Kiwis can expect some big names to grace Auckland stages this year, after a performance-packed summer that included four artists' concerts injecting $19.4 million to the regional economy.

Ed Sheeran, Sia, Sir Paul McCartney and the Foo Fighters concerts alone saw 104,670 visitors attracted to Auckland and a visitor spend of $29.5 million.

Events overall from November to March were attended by nearly half a million people.

The events are largely run by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed) and Regional Facilities Auckland.


RFA chief executive Chris Brooks told the Weekend Herald that acts like Ed Sheeran were hard to beat, but major artists would continue to tour this coming summer.

"We're currently in negotiation with several promoters and we anticipate another strong summer line-up."

Touring acts plotted their global route about 12 months before major events, so planning was already underway for Auckland events, he added.

Taylor Swift is one of the big names already confirmed with her Reputation tour at Mt Smart Stadium on November 9.

Planning for concerts included transforming a stadium "from sports to concert mode", and lining up vehicles to carry machinery for concerts.

Brooks said it took 20 huge trucks to carry machinery needed for Ed Sheeran's New Zealand shows.

RFA hosted this summer's line-up of stars at Mt Smart Stadium, including Sheeran, McCartney, the Foo Fighters and Sia and Ed Sheeran as well as holding sold out sporting events - the Rugby League World Cup semifinal and the NRL double-header.

Brooks said their stadium venues had enjoyed consecutive record-breaking summers.

Since 2014, RFA's summer stadium concerts had contributed $77m to regional GDP, $133m in visitor spend and 660,000 nights spent by visitors coming mainly for the event.

The three recent Ed Sheeran performances saw Mt Smart Stadium break a New Zealand record for the highest concert attendance (134,060), surpassing its own record of 130,650 for Adele's three concerts last March.

This March, Western Springs was transformed into a major music venue for the Auckland City Limits music festival. The international line-up included Grace Jones, Scribe and P-Money.

Brooks said RFA was continually looking to reinvest back into its stadiums and venues, as upgrades made them even more appealing to promoters and sporting organisers.

Ateed head of major events Stuart Turner said January's ASB Classic tennis championship also contributed $1.9m to the regional economy and brought 4830 visitors to Auckland.

The organisation invests in major events on behalf of Auckland Council.

"Events in the portfolio must collectively contribute to Auckland's economic and social aspirations – bringing new money into the region and making it a desirable place to live, visit, work, invest and study."

Events were picked based on their contribution to economic growth, liveability, international exposure and nights spent by visitors, as well as attributes like the event time of year and event frequency.

Turner said their major events budgets were fixed through the council's 10-year and annual budget planning process.

A successful event held by the event's operator could mean that an organisation had more to invest in their future events, Turner said.

He added Ateed was in the process of reviewing Auckland's Destination and Major Events strategies.

Sia, Sir Paul McCartney, Foo Fighters and Ed Sheeran concerts delivered:
• ​104,670 visitors attracted to Auckland by the events
• ​138,700 nights spent by visitors heading mainly to attend the event generated by the concerts
• ​Total visitor spend: $29.5m
• ​Contribution to regional GDP: $19.4m

Coming up:
• Taylor Swift's Reputation tour at Mt Smart Stadium on November 9
• Sailors will descend on Auckland next year for the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 world champs
• The America's Cup returns to Auckland's waterfront in 2021