19 Feb 2020

Elton John fans disappointed to wait again for delayed show

From Checkpoint, 5:36 pm on 19 February 2020

The sun has gone down on Sir Elton John's two final New Zealand concerts, leaving thousands of concert-goers feeling disappointed they will have to wait 11 more months to see him.

The music legend, who called time on his farewell tour in New Zealand two-thirds of the way into his first Auckland concert on Sunday night, had already moved the dates of his second Auckland concert, twice.

But on Tuesday night promoters told fans Sir Elton had not recovered from walking pneumonia and would need to postpone his two final Auckland concerts for almost a year.

Fans will now have to wait until mid-January to see him, and battle with America's Cup fans for accommodation.

"When we got there everyone was hyped up and excited, we couldn't wait for him to come out. And after the very first song Elton said he wasn't feeling very well," Christchurch woman Donna said.

For her the concert was meant to be a trip of a lifetime. But the singer could only do 16 songs before being helped offstage.

While Sir Elton apologised to fans on social media, Donna said she was expecting promotors Chugg Entertainment or Ticketmaster to get in touch because fans didn't get the expected full show.

She has emailed Chugg and Ticketmaster but has had no response.

Tour promoter Michael Chugg would not be interviewed for Checkpoint but has said there would be no compensation or partial refunds for Sunday's concert.

He said as far as "everyone" was concerned, Elton had performed for two hours and had played the concert.

But Donna says that was not the case.

"He absolutely did not perform for two hours… It would have been an hour and 20 minutes, an hour and a half at most that he was physically on the stage."

Consumer New Zealand's head of research Jessica Wilson said the organisation has been receiving calls from concertgoers asking what they are entitled to.

"They are entitled to expect to get their money's worth. So in this case they paid for a show where the entertainer couldn't deliver the set list and walked off before the concert was finished, so they're entitled to get a partial refund."

Elton fan Lee Laker who also attended Sunday's concert wants at least some of her money back.

"It definitely wasn't two hours long. I would put it at just over an hour and a half."

Both Lee and Donna believe a partial refund is only fair - especially for people like Donna who had to travel a long distance to be there.

While they got to see part of Sir Elton's show, more than 80,000 fans, some of whom paid more than $700 for tickets, did not get to see him at all, after promoters postponed his remaining two concerts until 2021.

Sir Elton John's final farewell concert of his farewell tour was supposed to end in London this December.

Ticketmaster says while New Zealand fans who missed out this week have been offered a refund, they also have an option of holding onto those tickets and having them transferred to Friday January 15 and Saturday January 16 2021.