ELTON TUNES US FOR MORE GIGS
Cazalys inquiry a good sign for future concerts
CAZALYS has already fielded an inquiry about another large-scale concert days before the biggest event the city has hosted has even started.
The sense of pride and excitement in Cairns this week as the city prepares to host one of the world’s most prolific singer-songwriters and biggest pop stars has been palpable.
Costume shops are struggling to keep up with demand, babysitters are few and far between and Facebook has exploded with those trying to buy and sell Elton John concert tickets at the last minute.
AFL Cairns president Gary Young said he did not know who had made initial inquiries about hosting a concert at the stadium but it boded well for the future of entertainment in the city.
“We have never had something this big, we’ve never been here before,” he said.
“I don’t know how we will top it but it’d be great to have one a year. How would it be to have Coldplay or something like that?”
Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said Sir Elton’s performance was “one that people will remember for a very long time”.
Cr Manning will meet Sir Elton briefly before he goes on stage and present him with a gift on behalf of the city.
“We’re used to punching above our weight in terms of attracting big events but it seems the scale just keeps increasing,” he said.
“We’ve been talking about Cairns being the arts and culture capital of Northern Australia and when we can get a world-class act of the likes of Elton John to come here, it shows us that we’re on the right track.
“I think this is just the beginning for our city. This weekend will prove that we’re worthy of the world’s best and can be a genuine alternative to the bigger cities. There’s a real buzz around town. It’s a really special moment for our city.”
Cairns Regional Council tipped in $300,000 to bring the pop star to the Far North with Tourism and Events Queensland adding $600,000. The deal was so secret it was only referred to as “Project X”.
At the announcement of the concert in February, Sir Elton said Australia held “a very special place” in his heart.
He said he could not believe he had not yet played in Cairns.
“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,” he said.
More than 40 per cent of participants are expected to come from outside the region.