Thursday, August 2, 2012

Elton's Mackay Concert Cancelled Due to Logistical Issues

MACKAY has missed out on an Elton John concert.

Chugg Entertainment, the company in charge of bringing the international artist to Australia, confirmed yesterday that Elton would not be gracing Virgin Australia Stadium later this year.

"Due to engineering and logistical issues, and given the tight timeframe, Elton John will not be coming to Mackay," Chugg Entertainment chief executive officer Matthew Lazarus-Hall said yesterday.

"All the issues, I believe, will be overcome and there will be a world-class performer brought to Mackay soon."

However, Mr Lazarus-Hall did admit organisers were also disappointed with leaked reports, broadcast on radio and printed in a free Saturday community newspaper, which claimed Elton was coming to Mackay.

"It is fair to say, media coverage is crucial with our selling tickets ... and it is important that confidential agreements we have with authorities remain that way; the leaked article was disappointing," Mr Lazarus-Hall.

Confidentiality agreements are also put in place to protect price competitiveness for organisers so costs don't blow out.

The overall experience was a good learning curve for Mackay, and Mr Lazarus-Hall said the city's council, business owners and stadium authorities had thrown their full support behind the event.

"Council had approved the event... unfortunately we are a business that is run on artist's timeframes, there simply wasn't enough time for some of the engineering and logistical issues to be resolved," Mr Lazarus-Hall said.

Greg Sutherland, Virgin Australia Stadium chairman, said it was not an easy exercise to secure a big event.

"We have to do a lot more singing and dancing (to get them here) than they have too," he said.

"We need to develop processes at a national and international level.

"The reality is we need to produce documentation that promoters require."

He said stadium management were currently working with professionals who would give background on requirements.

"These people use major venues all over the world," he said.

"For us to be a significant regional venue we need to match them.

Mr Sutherland remains supremely confident Mackay has the potential to host big international acts.

"Some may say we are little ol' Mackay batting above our average," he said.

"But we are taking on some of the bigger players in the entertainment world.

"We are not daunted. We know with a little bit more work on our infrastructure we can attract international attention."

- Daily Mercury

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