THE return of live music continues to gather momentum with ARIA award-winners Amy Shark and John Butler announcing shows for Newcastle.
Shark will kick-start her national arena tour at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Friday, June 11, the venue's first major pop concert since the COVID-19 pandemic. Children's entertainers The Wiggles will perform at the Broadmeadow venue next Wednesday.
Butler will also open his national solo tour in Newcastle at the Civic Theatre on Wednesday, May 19.
Shark is preparing to release her second album Cry Forever on April 30, so Novocastrian fans will be the first audience to witness the new material live from the Gold Coast singer-songwriter.
Initially Newcastle was left off Shark's national tour, but after being bombarded on social media with requests from fans, the 34-year-old decided to return for her first local show since October 2019 at Wests NEX.
"They've made that much noise that we're coming," Shark told the Newcastle Herald. "It's nice any time to feel wanted.
"It feels like the Shark world is really strong in Newcastle and that's the place I wanna go."
The Cry Forever album tour will be the Adore and I Said Hi hit-maker's first arena run and testament to the raging success of her 2018 debut album Love Monster and it's subsequent shows.
Love Monster won three ARIA Awards - best album, best female artist and best pop release - in 2018 and two years later Shark's regional tour, which included her Wests NEX show, earned her an ARIA for best live act.
"Even with the whole tour it's going to feel like the first taste of arena shows, so we'll see how we go," she said.
"There were a couple of months there, I'm not gonna lie, that I was scared to talk about the tour because I didn't want to be another artist that had to get online and say, 'yeah we're gonna have to postpone it or cancel it'.
"So I'm really stoked, it looks like it's 100 per cent going ahead."
Butler's return to Newcastle has been a long time coming. The blues and roots master last performed at the Civic Theatre in 2016 and this upcoming show will be his first at the venue solo.
"It's been a wacky ol' year for all of us in so many ways and to be able to go out and play music for the community and myself feels like a bit of good healing," Butler said.
"When I take a look around the world and see how hard some folks are doing it at the moment this feels like a huge privilege."
Tickets for the Shark show go on sale 11am Friday through amyshark.com. Butler fans should log onto johnbutlertrio.com at 9am Monday for tickets.