The History of Chugg Entertainment
Chugg Entertainment is an Australian based, globally operating entertainment business with a focus on promoting music festivals and special events, and touring international artists throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
Founded in 2000 by music industry pioneer Michael Chugg, Chugg Entertainment has toured hundreds of major international acts including Dolly Parton, Coldplay, Radiohead, Elton John, Pearl Jam, Robbie Williams, Florence + The Machine and many more and continues to search for new, up and coming talent to build into the next generation of arena and stadium level acts.
The team at Chugg Entertainment take pride in developing an artist’s career outside of their hometown market and consistently deliver innovative ways of promoting tours and special events. Chugg Entertainment has recently worked on the debut Australian tours for incredible new talent such as Hozier, Leon Bridges, The Internet, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line and Clare Bowen.
The scope of Chugg Entertainment’s live business is extensive, representing artists across musical genres as diverse as rock, pop, folk, indie, country and metal. Chugg Entertainment proudly partners with a number of independent promoters, including Destroy All Lines, Lunatic Entertainment (co-promoters of the Laneway Presents touring arm), Penny Drop and Rob Potts Entertainment Edge, who each have experience and expertise in niche markets, to deliver unique insights and an in-depth understanding of both the artist and audience. Chugg Entertainment also co-promotes major music festivals in Australia and abroad, including St Jerome’s Laneway Festival across seven markets in three countries and CMC Rocks QLD; Australia’s premiere country music festival.
Over the past sixteen years, Chugg Entertainment has toured over 600 international and Australian artists, making Chugg one of the most prominent and respected promoters not only in Australia, but also around the world. Chugg promoted Coldplay’s first ever arena and stadium tours in 2006 and 2012, while AC/DC achieved unprecedented success with 2010’s Black Ice World Tour, selling out stadiums across the country and breaking international records for the highest grossing tour that year. Chugg Entertainment has played a key role in establishing local psych-rockers Tame Impala as a global sensation, selling out the band’s biggest ever-Australian tour in 2015 including 2 nights at the Sydney Opera House Forecourt, has successfully toured Sir Elton John for the past 15 years in Australia, in 2010 sold out a 6 date arena tour for country legend Alan Jackson in what was his first ever Australian visit, and in 2011 delivered Dolly Parton to Australian audiences for the first time in over 20 years, selling close to 100,000 tickets.
Consistently at the forefront of the touring industry, Michael Chugg and Chugg Entertainment have received a plethora of industry awards over the years. Michael Chugg received the prestigious Pollstar Magazine Award for International Promoter of the Year in 2016; the fourth time that he has been recognized on a global scale for his groundbreaking work touring international talent in Australia. He has twice picked up the Best Promoter gong at the International Live Music Conference, and has a multitude of Billboard Awards, Helpmann Awards, Country Music Awards, Musexpo Awards and more to his name.
In 2004, Matthew Lazarus-Hall joined Chugg Entertainment and became a partner in the business. Lazarus-Hall spearheaded a number of special projects and acted as CEO of the company until 2016, when he left his full-time position to start his own consulting business and continues to work closely with the Chugg Entertainment team.
Though Chugg Entertainment is recognized globally as one of Australia’s leading tour promoters and works with some of the biggest names in music, Michael Chugg is particularly passionate about the grassroots development of an artist’s career. In 2012, on the eve of Chugg’s 50th year in the music industry, Chugg Entertainment proudly launched Chugg Music, an arm of the business that provides artist services including artist management, label services and consulting to primarily domestic artists. The independent label currently represents a stable of talent including multi-award winning, platinum-selling band Sheppard, along with acclaimed songstress Megan Washington, Hey Geronimo, Dappled Cities, Deep Sea Arcade, Major Leagues, Lime Cordiale, The Griswolds and New Zealand’s Avalanche City.
Over the years, Chugg Entertainment has toured the likes of:
Ray Charles, Carlos Santana, The Dixie Chicks, Keith Urban, John Mayer, Radiohead, Coldplay, The Who, The Offspring, REM, Rufus Wainwright, Mark Knopfler, Sigur Ros, Robbie Williams, Elton John, Feist, John Fogerty, Pearl Jam, Simon & Garfunkel, Ben Harper, Elvis Costello, Al Green, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Gorillaz, City and Colour, Jimmy Buffett, Doobie Brothers, Yo Gabba Gabba, Alan Jackson, Florence + The Machine, Tame Impala, Dolly Parton, Jason Aldean, Gotye, Robert Plant, Paul Simon, Of Monsters and Men, Florida Georgia Line.
HIGHLIGHTS | 1962 – 2016
1962 – Michael Chugg’s music career begins in Tasmania; he is 15 years old.
1970-74 – Michael Chugg launches the Sunrise Agency Sydney with Roger Davies.
A few years later, Sunrise combines with Let It Be Agency in Melbourne to launch Sunrise-Let It Be, a true national agency. Roster includes artists like Company Caine, The La De Das, Spectrum, Mississippi, Jeff St John, Pyranna, Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band.
1974-79 – Michael Chugg joins Paul Dainty Corporation as a freelance Tour Director, managing tours with Status Quo, Fleetwood Mac, ABBA, David Bowie, Leo Sayer, Linda Ronstadt and many more.
1974 – Michael Chugg joins forces with Steve White to launch Marquee Attractions.
1975 – Michael Chugg becomes a Director at Premier Artists Melbourne, which later becomes the Premier-Harbour Agency.
1978 – Michael Chugg Management starts up, with a roster of top Australian acts including Marcia Hines, Hush, The Church, Kevin Borich, Jimmy & The Boys, The Sunny Boys, Richard Clapton, Stevie Wright and more.
1979 – Michael Chugg & Michael Gudinski start Frontier Touring Company.
Early-80’s – Michael Chugg has international success managing The Church and The Sunnyboys.
1980’s – Michael Chugg gives up management to concentrate on the Frontier Touring Company.
1980-2000 – Michael Chugg is General Manager, Frontier Touring Company. During this time, he promotes more than 135 of the biggest international tours to come to Australia including The Police, Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli, Sammy Davis Jr, R.E.M., Kylie Minogue, Madonna and many more.
2000 – Michael Chugg departs Frontier Touring Company to start Michael Chugg Entertainment (MCE).
2000-2001 – In its first year of operation, MCE produces & promotes 24 national tours, and co-produces the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Paralympic Games in Sydney.
2001 – MCE tours Bob Dylan, Robbie Williams and more in Australia.
2002 – MCE tours Elton John, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chris Isaak, No Doubt and more in Australia.
2002 – MCE in conjunction with Billy Thorpe and Amanda Pelman, create Long Way To The Top stage show, which played to over 250,000 people across Australia.
2002 – Vans Warped Tour returns to Australia – Features Pennywise, Guttermouth, MxPx and more.
2003 – Michael Chugg books Bob Dylan, Ani Di Franco & The Waifs to play at the Perth Moonlight Music & Wine Festival.
2003-2005 – Staged the Melbourne International Music & Blues Festival – across 3 years, the Festival featured the likes of Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Beth Orton, Tony Joe White and more.
2004 – MCE partners with Backrow Productions (UK) to tour theatre productions in Australia.
2005 – Wave Aid charity concert, organised by the Australian music industry and spearheaded by Michael Chugg, Mark Pope and Joe Segreto. The event took place at the SCG on 29 January, played to over 50,000 people and raised over $2.3 million for the victims of the Boxing Day tsunami.
2005 – MCE partners with the East Coast International Blues & Roots Festival (Bluesfest).
End-2005 – MCE re-launches as Chugg Entertainment (CE).
2006 – CE partners with Lunatic Entertainment – following a successful debut in Melbourne, Sydney’s first ever St Jerome’s Laneway Festival launches, featuring Broken Social Scene, Faker, The Avalanches.
2006 – Coldplay’s first arena tour sells out; band plays to over 120,000 around the country.
2006 – Robbie Williams’ stadium tour sells over 500,000 tickets.
2006 – Priscilla, Queen of the Desert theatre show worldwide premiere in Sydney (Oct).
2007 – Live Earth event – CE in conjunction with Mark Pope and Joe Segreto promote Sydney leg of this global event.
2008 – Elton John celebrates 25 years performing at the Sydney Entertainment Centre and breaks record for the most shows held at the venue.
2008 – The first “CMC Rocks the Snowys” commences
2009 – Sound Relief charity concert in Sydney and Melbourne raised over $8 million for the Victorian Bushfire Appeal and The Premier’s Disaster Relief Fund Appeal in QLD.
2009 – Simon & Garfunkel return to the stage together for the first time in over 25 years – they play 8 arena shows across Australia and New Zealand.
2009 – CE launches TV To Live Touring Division and tours Dog Whisperer Cesar Milan in Australia.
2009 – CE launches World Dog Games in Sydney.
2010 – AC/DC sell out stadiums across the country and break international records for the highest grossing tour that year, selling more than 700,000 tickets (co-promoted with Garry Van Egmond).
2010 – St Jerome’s Laneway Festival expands to New Zealand.
2010 – CE co-promotes the Great Southern Blues Festival in Batemans Bay, NSW – featuring the likes of Pink Martini and Todd Rundgren.
2010 – Alan Jackson’s first Australian tour sells 50,000 tickets and solidifies country music fan-base in Australia.
2010 – ‘Hey, You In The Black T-Shirt’ Michael Chugg autobiography is published by Pan Macmillan Australia.
2011 – St Jerome’s Laneway Festival expands to Singapore.
2011 – Tap Dogs tour the Australian East Coast.
2011 – CE brings Dolly Parton to Australia for the first time in over 20 years.
2011 – CE works with Lifelike Touring on Yo Gabba Gabba’s national tour, including 6 shows at the Sydney Opera House as part of Vivid Festival.
2012 – Prince and Radiohead return to Australia for sell-out tours. Coldplay perform their first ever Australian stadium tour.
2012 – Gentlemen Of The Road Dungog Stopover – Mumford & Sons mini-festival, featuring Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Sarah Blasko, Matt Corby, Husky and more (co-promoted with Lunatic Entertainment).
2012 – CE launches Chugg Music, the management and label arm of the business.
2013 – CE tours Robert Plant, Paul Simon, Flume, Tame Impala and Weezer in Australia.
2013 – Sheppard is most-played independent artist on Australian radio, and tour through UK, USA, Thailand, South Africa and India.
2013 & 2014 – CE co-promotes Deni Blues & Roots Festival.
2014 – Michael Chugg celebrates 50th Anniversary in the touring business – Chugg is honored at an exclusive event at the International Live Music Conference in London, with friends, colleagues and artists (Eddie Vedder, Alice Cooper, Robbie Williams, Robert Plant, Dallas Green, Jason Mraz) sending video congratulations.
2014 – CE and Lunatic Entertainment launch Laneway Presents touring arm.
2014 – Chugg Music Showcase, SXSW Music Conference in Austin, Texas. Lineup includes The Griswolds, Lime Cordiale, The Creases and more.
2014 – Chugg Music launches in North America, distributed by Super D/Alliance and MGM.
2014 – CE partners with Destroy All Lines, to promote metal and rock tours to Australian audiences.
2015 – CE and Laneway Presents promote 6 x sold-out shows at the Sydney Opera House Forecourt with Florence + The Machine and then Tame Impala (their biggest Australian tour to date).
2016 – CMC Rocks QLD festival sells out for the first time in its 9-year history.
2016 – St Jerome’s Laneway Festival has its biggest year ever.