PM Jacinda Ardern announces quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia will begin on April 19. Video / Mark Mitchell

The transtasman bubble announcement is music to the ears of promoters and local venues, who are eager to see acts head both ways across the ditch.

From April 19, bands and artists won’t have to stay in managed isolation or pay fees if they’re planning to tour, which Meow Label and Venue director Damian Jones said would be saving a six-piece band up to $18,000 – something many acts wouldn’t get back from touring.

He said the news was great for his Wellington venue, which had missed international acts last year.

“They tend to be the highest ticket prices and the highest spend shows so without them it has been really difficult.”

Jones, who also represents bands, including Mako Road whose popularity is rising across the ditch, said being able to now go play in Australia will mean a huge flow-on effect and massive exposure.

“If you’re not touring and selling out shows it’s really hard to get on to the festival run and play to bigger audiences as well.”

Mikee Turner, director of Loop Recordings which represents L.A.B, said the bubble meant they could go ahead with the band’s Australian tour, which had sold 24,000 tickets.

“For any act across New Zealand that’s starting to spread their wings internationally, to have 22 million people in Australia to potentially perform to is huge.”

Turner said it was also good news that we would have Australian artists heading here, with music venues and the “back end” of the industry like production companies suffering from the border closures.

He said many venues he dealt with would take 70 per cent of their income from international touring acts.

Related articles

Turner reckoned Kiwi crowds would be happy too.

“Another summer how we just had it would have meant people would get quite sick of the same New Zealand bands, no matter how good they are.”

Auckland’s Powerstation venue had been “devastated” by Covid-19, with the pandemic bringing the business to a halt.

Owner Peter Campbell said the bubble was welcome progress and they had a number of dates on hold already for various acts.

He didn’t think the venue would start ramping up from Australian artists and bands until September or October but even then, it wouldn’t be back to pre-Covid levels.

“We’re not anticipating regular business patterns until next year … the majority of our business is based around international touring artists and the majority of those are coming out of America.”

Despite that, Campbell said it was great news the bubble was happening and said we were lucky to be able to even have live music, compared to what was happening elsewhere.