Hot on the heels of local shooting for his upcoming biopic, Better Man, Robbie Williams will head up the pre-match entertainment roster for this year’s AFL Grand Final.
The game will be held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday September 24. Williams’ set will mark his third in the city this year, following the two headline shows he played at Rod Laver Arena a couple of months ago (both of which were filmed for Better Man). He’ll perform at the AFL Grand Final with a backing band curated by Williams specifically for the event, featuring a roster of Australian musicians.
“I am so excited to be performing for all the fans, on the hallowed turf of the MCG, for the biggest game of the year,” Williams said in a statement. “I’m really looking forward to performing with a cast of very talented local Australian musicians and I can’t wait to see you all on that last Saturday in September. If it goes well, I might even put my hand up to be the next CEO of the AFL.”
Williams also appeared in a video to announce his performance – take a look at that below:
— AFL (@AFL) July 1, 2022
The rest of the game’s entertainment roster is yet to be announced, however it’s confirmed that Mushroom Group CEO Matt Gudinski will be organising it. In his own statement, Gudinski – who recently staged the Foo Fighters’ one-off show in Geelong, and is bringing Billy Joel to Melbourne in December – said he hoped to produce “one of the greatest Grand Final pre-game spectacles of all time”.
As confirmed in a press release, this year’s half-time show will boast an all-Australian line-up. Last year’s pre-show featured the likes of Baker Boy, Stella Donnelly, John Butler and Eskimo Joe, with Men At Work frontman Colin Hay headlining via video link. Birds Of Tokyo headlined the half-time show.
Meanwhile, Better Man has been filming at Melbourne’s Docklands Studios for much of 2022. Directed by Michael Gracey (who also helmed The Greatest Showman), the film was first announced last February. Further details came a few months later when Guy Chambers – a longtime collaborator and close friend of Williams – compared its concept to that of the Elton John biopic Rocketman.
As well as the new take on Williams’ music, the film is also set to take on an altogether stranger concept – the singer will be reimagined as a CGI monkey. Roadshow Films – which operates its headquarters in the South Yarra – will distribute the film; announcing the company’s involvement, CEO Joel Pearlman said it was “shaping up to become a major theatrical event”.