Wellington Scoop

Why does Robbie need the council’s help?

basin robbie williams

by Lindsay Shelton
Why does the city council want me to buy tickets to Robbie Williams’ show at the Basin Reserve? And not just any tickets. It’s telling me that I should buy the most expensive “reserve lounge” package.

I’ve received the “exclusive” offer in an email from the council’s “Totally Wellington Venues” organisation, which handles bookings for city-owned venues. For Robbie Williams, it seems the council isn’t just booking the venue. It’s actively promoting the show. Here’s what the council is offering me:

Experience A-lister and British pop superstar, Robbie Williams from the comfort of the ‘Reserve Lounge’ at Wellington’s Basin Reserve this Halloween (31st October)…

Your ‘Reserve Lounge’ concert ticket will entitle you to:
Use of a private lounge in a corporate marquee
Exclusive bar and café services (bar tab option available) and
Separate bathroom facilities
GA field standing ticket

And the special price (don’t gasp) for this special offer from the city council:

Let us entertain you for $299* per person…limited ‘Reserve Lounge’ packages available, get in quick and have No Regrets.

No Regrets is apparently the name of the Robbie Williams show. No confusion there. But as well as the alarming expense of the exclusive ticket, it’s also alarming for the council to make the offer “let us entertain you.”

Are council staff going to be singing and dancing on the Basin stage? What exactly is their involvement with this British super-star? Why does he need the council’s help? Is the council getting a percentage of the $299*?

And more questions about the council’s exclusive and expensive deal … How limited is the space in the corporate marquee? Is it a council corporate marquee? How exclusive are the separate bathrooms? Why is the council telling me to “get in quick.” When Robbie starts to sing, will I have to stand outside with everyone else?

Promoting overseas shows on behalf of overseas entrepreneurs is not, in my opinion, any part of the responsibility of a city council. Booking them and charging a rental and making sure all the arrangements are in place: yes, of course. Even persuading them to come here could be justified, specially when council venues are so often dark and closed. But using council staff and facilities to advertise the shows and to solicit ticket sales: that’s not a council task.

Totally Wellington Venues is soon to be moved under the umbrella of the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency. Let’s hope that WREDA’s definition of economic development won’t extend to doing PR work for touring entertainers.

1 comment:

  1. Manolo Echave Chugg Touring local representative, 20. August 2015, 17:13

    The tickets are on offer from the promoters not PWV. We have made these tickets available to PWV to give local buyers a first option. They are not available to the public as yet. The promoters are also making the same offer to other corporate clients before they become available to the public.
    If PWV were to be left out of this offer, there would be negative feedback that they weren’t doing their job properly because not enough of these tickets became available to enough locals. There’s just no pleasing some people.
    You have a proactive and highly professional body looking after Wellington interests. More than can be said for some other NZ cities.