageous idea to try and do [the concert] five weeks out. So many things could have gone wrong, but what actually happened on the night was everything went right and the band played incredibly, the production was great, the crowd was great – so it was overwhelmingly good,” Brent Eccles, founder of Eccles Entertainment and SIX60’s agent and tour promoter, says. “I’m very very proud of our team and also very proud that we got in to play Eden Park. I grew up not far from Eden Park, and I’ve spent many afternoons there watching rugby and cricket, so I was thrilled to be able to do that.
Adding to the celebrations, the event’s promoter Eccles Entertainment were ranked as the No. 1 global promoter in internationally recognised live music industry publication Pollstar’s first quarter of 2021.
“It is mind-blowing and I would reach out and thank anybody who has helped me and my wife Helen on our escapades as a promoter and a business and look towards a future,” Eccles says.
“SIX60 has been billed as the biggest live act in the world in the last year. Coupled with the band’s promoter Eccles Entertainment being ranked No.1 in Pollstar’s Q1 2021’s global promoter – congratulations again to Brent, Helen and the team – meant Kiwis not only made the polls but sat on top of the world. In the words of SIX60 “who told you that we can’t fly” indeed,” Pule says.