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Council spends $300,000 to get Elton John
Thursday, February 23 2017

Cairns regional councillor Richie Bates claims the council is spending $300,000 to lure superstar Sir Elton John to the city later in 2017.

Cr Bates made the claim during the council’s ordinary meeting on February 20, 2017. It was also revealed that the deal was so secret, it was only referred to as “Project X”.

Only three councillors knew the technicolour crooner was bound for Cairns before his visit was announced on February 21, 2017 – Mayor Bob Manning, Deputy Mayor Terry James and cultural services committee chairwoman Cr Linda Cooper.

They were sworn to secrecy back in November 2016 by Tourism and Events Queensland, which is believed to have tipped in $600,000 to secure the shows, on top of the $300,000 each spent by the Cairns and Mackay councils. The announcement came as a shock to Cairns councillors, although the codename “Project X” raised suspicions.

“I realise it all came on very suddenly ... there had been a lot of work done behind it and a lot of discussion, but all kept confidential,” Cr Manning told the meeting. The council’s $300,000 contribution was also meant to be confidential. A slip of the tongue from Division 5 Cr Richie Bates, who was not party to the clandestine operation, blew the lid off the mystery spend.

Cr Bates was eager to welcome Elton to the Far North in September 2016, but he noted another festival requiring no council benefaction had been struggling for months to gain approval. The Grass is Greener dance music festival organisers are negotiating with the council over the use of Fogarty Park, with officials trying to shift them to Cannon Park after noise complaints.

“I think it’s 5000-7000 people ... a third of those coming from out of town. It’s not insignificant,” Cr Bates said. “We’ve spent $300,000 on Elton John and the 12,000 people that will attract,” he said. “That’s a good thing. But let’s not forget the other things that are going on, and let’s throw some weight behind those, particularly when we’re getting real value and real bang for buck out of them.”

Cr Bates later admitted the $300,000 remark was a slip of the tongue but said it was bound to come out eventually. But why Cairns? More to the point: Why Mackay? “He has a habit, I hear from talking to the agents, of not going back to the same places,” Cr Manning said. “So this tour was to involve four venues in Australia. Four of them are on the east coast.”

The Rocket Man visited Townsville in 2007 and has ticked off the major capital cities in Australia.

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EJAF will introduce new film The Promise
Thursday, February 23 2017

At the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF)’s 25th annual Academy Awards Viewing Party to be held on Sunday, February 26, 2017, at West Hollywood Park, Elton and David will introduce Open Road and Survival Pictures’ new film – The Promise – which tells the story of the Armenian Genocide in Turkey at the outset of World War I.

Written by Terry George and Robin Swicord and directed by Terry George (Hotel Rwanda), The Promise stars Oscar Issac, Christian Bale, and Charlotte Le Bon.

In addition to sharing EJAF’s vision for championing human rights, The Promise team at Survival Pictures has taken the unprecedented step of making the commitment to donate all proceeds from the film to nonprofit organizations including EJAF and other human rights and humanitarian groups. As part of this commitment and to inspire Party guests to give generously, Survival Pictures will match the pledges guests make to EJAF via text and live auction purchases made during EJAF’s Academy Awards Viewing Party with the goal of making this a record-setting evening. Read more here.

“Such giving has never happened with a film of this scale, and we are incredibly grateful,” said EJAF Chairman David Furnish. “We are honored to announce this generosity, thanks to the late philanthropist and humanitarian Kirk Kerkorian, on the eve of EJAF’s 25th annual Academy Awards Viewing Party. Not only is The Promise committing to support EJAF’s work, but matching funds will be provided to inspire donors even more throughout the event and live auction.”

Survival Pictures has also developed a social impact campaign for The Promise to help educate the global public about the genocides and mass atrocities of the 20th and 21st centuries, the debate about the legal definition of genocide, and historical denialism.

Related News

  • EJAF's 25th Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party
        Wednesday, January 18 2017 at 19:26:13

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    Elton John FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the Rocket Man
    Wednesday, February 22 2017

    A new paperback will be published on August 29, 2017.

    In a career spanning five decades, Elton John has sold over 250 million records worldwide and has appeared in nearly 4,000 live performances. Inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the GRAMMY, Oscar, and Tony Award-winning singer-songwriter is the most successful solo artist Great Britain has ever produced and the third-most successful artist overall in American music history (behind only Elvis Presley and the Beatles).

    "Elton John FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the Rocket Man" chronicles the music legend's entire career, from "Empty Sky" to "Wonderful Crazy Night". Beginning with his humble, and at times disheartening, childhood in the North London suburb of Pinner, readers are privy to the serendipitous meeting between Elton and lyricist Bernie Taupin, with whom he'd form a songwriting partnership that would ultimately rank alongside Lennon and McCartney in its success.

    Investigating the highs and lows throughout each musical phase and sartorial change, the book underscores not only the talent behind the legend but the truth behind tales that are familiar only to diehard fans.

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    R.I.P. Alan Aldrige
    Monday, February 20 2017

    Chances are pretty good that the name Alan Aldridge won’t register with you. But if you are a classic rock fan with a deep collection, you probably own an album or two whose cover he designed.

    At just 23, Aldridge designed the front cover for the second album from The Who, 1966’s "A Quick One", which contained Pete Townshend’s mini opera of the same name. The pop art illustration depicts the young band’s four members playing their instruments – or in Roger Daltrey’s case, singing into a microphone. Never mind that the images don’t really resemble Townshend, Daltrey, John Entwistle and Keith Moon ... the imagery was apt for the times.

    Aldridge died on February 17, 2017, following a debilitating illness, at age 73. His death was announced by a daughter, Lily, herself a Victoria’s Secret model who has appeared in Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue, via Instagram.

    Alan Aldridge also designed the cover for Elton John’s 1975 album "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy".

    Aldridge was born on June 1, 1943, in East London, and at 21 was hired by Penguin Books as their art director. He started his own graphic firm, INK, in 1968 amidst the vibrant London scene where art was meshing with the youthful rock ‘n’ roll culture. Among his other notable music oriented accomplishments was designing the now-iconic logo for the Hard Rock Cafe and two books of illustrated Beatles lyrics.

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    Elton John Sale
    Sunday, February 19 2017

    Check out my updated list of Elton John collectibles for sale.

    You might have read in my Christmas post that I plan to "fade out" my fan club related activities after Elton's 70th birthday.

    As part of that, I am also continuing to part with some items from my Elton John collection. Have a look at what's up for grabs at heimbecher.net/sale.

    Take care, Stephan

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    Happy birthday, Nigel!
    Friday, February 10 2017

    Elton's drummer Nigel Olsson is celebrating his 68th birthday on February 10, 2017.

    On behalf of the Hercules team and the Elton John fans all over the world, we would like to wish him a happy birthday!

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