Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2nd Dunedin Concert Possible - 1st Near Sold Out

A second Elton John performance is possible after a rush of opening-day sales for the entertainer's November concert in Dunedin.

Nearly 22,000 tickets sold within six hours of the box office opening yesterday.

Many prospective purchasers, however, struck problems, frustrations, or both.

Promoter Phil Sprey, of Wellington, said 73% of tickets had sold by 3pm and he now expected the concert to be a sell-out.

"I'm very happy with the way it's started.

"Some seating sections have already sold out, but there are still a few seats left."

Otago Daily Times subscribers, Dunedin City Council ratepayers and TicketDirect members had taken advantage of a pre-sale preferential booking, he said.

When sales to the general public open next Monday, there could be no tickets left.

Mr Sprey said that if the first concert sold out and "there was enough steam in" a second concert was "a possibility".

"Our focus has always been on trying to negotiate a second concert," he said.

More than 100 people queued at both the Regent Theatre and the Edgar Centre yesterday ready for the box office to open at 9am.

However, some left disappointed.

"A man came out of the Edgar Centre at 8.45pm and told everyone that they weren't accepting a Dunedin rates bill and that it had to be an Otago Regional Council bill or an ODT subscription number. Fortunately, we had our ODT number," Murray Fraser said.

"A lot of people were really peeved off."

Matt Menzies described the ticketing operation as "a fiasco" after he had to pay an extra $240 to secure seats.

"I rang the Edgar Centre at 9 [o'clock] to get 12 tickets and the guy said `No problem'.

"Then we got a call at lunchtime to say it wasn't all right after all.

"The $110 tickets we wanted were all gone and the only tickets available were more expensive."

Maureen Rush began ringing TicketDirect at 8.45am, intending to get three $130 tickets.

"When I finally got through at 4.10pm, they told me there were only $300 and $400 seats left."

Some customers who went online also came away empty-handed An Elton John fan calling herself "Kiwi Girl"said she logged on at 8.45am and was still waiting 55 minutes later.

"Those of us there at 9am got placed in the queue of nothingness," she said.


A second Elton John concert in Dunedin is looking more likely after another rush on tickets yesterday.

Fewer than 4000 tickets out of 30,000 for the November 25 concert remained, promoter Phil Sprey, of Capital C Concerts, said yesterday.

Another 700 new seats were made available yesterday, in the Gold Stand North ($250) and Gold Pitch ($200) areas.

Only Otago Daily Times subscribers, Otago Regional Council ratepayers, Forsyth Barr staff and TicketDirect members are entitled to book tickets until the public subscription opens next Monday.

That made the prospect of a second concert increasingly likely, Mr Sprey said.

"We're very pleased with the response and we're especially pleased because the bulk of sales are coming from Otago and, particularly, Dunedin," he said.

"We were always quietly optimistic about the reaction from locals there. It is Elton John and it is the first concert in the new stadium, so there are some exceptional circumstances.

"If we can get the rid of the last few seats, then we're in a much stronger position to go to Elton John's management and see if we can put on a second concert," he said.


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