Thursday, April 24, 2008

Elton's NZ Concert a Rip Off?

Elton John is playing his third New Zealand concert in two years, but it seems the laws of supply and demand don't apply - tickets to next month's Vector Arena concert are up to $100 more expensive than those for last year's New Plymouth show.

It's nothing against Aucklanders, apparently, who are being asked to fork out between $257 and $392 - the priciest tickets for a Vector show yet - to see the Rocket Man.

But promoter Phil Sprey of Capital C Concerts, who staged John's shows in Wellington in 2006 and New Plymouth in 2007, said Aucklanders will be treated to much better views of the star at the fully seated concert.

"For $150 [in New Plymouth] you were standing at the back of the hill. And $260 in New Plymouth you were standing halfway up the hill," Sprey explained.

Sprey said fans would be much closer to the stage at Vector Arena.

"In fact, by international standards it's very cheap for an Elton John concert," he said.

But a check of John's international concert itinerary shows that isn't the case.

Tickets to John's Las Vegas concerts are priced at US$100-$250, that's around $125-$315. An upcoming concert series throughout Britain sees tickets selling for 40-75. That's just $99-$186.

Likewise, tickets to Elton's show at the Sydney Entertainment Centre similar in size, layout and production requirements to Vector Arena - two days before his Auckland show are priced from A$145-$290 ($171-$250).

With only half the Vector seats sold so far, when many shows at the arena have been overnight sell-outs, it would seem the prices are proving a barrier to many.

One has to wonder why Elton's fan's are being treated as if they have the bank account of the Rocket man himself.

It seems likely that Elton's promoter Phil Sprey is using Elton John to simply fund his recently failed Rock 2 Wellington concerts which made a significant loss.

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