Frontier Touring Company

The Frontier Touring Company (t/a Frontier Touring) is one of Australia and New Zealand's largest concert promoters.[1] The company was formed in November 1979 by Michael Gudinski as one of the first Mushroom Group ventures, with eight music industry partners; Gudinski has stayed at the helm since. The company's first tour was in 1980 and in the decades since has toured over five hundred acts. In 2013 according to Pollstar, the industry's trade publication, the company was listed as No. 1 Australasian Concert Promoter and at No. 20, internationally.[2]

The Frontier Touring Company Pty Ltd
Frontier Touring
TypeTour promoter
IndustryMusic & Entertainment
FoundedNovember 1979 (1979-11)
FounderMichael Gudinski
Philip Jacobsen
Michael Chugg
Area served
Australia & New Zealand


The company originated after Michael Chugg, a freelance tour co-ordinator with Paul Dainty, visited the United Kingdom, when he was taken by Kevin Borich to see a performance of The Police in London. Upon return to Australia, Chugg was unable to convince Dainty to back a local national tour by The Police, which led to Chugg forming a partnership with Michael Gudinski, his former boss at Consolidated Rock Agency.[3]

The Frontier Touring Company was founded in November 1979 by Gudinski, together with Chugg, Phil Jacobsen – a "financial expert and artist manager",[4] Ray Evans, Sam Righi "operations manager of Harbour Booking Agency",[4] Frank Stivala "operations manager of Premier Artists",[4] Glenn Wheatley, Robbie Williams and Steve Wright.[5] When Wheatley and Wright wanted to concentrate on promoting Little River Band in the United States, the other partners bought out their share. In the mid 1980s Williams left the company after falling out with Righi. Gudinski was the face of the Frontier Touring Company, due to his profile with his other business ventures; whilst Chugg was the company's general manager, and Jacobsen was the financial director.[5][6]

The first tour arranged by Frontier was the UK Squeeze in January 1980, which was followed a month later by The Police,[4][7] the latter of which remain on Frontier's roster until this day.[8] The next year Frontier arranged Gary Numan's first Australian tour and a second tour by The Police. In October 1980 Chugg justified the promotion of overseas artists by his company when describing how "[i]t's given work to local bands who play the support spots, and also to rock-'n'-roll service industries who have become incredibly proficient in the last couple of years".[9] In August 1981 Glenn A. Baker of Billboard described how the company was "building fringe acts and bringing them up slowly".[4]

In 1999, after twenty-five years with the company, Chugg left Frontier and formed his own entertainment company the following year.[3] Soon after Chugg's departure Jacobsen also decided to leave Frontier although he continued as a financial consultant to the company.[5] In December 2002 Righi resigned as manager of the Frontier Touring Company and as a director of the Harbour Agency.[10][11]

In 2008 according to Pollstar, the industry's trade publication, The Frontier Trading Company was listed as No. 1 Australasian Concert Promoter and at No. 15, internationally.[12] Main event for Frontier Touring in 2009 was helping stage Australia's Sound Relief event.[13] In 2010, Frontier Touring celebrated its 500th tour with Tom Jones.[14] Frontier Touring also were responsible for the first show in a renewed Hanging Rock in Victoria's Macedon Ranges, the company has an exclusive license at the site until 2018.[15]

In 2011, Frontier released a comprehensive poster book, Every Poster Tells a Story: 30 Years of the Frontier Touring Co. to commemorate the 30 years in operation.[16][17][18] In 2013 they were ranked the 16th biggest music promotions company in the world, based on ticket sales,[19] In March 2014 Frontier's Australian tour of The Rolling Stones was postponed due to the sudden death of Mick Jagger's partner.


  1. ^ Quinn, Karl (6 April 2012). "Rivals now act in concert". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  2. ^ Eliezer, Christie. "Melbourne's Venues Proven To Be Australia's Most Successful". Beat Magazine. Furst.
  3. ^ a b Kimball, Duncan. "Michael Chugg – Promoter, agent, manager, 1970s-present". Milesago : Australasian Music & Popular Culture 1964-1975 (Ice Productions). Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e Baker, Glenn A. (8 August 1981). "International: Frontier Booms Via Diverse Acts – Australians Building Diversified Promo, Booking Firm". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media: 60. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Coupe, Stuart (2012). The Promoters: Inside stories from the Australian Rock Industry. United Kingdom: Hachette. ISBN 978-0-73362-925-9.
  6. ^ Eliezer, Christie (14 February 1998). Mushroom 25 – 8000 Recordings by 400 Artists. Billboard. Billboard Music Group. p. 46.
  7. ^ Brandle, Lars (15 February 2010). "Michael Gudinski - Thirty Year Frontier". The Music Network. The Entertainment Media Group. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  8. ^ "Music News - The Frontier Touring Company celebrates 30 years of live music". Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  9. ^ "Timespan: Still money to be made on the road". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995). National Library of Australia. 8 October 1980. p. 31. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  10. ^ "Sam Righi - Owner, Big Deal Inc (AUS)". Q Music. Queensland Music Network Inc. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  11. ^ "Sam Righi Resigns as Frontier Manager". Indie Initiative. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  12. ^ Cashmere, Paul. "Frontier Touring Named No. 1 Promoter of 2008". Undercover (Paul Cashmere, Ros O'Gorman). Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  13. ^ Brandle, Lars (27 June 2009). "Oz Touring Awards Honor Sound Relief, Gudinski's Frontier". Billboard. (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  14. ^ "Frontier Touring Turns 500 With Tom Jones". Paul Cashmere. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  15. ^ Eliezer, Christie. "More Shows For Hanging Rock". Beat Magazine. Furst.
  16. ^ Frontier Touring Co (2011), Every poster tells a story! : 30 years of The Frontier Touring Co, Foreword, The Frontier Touring Co, ISBN 978-0-646-54014-6
  17. ^ "The Story of my Book: Michael Gudinski on Every Poster Tells A Story - 30 Years of The Frontier Touring Company". Michael Gudinski. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  18. ^ Zuel, Bernard (14 October 2011). "Still creating a buzz: stars may fade but their posters live on". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  19. ^ Newstead, Al (18 July 2013). "Guess Who's The Biggest Aussie Promoter Of 2013 So Far".

External linksEdit