Fans flock to watch El­ton

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWSFRONT - KANE YOUNG En­ter­tain­ment Edi­tor

SIR El­ton John’s long-awaited re­turn to Ho­bart this week has been hailed as a huge suc­cess, with thou­sands of fans turn­ing out to see the flam­boy­ant mu­sic leg­end in ac­tion.

Sir El­ton and his band per­formed at the Der­went En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre on Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day nights — Sir El­ton’s first Ho­bart shows since Fe­bru­ary 1990 — as part of his Once In A Life­time Aus­tralian tour.

Tas­ma­nian-born pro­moter Michael Chugg, who pre­vi­ously brought Sir El­ton to Launce­s­ton in 2007 and 2012, said about 12,000 fans had at­tended across the two Ho­bart con­certs.

“It was sen­sa­tional, it re­ally blew me away.

“We sold ev­ery seat, ba­si­cally, and peo­ple loved it — there was stand­ing ova­tions after in­di­vid­ual songs,’’ Mr Chugg said.

“The band sounded fan­tas­tic and the stage looked in­cred­i­ble. (El­ton) was very talkative, he en­joyed both shows and the au­di­ence was fan­tas­tic — he en­joyed the fact that they were lov­ing it so much.”

He said Sir El­ton stayed in Ho­bart overnight on Wed­nes­day and then flew straight to Syd­ney fol­low­ing Thurs­day night’s show, be­fore head­ing to Cairns this morn­ing ahead of tonight’s tour fi­nale.

He said the lack of a larger in­door venue pre­vented many big-name in­ter­na­tional acts vis­it­ing Ho­bart and that huge ticket sales for the Mackay, Wol­lon­gong and Cairns legs of the tour had made Sir El­ton’s Ho­bart shows “fea­si­ble”.

“The venue’s not enough,” he said.

“I told them when they built it all those years ago that they should have built a 10,000seater and now they’re suf­fer­ing be­cause of it.

“Un­less the acts are pre­pared to come down be­cause they want to do it, or they can play out­doors, it’s just not go­ing to hap­pen.

“We did 37,000 (tick­ets) last week­end and 32,000 this week­end and that en­abled us to do a cou­ple of mid­week shows where he didn’t need to do 15,000 each night.

“We’ve done nearly 70,000 over four shows without Ho­bart, so we didn’t need to come down there and make huge amounts of money.”

Mr Chugg said that while 70-year-old Sir El­ton may tour Aus­tralia again in the fu­ture, this week’s shows were “prob­a­bly” the last time he would per­form in Tas­ma­nia. big

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