After managing Powderfinger's travel for the best part of a decade, Stage and Screen helped the sun set gracefully on the band's final, historic tour. All of the travel logistics stayed on track and in tune for this predictably 'low-maintenance' client.
About the Sunsets Tour
During Spring 2010, after 21 years in the spotlight of Australian rock, Powderfinger called it a day with an Australia-wide Sunsets Farewell Tour to celebrate their success. Featuring 34 shows across 21 cities, the tour took the boys on the road for a massive two-anda-half months and played to more than 300,000 fans. It wrapped on 13 November in Brisbane, sealing the career of one of the most successful bands in Australian music history.
Powderfinger required complex travel planning and logistics to mobilise their tour, which visited all Australian metro cities as well as Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Caloundra, Gold Coast, Newcastle, Tamworth, Wollongong, Albury, Bendigo and Ballarat.
Having organised Powderfinger's travel for almost half of their 21- year career, Stage and Screen knew the drill on the band's touring needs. Assistant Team Leader Rachel Waggett, who had singlehandedly managed Powderfinger's domestic and overseas travel for the previous six years, knew the biggest challenge was staying one step ahead of the fans.
"We had to make sure we held more than enough seats on planes, as well as enough hotel rooms and eight-seater cars, as the minute the tour was announced bookings in every city went through the roof!"Rachel said.
By the time the rest of Australia woke to breaking news of the tour, Rachel had locked away the bookings for all flights, hotels and cars nationwide. She managed travel for more than 70 band members and crew (including support band Jet), and booked more than 50 flights, 40 hotels and 160 vehicles.
Rachel achieved this result by starting the booking process immediately the band's management approached Stage and Screen in March 2010. The tour was announced less than one month later, giving Rachel only a few weeks to ensure all the travel bases were covered. She used this time to not only make the bookings, but to also research other major events that would coincide with the tour, such as the spring racing carnivals in various cities.
Rachel's solutions included:
- forward planning - immediately making the bookings and prioritising those for the regional cities where flight schedules and seat availability, as well as hotel capacity and 'people movers' became limited once the tour went on sale
- sourcing Best Fares of the Day (BFOD) on all flights
- negotiating reduced rates on hotel rooms based on the VIP status of the band and the volume of nights required
- organising VIP travel for the band members and their families, and making individual bookings rather than group bookings for the band members to accommodate their individual seating preferences
- organising personal and leisure travel for the band and crew members, where needed
- booking a charter flight for the band and its crew, much to the delight of the pilot, a huge Powderfinger fan
- coordinating the entire travel logistics by working closely with the tour managers for the band and its crew, as well as other industry VIPs and representatives (eg. iTunes) who were recording the shows.
"Quite frankly, we couldn't have managed our tours without Stage and Screen's help. They always understood our schedules and how we travelled. They moved quickly on our bookings so we never missed out on flights or rooms, and they found great rates. They were like a silent machine in the background, making it all happen so all we needed to do was show up at the airport and head to our next venue! They're a great team with amazing knowledge of our industry."
Paul Piticco, Band Manager
Founder Secret Service Artist Management
& Dew Process Recordings
For Rachel, the chance to be part of Powderfinger's final tour and help make it all come together was a highlight of her travel career.
"It's been so much fun working with these guys for so long, and they've been such an easy client to work with. We've had a great relationship and they know how to recognise hard work. They included me in their thank you list on their last CD cover, which I didn't expect but that's the sort of guys they are."
Performance Powderfinger Sunset Farewell Tour