Colleen Ironside, the live music professional who, with her force-of-nature personality, set the groundwork for a pan-Asian touring network and produced scores of tours in the region for Live Nation and other companies, has died.
Ironside cut her teeth in the music industry as a booking agent for the Harbour Premier Agency in Sydney, Australia. She went out on her own, establishing and running APA Booking Agency, which booked INXS, Ratcat, James Reyne, Jenny Morris and Wendy Matthews for Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
In 1994, a promotion for Ironside with Frontier Touring, which gave her the reins on regional tours for such acts as Pearl Jam, REM, Tom Jones and Hootie and the Blowfish.
In 1999 she set up her business, Live Limited, which would tour acts through Asia including Coldplay, Rolling Stones, Elton John, David Bowie, Sting and many more.
Another opportunity came her way in 2005, when Ironside joined Live Nation as senior VP booking pan-Asia, during which time she managed the concerts giant’s joint ventures in Beijing and Shanghai and booked further tours for Coldplay, Elton John, Gwen Stefani, Christina Aguilera and others.
At the conclusion of her contract with LN at the start of 2010, Ironside revived her Live Limited touring and events enterprise, which would produce shows for Bob Dylan, Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes and others.
The Australasian music industry is remembering Ironside for her no-nonsense attitude, her sharp wit and her ability to make tough tasks seem effortless.
“It’s taken me a few days to write something about the loss of our dear friend Colleen Ironside,” writes legendary Australian rocker Jimmy Barnes. “My friend for forty five years, so close to all of us that she’s one of the family. Through all we went through you were always there for me, you never changed. I will miss you.”
It’s taken me a few days to write something about the loss of our dear friend Colleen Ironside. My friend for forty five years, so close to all of us that she’s one of the family. Through all we went through you were always there for me, you never changed. I will miss you, 🙏🏻 x pic.twitter.com/8mPTH14rmX
— Jimmy Barnes (@JimmyBarnes) July 24, 2022
Mandar Thakur, COO at Times Music, remarks: “Shattered is an understatement. 28 years of knowing you ain’t enough.”
Jasper Donat, the Hong Kong-based CEO of Branded, the company behind the AllThatMatters and Music Matters conferences in Singapore, remembers Ironside as “one of the longest serving, most respected (and feared) promoters in Asia.” She was “indestructible. She gave (Michael Chugg) a run for the Swear Jar. She will be smoking Marlboro Lites in Heaven. There is and was only one Colleen.”
Ironside reportedly passed last Friday (July 22) in Thailand. Funeral details are pending.