Diamond cuts cheap deal
By Paul Stewart
NEIL Diamond has lashed out at big-name performers who “rip people off”, vowing no one will pay more than $99 to see him live in Australia.
The move contrasts sharply with the $580 for best seats for the Eagles tour in November and the $1530 ticket for Barbra Streisand in 2000.
The $99 deal was set after Diamond intervened to keep prices within the range of most concert goers.
The move, revealed exclusively to the Sunday Herald Sun, reflects the US superstar’s disgust with exorbitant prices charged by some of his peers.
Diamond, touring Australia for the first time in six years, will appear at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena on March 22.
Australian promoter Paul Dainty said the discounted prices had nothing to do with him.
“It is all totally driven by Neil himself,” he said. “He has always had this thing about keeping the price of tickets down for his fans. Believe me, we could charge a lot more for his show if we wanted to.”
Diamond, whose hits include Sweet Caroline, Cracklin’ Rosie and Song Sung Blues, has sold more than 115 million records worldwide.
Dainty described him as a legend, adding: “It has taken us two years of negotiations to get him to come back here.
“Neil Diamond’s ability to sell concert tickets is legendary amongst Australian promoters.”
Secretary of the Australian Musicians Union Terry Noonan praised the $99 deal.
“I think it is a really good thing because it means more money for our local musicians is left here,” he said.
“People go and see a band like the Eagles, pay top price, and then cannot afford or will not go and see anyone else all year.”
Tickets for the concert go on sale early next month.