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News July 31, 2022

Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour Nudging 1M Tickets

Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour Nudging 1M Tickets
Pictured: Elton John
Image: Photo by Ben Gibson

Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour is on target to become the biggest concert tour of all time in Australia and New Zealand.

This is after more dates were added last Friday following “overwhelming demand.”

These were for the 30,000-seat McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle on January 8, the 30,000-seat AAMI Park, Melbourne on January 14, and Sydney’s 45,000-seat Allianz Stadium on January 17.

By the end of this tour, Sir Elton will have played 236 concerts in Australia – the third most for any country outside the U.K. and U.S. on this run.

“If we sell every ticket, we will be just shy of a million over all the Farewell YBR shows,” promoter Michael Chugg told TMN on Friday.

When Chugg Entertainment, Frontier Touring and AEG Presents announced the five unexpected encore shows on July 20, in addition to the two postponed Auckland shows from 2020, TMN reported that the new tally for the tour in Australia and New Zealand was 875,000.

The first leg had shifted 705,000 tix, according to Frontier, from 34 Australian and six Kiwi dates over three months. The new shows added a further 170,000.

This placed the Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour as the third largest concert tour ever.

950,000 tix were shifted by Ed Sheeran in 2018 and 900,000 by Dire Straits in 1986. But last Friday’s three additions represent a further 105, 500 tickets in the Australian market.

That unofficially pushes the Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour to the top with 980,500 tix.

A clearer picture will emerge when all new tickets go on sale on Monday.

The Newcastle shows will be ones to watch, representing the first time he’s played the city in the 18 tours he’s done since the early 1970s.

Elton John

It’s the first time the McDonald Jones Stadium will be used by a concert for 32 years.

The venue plans to draw more entertainment and sports events as part of triggering more tourist dollars to the region, in a recent partnership between City of Newcastle and stadium operator Venues NSW.

According to Chugg, 25,000 tickets in the city went in pre-sales.

When John heard about the response, he said, “Well, let’s do another one.”

After the second Newcastle show was announced, Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes posted on Facebook: “This announcement is testament to the benefits of attracting these large events to Newcastle and their popularity among Newcastle residents and visitors to the city.”

Just what extra visitors the John shows bring to the city will be analysed closely.

Newcastle will have to work hard at creating a buzz and adding to the tourist appeal.

Pictured: Australian concert promoter Michael Chugg

In 2017 when the Rocket Man played to 15,000 at the BB Print Stadium in Mackay, Queensland, 5,000 were from outside the region – and 200 from New Zealand, Spain, United States, Denmark, Israel, Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

They brought with them $3 million to spend.

Mackay council and businesses enticed the visitors to spend and stay longer with a series of Elton-themed events, including the I’m Still Standing street party the morning after, and a yellow brick road and mural in a CBD laneway.

Cafes, bars and restaurants served John doughnuts and Rocket Man drinks, and staff and street entertainers dressed up as characters from his songs.

There were competitions for tourists to visit nearby attractions, with the intention they’d return.

In 2012, a John show to 35,000 at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand, pumped NZ$14.9 million (AU$13.4 million) into the local economy.

The largest proportion of the visitors’ money was spent on retail shopping (31%), food and beverage (27%) and accommodation (23%), petrol (8%), other expenditures (4%), travel (4%), tourist activities (3%) and entertainment (2%).


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