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Elton John promoter addresses concerns around ticket problems

Newstalk ZB, Hawke's Bay Today,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 13 February 2019, 3:55PM
Tickets to Elton John's show at Mission Estate have been plagued with problems. (Photo / Getty)

The promoter who has brought the likes of Guns N' Roses, Bon Jovi and Bob Dylan to play shows in New Zealand says Eden Park is too difficult to secure.

Michael Chugg, who is bringing Elton John to our shores next year, said he'd love to bring acts to Eden Park but local residents make it near impossible.

"It would be amazing but we have tried so many times over the years and it rarely gets past first base," the Australian promoter told Andrew Dickens.

"We'd love to play there but the restrictions ... it's not that easy."

Instead, the English singer will perform at Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium, Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium and Napier's Mission Estate early next year.

The visits are apart of his final world tour and will be the 13th time playing Auckland, second in Dunedin and first at Hawke's Bay.

Chugg said it was important John toured the country being his final visit and said despite not having Eden Park, Mt Smart Stadium was a great backup.

"We've done a lot of shows there over the years going right back, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Bon Jovi, Guns N' Roses", the 71-year-old said.

"I think it's a pretty good stadium and I know they're working very, very hard to keep building it and getting it better and better."

General sale tickets for John's Auckland and Dunedin shows go on sale at 9am tomorrow and the Mission Estate concert has already sold out.

One woman called Andrew Dickens on Newstalk ZB to say she had been fleeced for around $8000 trying to buy tickets for the Mission concert.

The caller, called Rosie, explained she was getting tickets for her family but didn't know the price of the tickets when she bought them.

"I got tickets and all the tickets I wanted for my kids and then the confirmation came through and it is Viagogo," Rosie said.

"Consequently, $7930.64 later I know have this bill on the credit card."

Chugg said with the concerts around a year out, tickets will be constantly up for grabs even after they are "sold out" with people needing to resell them.

The veteran promoter also warned hopeful concert-goers about the infamous online marketplace Viagogo.

"You can officially resell your tickets if you can't go to the concert. So there will be tickets across the year. Don't panic," he said.

"But don't go and buy tickets off Viagogo or any of the other reseller sites. The tickets won't be honoured.

"Half the time they don't even have the tickets. They're taking the money and speculating that they're going to get tickets."

Legendary Australian rock promoter Michael Chugg talks about life and promoting rock stars in 2010. Photo / Dean Purcell

Legendary Australian rock promoter Michael Chugg talks about life and promoting rock stars in 2010. Photo / Dean Purcell

Because of that lengthy time, he says that there will undoubtedly be some relief for those who miss out on tickets. 

"Your son could decide to get married on the day of the show and you're going to have to sell your tickets. You can officially resell your tickets if you can't go to the concert."

He says that he received some complaints, but this just shows the demand for the concert. 

"When you've got a 25,000 tickets and at five past nine you've got 60,000 people in line trying to buy tickets, obviously a lot are going to miss out." 

Mission Estate has admitted its ticketing system simply couldn't cope with "overwhelming" demand for tickets to next year's Elton John concert in Napier.

The concert is now officially sold out, with all 25,000 tickets snapped up in less than an hour.

Four per cent of fans in line were pushed to the back of the queue in the first 15 minutes of the sale, because the queuing system was "overrun", Mission Estate spokeswoman Sandra Roberts said.

As the pre-sale site went live at 9am there were over 45,000 people waiting on the website to buy tickets.

"The Queue-it system is used to moderate the amount of people going on to the Mission Estate purchasing site and it was simply overwhelmed," said Roberts.

There was little that Mission could do for those affected by the site malfunction, she said.

Mission apologised to those who missed out on Tuesday afternoon.

Fans were advised to register for the concerts waitlist in the case of any tickets coming available.

Roberts said fans should avoid purchasing any tickets off Viagogo as they are not even released to concertgoers until July 8.


ON AIR: Kerre McIvor Mornings

9AM - 12PM