Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Elton John Returning to Australia This September

Elton John and his band will be bringing the exclusive Once In A Lifetime tour to Australia, performing in Mackay, Wollongong and Cairns for the first time ever this September!


Elton and the band will deliver a Greatest Hits set from a career spanning five decades at outdoor venues that he has never before played in this 50th Anniversary Year of the Elton/Bernie Taupin writing partnership – a once in a lifetime music experience for the whole family!

The dates are:

September 22 – BB Print Stadium, Mackay, QLD
September 24 – WIN Stadium, Wollongong, NSW
September 30 – Cazaly’s Stadium, Cairns, QLD

CAIRNS regional councillor Richie Bates claims the council is spending $300,000 to lure superstar Sir Elton John to the city later this year.

Cr Bates made the claim during the council’s ordinary meeting yesterday.

It was also revealed that the deal was so secret, it was only referred to as “Project X”.

Only three councillors knew the technicolour crooner was bound for Cairns before his visit was announced on Tuesday – Mayor Bob Manning, Deputy Mayor Terry James and cultural services committee chairwoman Cr Linda Cooper.

They were sworn to secrecy back in November by Tourism and Events Queensland, which is believed to have tipped in $600,000 to secure the shows, on top of the $300,000 each spent by the Cairns and Mackay councils.

The announcement came as a shock to Cairns councillors, although the codename “Project X” raised suspicions.

“I realise it all came on very suddenly ... there had been a lot of work done behind it and a lot of discussion, but all kept confidential,” Cr Manning told the meeting.

The council’s $300,000 contribution was also meant to be confidential.

A slip of the tongue from Division 5 Cr Richie Bates, who was not party to the clandestine operation, blew the lid off the mystery spend.

Cr Bates was eager to welcome Sir Elton to the Far North in September, but he noted another festival requiring no council benefaction had been struggling for months to gain approval.

The Grass is Greener dance music festival organisers are negotiating with the council over the use of Fogarty Park, with officials trying to shift them to Cannon Park after noise complaints.

“I think it’s 5000-7000 people ... a third of those coming from out of town. It’s not insignificant,” Cr Bates said.

“We’ve spent $300,000 on Elton John and the 12,000 people that will attract,” he said.

“That’s a good thing. But let’s not forget the other things that are going on, and let’s throw some weight behind those, particularly when we’re getting real value and real bang for buck out of them.”

Cr Bates later admitted the $300,000 remark was a slip of the tongue but said it was bound to come out eventually.

But why Cairns? More to the point: Why Mackay?

“He has a habit, I hear from talking to the agents, of not going back to the same places,” Cr Manning said.

“So this tour was to involve four venues in Australia. Four of them are on the east coast.”

The Rocket Man visited Townsville in 2007 and has ticked off the major capital cities in Australia.

Only three councillors knew the technicolour crooner was bound for Cairns before his visit was announced on Tuesday — Mayor Bob Manning, Deputy Mayor Terry James and cultural services committee chairwoman Cr Linda Cooper.

They were sworn to secrecy back in November by Tourism and Events Queensland, which is believed to have tipped in $600,000 to secure the shows, on top of the $300,000 each spent by the Cairns and Mackay councils.

The announcement came as a shock to Cairns councillors, although use of the decidedly unsubtle codename “Project X”, raised suspicions.

“I realise it all came on very suddenly ... there had been a lot of work done behind it and a lot of discussion, but all kept confidential,” Cr Manning said during yesterday’s ordinary meeting of council.

The council’s $300,000 contribution was also meant to be confidential.

A slip of the tongue from Division 5 Cr Richie Bates — who was not party to the clandestine operation — blew the lid off the mystery spend.

Cr Bates was eager to welcome Sir Elton to the Far North in September, but he noted another festival requiring no council benefaction had been struggling for months to gain approval.

The Grass is Greener dance music festival organisers have been locking horns with the council for months over their use of Fogarty Park, with officials trying to shift them to Cannon Park after noise complaints.

“I think it’s 5000-7000 people ... a third of those coming from out of town. It’s not insignificant,” Cr Bates said during yesterday’s meeting.

“We’ve spent $300,000 on Elton John and the 12,000 people that will attract.

“That’s a good thing. But let’s not forget the other things that are going on, and let’s throw some weight behind those, particularly when we’re getting real value and real bang for buck out of them.”

Cr Bates later admitted the $300,000 remark was a slip of the tongue but said it was bound to come out eventually.

But why Cairns? More to the point: why Mackay?

“He has a habit, I hear from talking to the agents, of not going back to the same places,” Cr Manning said.

“So this tour was to involve four venues in Australia. Four of them are on the east coast.”

The Rocket Man visited Townsville in 2007 and has ticked off the metropolitan cities.

- Cairns Post

WE’VE done it once — we can do it again.

The NT News today launches an online petition to get Sir Elton John to perform in the Territory.

Sir Elton announced the final city in his four-date Once In A Lifetime Australian tour this morning — and Darwin missed out.

BRING ELTON BACK >> CLICK ON THE PANEL AT THE VERY BOTTOM OF THIS STORY TO GO TO OUR ONLINE PETITION

Sir Elton will perform in Cairns, Mackay and Wollongong with the last city announced after print deadline.

In 2008 more than 5000 Territorians got behind a public campaign, spearheaded by the NT News, tobring the Crocodile Rock singer to perform at TIO stadium.

The NT government also contributed $60,000 in-kind support to lock in the show.

Chugg entertainment promoter Matthew Lazarus-Hall said for this tour Sir Elton wanted to perform in a few new places.

“Elton is a big show and he wanted to play new places but he’s already played in Darwin,” he said.

But Darwin Entertainment Centre general manager Alan James said initially it looked like he would be back in Darwin but logistics prevented the return of the star.

“We were heavily involved in trying to get Elton back to Darwin this year and at the end of it we were up against some major issues in terms of logistics,” Mr James said.

“If they could have been overcome he would have come.”

Mr James was involved in getting Elton to Darwin when he performed in 2008 to a crowd of more than 14,000.

“The stage came from Brisbane, seats came from Peth, production came from Sydney — it was a massive operation getting that stuff into Darwin.”

- NT News

In a statement, Sir Elton said:

"I always love coming back to Australia. It holds a very special place in my heart, ever since my first visit there at the start of my world-wide career in 1971.

"My band and I are really looking forward to playing there again in September and this tour will be even more memorable because it will be the first time I have ever played Mackay and Cairns…which I can’t believe but there you have it.

"If the audiences are anything like those at all of the other shows we have done in Queensland over the years, everyone will surely be in for a wonderful crazy night!“

The campaign to bring Sir Elton John to Cairns, as well as Mackay, first began about six months ago.

Over time, funding deals were developed between the promoter Michael Chugg, Cairns and Mackay Regional Councils and Tourism and Events Queensland.

Mr Chugg, one of Australia's greatest concert promoters, told an excited media conference the event was a rare opportunity for fans in regional cities to experience one of the world's greatest entertainers.

"This is a really great opportunity for people who would normally have to fly to Brisbane or Sydney or Melbourne to see someone of this calibre in Cairns," he said.

"In fact it will be the other way around... people will come up to you to see this concert.

"We're aiming to open the gates around 4pm to 5pm and Elton will go on stage around 7.30pm to 8pm and hopefully we can get him offstag before the curfews.

"We are really proud that we can bring these shows to Cairns and Mackay, to be able to bring an event of this magnitude. This time it's coming to you, rather than you coming to us."

Tickets will go on sale on 14 March, and are expected to range in price from $99 to about $300

- Tropic Now

Mr de Waal said he would be delighted if Sir Elton accepted an invitation to become a Citizen of the Great Barrier Reef.

FIFTEEN tonnes of sound and lighting gear, eight trucks full of equipment and a nine-foot Yamaha grand piano called Kay will transform Cazalys stadium for what could be the biggest event the venue has ever hosted.

AFL Cairns president Gary Young said seats in the grandstand and across the oval would accommodate up to 15,000 Sir Elton John fans at the Westcourt arena.

With an AFL premiership final scheduled just two weeks before the show, work on readying the stadium will begin straight afterwards.

“This is a one-off affair. It is arguably the biggest act to even hit our shores,” Mr Young said.

“We want it to be the absolute best event so everyone goes away saying, ‘wow’.”

Sir Elton’s touring production manager Peter McFee said plans to bring the superstar to the Far North have been in the pipeline for 12 months.

“It is logistically challenging taking someone like Elton up to places like this,” he said.

“We’ve had to fly two identical sound and lighting systems out to Australia at a cost of $150, 000 each.

“He’s really looking forward to it, the crew, we’re really looking forward to it too.”

Mr McFee said up to 60 locals would be hired to help set up for the extravaganza.

“We travel with around 40 people. Hopefully it will be a great experience for anyone up there to go and work on it,” he said.

Six cameras will capture every moment of the event to ensure there “doesn’t end up being a bad seat in the house”.

- Cairns Post

But Sir Elton, who visited Townsville almost 10 years ago, will give the region a miss this time despite the city being right in the middle of the two North Queensland locations.

Cr Hill said she would have loved to welcome the singer back but did not believe it was because of any problem with the facilities.

“I spoke with Michael Chugg, the promoter, on Monday and he advised me that Sir Elton John requests to go to places he’d never been to. It wasn’t because Townsville doesn’t have the facilities. ”

- Townsville Bulletin

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