Fun news item “Invasion of wrinkly rockers”

Invasion of wrinkly rockers
August 29, 2004

ROCK fans will have some tough choices this summer as a string of big name “wrinkle rock” performers strut their stuff on Australian stages.

Acts on tour include The Eagles, Neil Diamond, Rod Stewart, Natalie Cole, Elvis Costello, Elvis Presley’s TCB Band, George Benson, The Stranglers, and Tom Jones who will team up with John Farnham.

Veteran music promoter Michael Chugg has warned that the entertainment dollar would run out well before the end of summer and that it could be a financial “bloodbath” for promoters.

Ticket prices range from $55 (The Stranglers, The Tivoli in Brisbane, October 8) to $553 (The Eagles, Brisbane Entertainment Centre, November 23 and 24).

This log-jam in the mortgage belt has led to a race between major promoters to have tickets on sale as soon as possible.

“I think there’ll be a fairly substantial bloodbath this summer,” said Chugg. who will soon announce an arena tour for Dire Straits leader Mark Knopfler.

The Sunday Mail recently revealed promoter Glenn Wheatley’s plan to pair Farnham and Jones for a tour (February 9, Brisbane Entertainment Centre; prices and on-sale date yet to be announced.

When the story broke, Wheatley believes, rival promoters brought forward on-sale dates for their tours.

Chugg said: “Everybody is rushing to go on sale and it is difficult to know who will suffer.”

Some in the music industry believe Rod Stewart, who is being brought to Australia by Michael Gudinski’s Frontier Touring, will struggle to sell to the back row.

Tickets for Stewart’s February 14 Brisbane Entertainment Centre performance are on sale tomorrow, from $91 to $179.

If Gudinski does feel the heat on Stewart, the balm of securing US band The Eagles will soothe any pain.

Gudinski had a jump on the pack by releasing the $91-$553 tickets in June.

The Eagles have sucked an estimated $20 million out of the overall touring pie, leaving other acts to employ canny strategies.

Neil Diamond revealed he will charge no more than $99 a ticket for his tour; tickets for his March 15 BEC concert, which are on sale on September 7.

Knopfler, meanwhile, has guaranteed 80 per cent of his set will be Dire Straits songs.

With post-punk icon Elvis Costello also on the way (QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane, on November 30, $85-$120), it is clear the nostalgia market is booming.

The Sunday Mail (Qld)

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