Live Business Award

Via Variety

Variety Australia now unveils the winner for the final category, the Live Business Award.

For a company that’s in the business of pleasing crowds, creating experiences and generally cranking it up, Untitled Group doesn’t make a lot of noise.

It doesn’t need to. With a slate of brands, including Beyond The Valley, Pitch Music & Arts, Wildlands, Grapevine Gathering, For The Love and Ability Fest, Untitled has emerged as an independent concerts and events powerhouse — a growing venture, and doing so in a tough time for the live sector.

No bellowing, no chest-beating.

The highlights came hard and fast for its 2023/24 festival season, which wrapped with over 500,000 tickets sold. A “record-breaking” result.

Over those sweltering months, its team produced upwards of 250 events and festivals, booked more than 1,000 artists across its range of fests, tours and clubs shows, and organised just shy of 100 artist tours.

BTV, which featured superstar talent Dom Dolla for the seventh consecutive year, and a surprise set by Grammy Award-winning stadium fillers Rüfüs Du Sol, posted the sell-out sign. The fest shifted 35,000 tickets – its largest-ever event.

Also, Rüfüs Du Sol headlined Wildlands which delivered “its most prosperous year yet” with 85,000 tickets sold nationwide, including legs in Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Not to be outdone, Dom Dolla’s two homecoming shows at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne sold 25,000 in five minutes.

That hot stretch for Untitled included programming for Finals Festival at the Australian Open, shows by Christina Aguilera and a debut Australian trek by U.S. country star Zach Bryan, which “instantly” sold 30,000 tickets, reps say.

The group was founded in Melbourne back in 2014 by the four managing partners, Michael Christidis, Nicholas Greco, Filippo Palermo and Christian Serrao.

Today, Untitled boasts more than 60 staff across a business that includes its international and domestic artist touring division, artist management roster, Proxy talent booking agency, and the Underscore creative agency.

Instead of folding, like so many other companies exposed to the lockdown, the Untitled leadership team used the downtime of the pandemic to recalibrate.

“We made a very conscious decision to bring everything in-house after COVID,” Greco tells The Music Network. “It’s helped us to be really agile, move really quickly, all the marketing side, event operations. It’s allowed to build to the scale we’re at right now.”

Those efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. Christidis and Palermo were rewarded last year with selection in Forbes “30 Under 30” list for North America, and the company landed at No. 8 on the trade title’s AU/NZ Top Promoter list, based on box office results.

And in late 2022, Pollstar identified Untitled as the No. 2 Australian promoter (and No. 46 overall) in its Top Promoter List, its directors earned nods for the Resilience Award in Smart 50’s 2022, the Young Australian Entrepreneurs in 2021 and 2022, and Start-Up of The Year honours at Commbank’s Young Hero Awards.

Untitled is ranked No. 12 in the list of promoters worldwide, according to latest Pollstar promoter report.

On June 13, Untitled will be feted with the inaugural Variety Live Business Award, presented at the Live Business Breakfast with Twilio.

Christidis will be on hand to share his expertise and lessons learned for a special panel discussion on the festivals market, presented during the morning programme at Sydney’s 12-Micron.

Guest speakers on the special session include Dr Christen Cornell (research fellow and manager, research partnerships at Creative Australia), Evelyn Richardson (CEO of Live Performance Australia) and Linda Scott (commercial director, APAC, Eventbrite).