Rock acts sign up for New Plymouth
08 October 2004
By TOM CARDY
New Plymouth has secured the only North Island dates in March for concerts by two of the biggest names in rock — Dire Straits guitarist Mark Knopfler and American band REM.
Knopfler plays the outdoor Bowl of Brooklands — which can hold up to 15,000 — on March 19. REM play at the venue on March 26.
Knopfler and REM also play in Christchurch on March 21 and March 25 respectively.
Promoter Manolo Echave said Wellington and Auckland missed out on the acts because of incentives offered by regional development agency Venture Taranaki to have the acts exclusively.
Westpac Stadium chief executive David Gray said no approach had been made to stage either show in Wellington.
The stadium was not concerned, as in March it was fully booked with other events, including an exclusive North Island show for Neil Diamond on March 5, and several big sports events.
Wellington City Council events coordinator John Dawson said it was not concerned about the city missing out.
“You can’t chase every act that goes through. You have got to pick and choose. Neil Diamond is going to draw more people than REM and Mark Knopfler.”