Leading into the Las Vegas Licensing Expo, The Bugg Report has been able to catch up with the new General Manager of The Wiggles — Luke Field. After a most difficult two years for live entertainment across the world, The Wiggles have just completed an arena tour of Australia (The Fruit Salad TV Big Show) and will soon embark on a brand-new regional tour of Australia (The Wiggles Superhero Tour). Now into their 31st year, they have stood the test of time, selling over 30 million albums & DVD’s, eight million books, a billion music streams & two billion views on YouTube. As the market looks ahead to more normal trading patterns, Luke was keen to update us on local and international plans for the group and their commercial business interests. We began by asking Luke about the most recent changes and new team members:
Luke, The Wiggles have successfully transitioned new members into the team over time. Tsehay is the most recent addition, what attributes does she bring to the yellow Wiggle role?
Tsehay is the second female to be a member of The Wiggles and is a dancing sensation. She won the Youth Salsa Soloist at the 2019 World Salsa Championship, amongst many other titles. Tsehay has already brought her own unique touch to the yellow skivvy and will be a favourite with fans worldwide.
The team will embark on a new tour in Australia shortly. Can you tell us a little about this, please?
Performing live for audiences worldwide is what we love doing the most. We’ve just completed two tours since February — the Wiggly Road Trip and The Fruit Salad TV Big show.Luke Field
The new Superhero Tour will visit over 22 regional cities performing over 65 shows and features new Wiggles John and Caterina from The Fruit Salad TV specials. The tour will feature all your favourite Wiggles songs such as ‘Do the Propeller!’, ‘Hot Potato’ and ‘Rock-a-Bye Your Bear’, and new and catchy tunes like ‘Dippy Do Dinosaur Dance’ and Superhero song!
With live entertainment returning, can you tell us a little about your international touring schedule for the remainder of 2022 and have you set plans for 2023?
We will be going to New Zealand in August to do an arena tour of the North & South Islands. In September, we will head to North America, touring coast to coast in both the USA and Canada finishing in November.
We have all seen the new OG’s Wiggles come to market over recent times. What has been the demographics of the audiences at the shows?
Following the success of Triple J’s Hottest 100, the original line-up has accompanied The Wiggles on their tour around Australia, performing evening shows when our usual audience were fast asleep! The response to the tour was amazing with 10’s of thousands of 20 somethings rocking it in the aisles.
The original material from the original members is still relevant and popular, do you have plans for more shows and albums and perhaps merchandise?
Absolutely… The OG Wiggles tour was such a success we will be bringing it to New Zealand, the USA & Canada in some amazing venues. The OG Wiggles have just been announced to perform at Falls Festival in December and January, which is headlined by bands such as Arctic Monkeys, Lil Nas X and Jamie XX, which will be huge.
There will be retailers attending the show (Licensing Expo) this year, what is your message to them in relation to supporting Wiggles merchandise?
For over 30 years now, The Wiggles have provided children worldwide with their first experience at a live show. The love for The Wiggles now is exactly as it has been over the years and the reaction to our recent OG tour shows that this love is enduring.
We understand that your new online “The Wiggles Shop” platform has now expanded Internationally, what’s the latest news there?
The Wiggles Shop has been upgraded over the past year, enabling us to now service Australia and New Zealand and the USA, Canada, and most other places in the world.
How are your core Toy and Apparel products performing across the market?
We have been working hard with all our licensing partners to ensure that we have had a smooth transition with the addition of Tsehay and other Wiggly characters. We now have product featuring the new line up in the market and are rapt with how it is being received.
Can you provide and update for us on your latest commercial partnerships?
Whilst we had some great partnerships through our 30th with the likes of Uber Eats, Tourism Australia and The Royal Australian Mint (amongst many others), we have recently had Brownes Dairy extend their agreement as well as many others, including St Johns Ambulance in WA, and Dreamworld.
The Wiggles have recently announced four new members of the team to cater for the gender-balanced & diverse cast aspect of the group’s activities. Can you expand a little on this?
Anthony (the Blue Wiggle and founder of the group) has always believed that all children should be able to identify with The Wiggles and see themselves represented on stage. Accordingly, we’ve tried hard to ensure that we provide a more balanced representation of gender and ethnicity with talented performers from around the globe.
Finally, what is the current makeup of your broadcast and streaming partners?
The ABC are our global broadcast representatives. They have provided us with many opportunities both here in Australia and overseas. Amongst many other platforms, we are seen on Netflix globally as well as TVNZ (NZ) and Treehouse (Canada).
After 30 years of great success, it seems logical that the Wiggles should be an automatic inclusion in commercial activities for retailers worldwide. Over three decades, the scale of their touring and interaction with audiences has seen The Wiggles as a trusted brand and household name. Luke, we really appreciate your time and look forward to the next chapter of The Wiggles.
Thank you, Tony