One of rock’s longest running institutions may be finally extending their half-century touring celebrations Down Under.
Rumours of an Australian tour from the Rolling Stones have persisted ever since the band celebrated their 50th Anniversary last year by hitting the road once more, including headlining Glastonbury – a historic first – last June.
Now rumours are circulating that the legendary quartet of Mick, ‘Keef’, Ronnie, and Charlie are being flaunted with multi-million dollar offers to return to Australia for the first time since their 2006 A Bigger Bang world tour, by none other than the South Australian government.
The report comes from The Advertiser (via The Australian) that claims Premier Jay Weatherill and “two of Australia’s biggest concert promoters” are wooing the Stones to perform the first live music concert at the redeveloped Adelaide Oval.
The Adelaide newspaper alleges that “top-level sources” have stated that the Frontier Touring Company and another concert promoter are headhunting the Rolling Stones for a series of stadium-sized shows, including at Adelaide’s new $500 million venue, performing for a capacity of 70,000 fans in what would be the band’s first South Australian show in nearly two decades.
Considering the $500m makeover is scheduled for completion early 2014, and the new AFL season kicking off in March, a proposed Rolling Stones concert would take sometime in the first quarter of next year.
The Rolling Stones were last in Australia for a world tour in support of 2005 album A Bigger Bang (that eventually earned US$ 550 million) checking into Melbourne and Sydney, but the band’s last visit to the City of Churches was back in 1995 at the Adelaide Football Park.
Industry sources indicate that the South Australian Government would be paying a premium of “at least several million dollars” to secure the legendary rock and roll band for a “one-off appearance” in Adelaide. A Frontier Touring spokeswoman had “no comment” on the rumours, while the management at Adelaide Oval also refused to comment.
“There is a lot of speculation about the opening of Adelaide Oval but at this stage it is just speculation,” said Premier Jay Weatherill of the Stones report. Assuming the million-dollar pricetag is correct, opposition leader Steven Marshall is none too happy about the Premier’s spending priorities. “While Mr Weatherill is considering throwing money at The Rolling Stones, his Government is cutting nurses and health services,” he remarked.
Judging by the luxurious prices of The Rolling Stones’ Hyde Park dates earlier in the year (with support from The Temper Trap), ticket prices for a potential Adelaide show could see punters paying an all-time high for a chance to catch the historic rockers in all their live glory. VIP standing tickets to the London dates went for more than $560 for a good viewing position, while a VIP ‘Hospitality’ pass cost more than $1,600; even a modest position to stand up the back of the show cost $165.
The English summer Hyde Park shows – celebrating 44 years to the day of the band’s famed headline concerts – were part of the Rolling Stones’ 50 & Counting Tour, which has tallied up to 30 shows in Europe and North America, with thanks to the newly forged promoters Virgin Music – a partnership between Richard Branson and Paul Dainty Group.
The superstar duo eventually lost on the multi-million dollar opportunity to present the band internationally to AEG Live after dropping the ball on negotiations; it is unknown at this stage if either AEG Live or Virgin Music is the other promoter chasing down The Rolling Stones alongside Michael Gudinski’s Frontier Touring.
Gudinski is already presenting one of the biggest tours of next year (given the controversy surrounding demand for tickets) in Bruce Springsteen’s Australian Tour 2014 – with two shows already set for the Adelaide Entertainment Centre next February – but The Advertiser reasons the promoters are “frontrunners to host the (Stones) tour.”
There’s also a fleeting mention that Gudinski is negotiating to bring Foo Fighters back for an Australian stadium run next year. “Oh look, dreams come true, don’t they?” Gudinski told The Advertiser about the rumoured tours earlier this year.
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