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Elton John concerts launch a lucrative event period for Newcastle

Elton John concerts launch a lucrative event period for Newcastle
January 9, 2023

Elton John last night dazzled thousands of fans at Newcastle's McDonald Jones Stadium, with another concert scheduled for the 10th January. City of Newcastle worked with Venues NSW to secure the historic Elton John concerts for Newcastle as part of a Major Events Partnership.

The two concerts of Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour are anticipated to attract more than 30,000 visitors from outside the Newcastle LGA, including over 2500 interstate visitors and more than 100 international visitors. It has an estimated economic impact of $10 million – $12 million.

Venues NSW and McDonald Jones Stadium Chief Executive Kerrie Mather are positive about Newcastle’s ability to host major events with Mather advising “the stage is set for an historic week in Newcastle when the one-and-only Elton John comes to town for the very first, and final, time.

“It’s incredibly exciting to have Elton John kick off his farewell tour of Australia and New Zealand in Newcastle, and we can’t wait to see McDonald Jones Stadium come alive during his two shows that must be seen live.

“Elton John at McDonald Jones Stadium will be the perfect way to celebrate the start of the new year and is just a taste of the major events to look forward to over the coming 12 months.”

Elton John’s visit will launch a lucrative period for Newcastle, the seventh largest city in Australia, with major events set to attract hundreds of thousands of spectators to Newcastle, provide global exposure and deliver an economic boost worth millions of dollars.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said in the past decade, Newcastle has been transformed into an innovative global city, capturing the attention of investors, event promoters and visitors from around the world.

Upcoming events include an extended run of the critically acclaimed Broadway musical Come From Away at the historic Civic Theatre in February, the season-opening race of the Supercars Championship on 10th to 12th March and Australia’s largest annual surfing festival, Surfest, which attracts some of the world’s top surfers and will culminate in a thrilling finals showdown on 25th-26th March.

Lord Mayor Nelmes notes “we are a city on the rise, with more than $1.85 billion in new developments approved in Newcastle during the last financial year and record levels of private investment delivering entertainment, tourism and hospitality options alongside major residential and retail developments.

“Newcastle’s revitalisation has driven our burgeoning events and tourism economy, which continues to grow off the back of a strategic focus and investment by City of Newcastle.

“Events deliver both an immediate and ongoing benefit for the community and economy, with greater visitation, investment and liveability outcomes. Ongoing investment in events and tourism is integral to building a thriving, diverse and robust economy.”

Newcastle’s record of hosting national and international events stretches back to 1985 when Surfest was launched as the richest professional surfing competition in the world.

But its evolution as an events city shifted gears when City of Newcastle and the NSW Government helped secure the Supercars Newcastle 500 for five years from 2017.

Since then, it has opened up further opportunities to host and deliver national and international events on a significant scale, including the 2018 A-League grand final, 2020 SAANZAR Rugby Championship and the 2021 World Surf League Championship Tour event.

This was capped off last year with the staging of Van Gogh Alive, which saw 84,000 people flock to the city to experience the immersive, multi-sensory display of the painter’s iconic artworks. Newcastle was the first regional city in Australia to host the event.

Promoter Andrew Kay said he would return to the city with more major events following the success of the 2022 season and enthused “we were absolutely thrilled by the reception we received in Newcastle and the Hunter. With over 84,000 tickets sold in just five weeks, the region has shown its appetite and appreciation for quality events.

“Van Gogh Alive was welcomed by the entire community and businesses with whom we partnered, including the City of Newcastle. We will be back with more major events.”

International hotel brands Crystalbrook and QT have recognised Newcastle’s expanding tourism appeal, investing millions of dollars to open five-star hotels in the city, while the upcoming expansion of Newcastle Airport will pave the way for more international events.

Newcastle Airport Chief Executive Dr Peter Cock shared “from 2024 our expanded terminal will have the ability to welcome hundreds of thousands of international passengers annually as a result of airfield upgrades that will cater to larger aircraft.

“This will enable direct flights between Newcastle and destinations in Asia, the Middle East and the Americas.

“Newcastle’s future as an international tourism and major events destination is bright, and the Federal Government’s $55 million funding towards the expansion of Newcastle Airport’s terminal and $66 million towards the airfield upgrade will be instrumental in transitioning Newcastle from a thriving regional centre to an emerging global city.

“Combined with the arrival of two new luxury hotels, Newcastle’s appeal as a host destination for large-scale international events is becoming even more attractive.”

Image. Elton John at the McDonald Jones Stadium. Credit: Newcastle's McDonald Jones Stadium.

Related Articles

19th December 2022 - City of Newcastle to invite tenders for expansion of Newcastle Art Gallery

26th September 2022 - Newcastle’s No. 2 Sportsground short-listed for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 team training site

13th September 2022 - Newcastle Museum’s largest ever exhibition showcases the ocean’s prehistoric predators

9th September 2022 - Partnership will see concerts staged at Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium

9th August 2022 - Visitors encouraged to discover Newcastle’s more eclectic tourism experiences

8th July 2022 - Venues NSW seeks approval for concerts at Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium

23rd June 2022 - Newcastle Art Gallery secures trifecta at the 2022 Museums and Galleries National Awards

29th May 2022 - Van Gogh Alive art experience to be centrepiece of Newcastle’s 2022 New Annual festival

22nd April 2022 - $500,000 injected into eclectic mix of night events for Newcastle CBD

7th April 2020 - New Pollstar figures show Elton John’s Australasian dates as world’s second most successful tour

5th March 2020 - Elton John concert attracts record crowds at Sunshine Coast Stadium

6th December 2019 - Fans warned over fake tickets as hundreds turned away from Elton John’s Adelaide concerts

3rd October 2017 - Cairns Mayor welcomes Elton John concert success

21st February 2017 - Sir Elton John to perform live shows in north Queensland in September

1st September 2015 - Elton John to farewell landmark Sydney entertainment venue

22nd November 2012 - Elton John’s star shines over Sydney

2nd October 2012 - Elton John to open Perth Arena ‘under the stars’

14th January 2011 - Elton John to Open Forsyth Barr Stadium

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