EL­TON TUNES US FOR MORE GIGS

Cazalys in­quiry a good sign for fu­ture con­certs

The Weekend Post - - News - ALI­CIA NALLY ali­cia.nally@news.com.au

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.

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