Friday, April 24, 2009

Elton's Chips Down 25%

Sir Elton John has reportedly lost a quarter of his wealth over the past twelve months as a result of the economic downturn.

According to The Sunday Times Rich List, the 'Candle In The Wind' singer's fortune dropped from £235 million in 2008 to £175 million, a total loss of £55 million over the year.

The credit crunch has also affected former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, who lost £60 million due to falling property and share values. He is now said to be worth £440 million.

Meanwhile, music mogul Simon Cowell has bucked the downward trend by enjoying a wealth increase of £8 million over the year, making him worth £120 million.

The Rich List music industry category lists Clive Calder as the richest person. The record label owner has a fortune of £1.3 billion. Lord Lloyd-Webber is in second place with £750 million.

MUSIC lovers are being asked to pay up to €156 to see Elton John later this year -- despite signs of a massive slowdown in concert ticket sales.

Festivals such as Oxegen and gigs by musical legends such as Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan -- which in recent years would have sold out within minutes -- appear to be feeling the pinch.

And the show must not necessarily go on in a recession, as ageing rockers The Eagles have just been forced to cancel their Galway gig this summer due to poor ticket sales.

Even U2 are not immune from the downturn with tickets for the third night of their Croke Park run in July still up for grabs a month after they went on sale.

Tickets to see Bruce Springsteen at the RDS in Dublin in July are still available, even though last year the New Jersey superstar sold out almost as soon as sales opened.

The latest Elton John concert, scheduled for October 30 in the O2 in Dublin, was announced yesterday and tickets will go on sale next week priced from €86 to a whopping €156.

However, five months after they went on sale, tickets are still available for Elton John's performance at Thomond Park in Limerick in June, even though they have a lower pricetag from €79 to €116.

Promoter Peter Aiken defended the high price for the Elton John gig in the O2 on the basis of high costs for staging the massive 'Red Piano Show', a huge visual spectacle that had run to 241 performances in Las Vegas.

"It's not your normal concert -- it's a Las Vegas show, a big expensive Broadway-style production, with a huge number of video screens and props. A normal Elton John concert might involve seven or eight trucks, but this will require 22," he said.

Mr Aiken rejected claims that the recession was hitting concerts, saying that cancellations had always happened in the music business and reflected changing tastes rather than economic doom and gloom.

In fact, there was expanded capacity at the O2 to see a performer like Bob Dylan, while more big shows were happening than two years ago, he said.

Some artists are as sought after as ever, with Leonard Cohen tickets for his first three gigs in the O2 snapped up -- and tickets for a fourth concert are expected to sell fast when they go on sale on Monday.

However, despite a line up which includes Kings of Leon, The Killers and Blur, tickets are also still plentiful for the Oxegen festival in July even though two years ago, all 80,000 sold out within 70 minutes.

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