Paul Simon for stadium

American singer/songwriter Paul Simon will star in the second major international concert at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin in April, nearly 18 months after the Elton John concert. Photo Getty
American singer/songwriter Paul Simon will star in the second major international concert at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin in April, nearly 18 months after the Elton John concert. Photo Getty
Paul Simon is bringing his guitar and hits from several decades to Forsyth Barr Stadium.

It was confirmed yesterday the 12-time Grammy Award-winning writer of songs like Bridge over Troubled Water and The Sound of Silence will perform inside Dunedin's roofed stadium on the evening of April 6.

Simon, half of the hit duo Simon and Garfunkel in the 1960s, is expected to play music from all eras of his 50-year career.

The announcement by Australia-based Chugg Entertainment means the stadium has finally secured its second major international concert, nearly 18 months after Elton John performed on the stadium's main stage in front of 30,000 fans in late 2011.

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull welcomed the ''wonderful news'', saying the concert would attract thousands of fans and pour millions of dollars into the Dunedin economy.

Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive Darren Burden celebrates news of the concert. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive Darren Burden celebrates news of the concert. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
''His music takes me back to fond memories of the '60s and every decade since. Paul Simon will be a huge drawcard,'' he said.

Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive Darren Burden said he was ''really stoked'' to successfully conclude negotiations with Chugg Entertainment that began in September last year.

Simon will be supported by North American musician Rufus Wainwright on a two-show tour of New Zealand, beginning in Dunedin and moving to Vector Arena in Auckland two days later, on April 8.

Mr Burden said tickets for the show would go on sale on February 8 at prices ranging from about $100 to $200 per ticket - making them cheaper than prices charged for Elton John's sold-out show.

It was expected an ''early bird'' opportunity would be offered, but exact details of ticket sales were still being finalised.

The stadium will again be configured with the stage at the eastern Otago Daily Times stand end, with seating on the playing surface as well as in the stands, providing capacity for up to 35,000 fans.

Mr Burden hoped for another sold-out show, but said he would be ''pretty pleased'' with a crowd of 20,000 to 25,000.

''I think he's one of those artists that's able to attract people across generations. From that perspective it's really, really positive for us.

''I think we have got a pretty reasonable chance of a sell-out.''

DVML had struck a deal with the promoter that ensured it would be ''profitable'' for DVML regardless of crowd size, but Mr Burden would not divulge details.

He declined to comment when asked whether DVML would receive a venue hire fee from the promoter.

''The deal from our perspective will be profitable. Other than that, all other details remain in confidence,'' he said.

Asked about sound problems that prompted complaints after Sir Elton's show, Mr Burden said lessons had been learned and ''dead spots'' within the venue addressed.

Chugg Entertainment representatives had been at Sir Elton's Dunedin show, checking sound quality around the venue, and ''they clearly liked what they saw''.

The Simon concert will be a major boost for a venue that, since Elton John, has struggled to attract international acts - blamed on a tough touring market - as DVML grappled with a $3.2 million loss for the 2011-12 year.

It was hoped the concert would attract fans to Dunedin from outside the city, as happened when Elton John's show pumped an estimated $14 million into Dunedin's economy.

''I would expect there will be a number of people who will be coming to Dunedin for this concert,'' Mr Burden said.

''There will be a pretty significant economic impact for this concert taking place,'' he said.

Tourism Dunedin chief executive Hamish Saxton was ''delighted'' by news of the concert, saying feedback after the Elton John show was that visitors stayed longer, and spent more, while also exploring the region.

Mr Burden said the concert was also good for business at DVML, as it offered another chance to work with a promoter and showcase the stadium's ability to host major international concerts after a tough year.

''The venue has found attracting concerts to be somewhat of a challenge. One of the key issues for us is to build a reputation for hosting international concerts, and having someone like Paul Simon, at that sort of level, builds upon that reputation,'' he said.


Feelin' Groovy
Paul Frederic Simon
Born: Newark, New Jersey, United States
Lives: New Canaan, Connecticut, United States
Married to singer/songwriter Edla Brickell (since 1992)
Previously married to Carrie Fisher (1983- 84), Peggy Harper (1969-75)

Hit singles: The Sound of Silence, I am a Rock, Kodachrome, Scarborough Fair/Canticle, Mrs Robinson, Homeward Bound, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard, Cecilia, The Boy in the Bubble, Wake Up Little Susie, The Boxer, Bridge Over Troubled Water

Studio albums: The Paul Simon Songbook(1965), Paul Simon (1972), There Goes Rhymin' Simon (1973), Still Crazy After All There Years (1975), One Trick Pony (1980), Hearts and Bones (1983), Graceland (1986), The Rhythm of the Saints (1990), Songs from the Capeman (1997), You're the One (2000), Surprise (2006), So Beautiful or so What (2011).

Live albums: Paul Simon in Concert: Live Rhymin' (1974), Paul Simon's Concert in the Park, August 15 1991 (1991)

• Met Art Garfunkel at Forest Hills High School when they were both 11 and performed their first song Hey, Schoolgirl in 1957 as "Tom and Jerry"
• Formed Simon and Garfunkel in 1964 with Garfunkel, achieving international fame, before splitting in 1970 at the height of their success.
• Awarded 12 Grammys for his solo and collaborative work, including the Lifetime Achievement Award.
• Simon and Garfunkel inducted in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
• Simon inducted in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as solo artist in 2001.
• Selected as one of the ''100 People Who Shaped the World'' by Time Magazine in 2008.
• Performed the Sound of Silence last month at the funeral of teacher Vicki Soto (27) who was killed protecting her first-grade pupils at the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting.


rates rates and more rates

A bit strange all the locals are paying endless amounts to keep this dead stadium running, now they want to charge us $200 a ticket to see something there.  I like Paul Simon, but think I'll pass, this stadium has bled me enough.

Revisionist history

I see people are quoting "Statistics" again.

There's History, and then there's His Story.  Fortunately, the internet lends a degree of permanence to the written record and all we need to do is exercise our fingers to access it.

Speedfreak43 has this to say:
"This event did not even sell out one concert and the high dollar tickets were almost being given away in the days leading up to the event. If this is likely to be the best we are going to get, we may as well give up now  "

Well, no, not quite.
Within the archives of the ODT, we find the following facts:

On Feb 15 2011, it was announced that 22000 tickets sold within 6 hours of the box office opening, with 73% of tickets sold by 3pm.
Source ODT here:

On Feb 16 2011, there were "Fewer than 4000 tickets available", and they made another 700 seats available.
Source ODT here:

On Nov 1 it was stated that there were fewer than 800 seats left available and that 34000 tickets had been sold.
Source ODT here:

On Nov 17 it was announced that the "Last few hundred tickets" were going to be sold at a reduced price "Tomorrow morning: Being Friday Nov 18.
Source ODT here:

On Nov 19 it was stated that those last few tickets had sold out on Nov 18.
Source ODT here:

Paul Simon

By your logic, the following venues which hosted Elton John concerts,should also "give up", because their audience capacity is far below that of the stadium. Crocus City Hall Moscow 14/11/11 6200:Singapore Indoor Stadium 20/11/11 and 15/12/12,12,000: Perth Arena 12/11/12 15,500:Lyric Theatre Sydney 27/11/11,26/11/11,2000:Arena of Stars Malaysia 22/11/11,6000: Look up the website and do your own research at the size venues Elton performs at.

It is ridiculous to expect the stadium to sell 35,000 tickets to any concert. I would be happy with a Vector size audience of 12,000. Given that the stadium is now here, and there are fixed costs to cover,it may as well be used for all purposes. I did attend the last All Blacks test match which was boring, but I  was very impressed with the ease of access to the stadium and standard of facilities.

Stats, stats and more stats!

@speedfreak, by any chance is your moto "when in doubt make stats up"?

All you ever do is tell everyone about how this is wrong, that's wrong, this didn't sell out, tickets were given away, the economic benefit was this nil...... the crowd was actually this much...

I'm surprised you have time to comment on here, shouldn't you have an economics or statistics lecture to run?

Or since you are so on the pulse and know everything, don't you have an election to prepare for?

Paul Simon

I have already suggested that you look at his 2012 setlists on I also suggest that you read the blurb in the artists section of the Bluesfest website where it states "...With that credo, he brings his fabulous new album to showcase in Australia." The logical conclusion is that he will present a 2012 type setlist, but with a larger tip of the hat to his latest album. Unfortunately a lot of people get hungup on wanting to see artists play greatest hits type shows.

I am happy to see artists showcase new work, and to this end attend one or two Australian festivals each year, always including Bluesfest, which has no peer down under. As a rule I do not attend stadium size concerts. There have been a number of good acts in Dunedin over the years at smaller indoor venues..Sammys,Town Hall,Regent and small bars. Downunder,you need to live in Sydney or Melbourne to see it all. Auckland gets 25 % of what they get, and Wellington 10%. Everywhere else in NZ gets virtually nothing.

The future is not good then

@ Theloneranger; You say "In fact in terms of career sales, Elton was the biggest act possible for the stadium. 

This event did not even sell out one concert and the high dollar tickets were almost being given away in the days leading up to the event 

If this is likely to be the best we are going to get, we may as well give up now 

Paul Simons manager amongst us?

@theloneranger are you Paul Simon's manager? Have you seen his full set list and did he tell you that hes only going to promote his latest stuff?? He's not a stupid man, at his age he is more than likely to be playing his back catalogue incl S&G days. But as I'm not his manager I couldn't confirm that.

And for the last time, all those in the anti stadium league, before you say the economic impact study on EJ was fudged, I suggest you do your own to prove it wrong. You believe all your own statistics that you read, but then an official doc comes out and it's rubbish. You have no evidence to suggest the figure of $15m isn't correct. 

Paul Simon

Paul is playing venues the size of Vector [12,000] in his down-under tour. Thus an artist of this calibre would need to play the stadium in Dunedin. Ticket prices to see him are the same at the various venues. I'm off to Bluesfest, where he is playing on 31 March, so I won't be at the stadium unless I watch something that he clashes with at Bluesfest. If you look at and compare the 2011 Elton Greatest Hits setlist, with what Paul is currently performing, and remember that he will be showcasing his latest album, you can't expect to draw anywhere near the same crowd. In fact in terms of career sales, Elton was the biggest act possible for the stadium. I think Dunedin should be happy if they can draw the same size crowd as Vector. Bluesfest Touring and Mike Chugg Entertainment tour some marvellous acts.

Simplistic economics

@ Max Power: Your analysis is simplistic, not simple.

For promoting economic activity in Dunedin, there are other, far better, low risk options, like encouraging people to re-locate here, especially retiring ones from overseas.

Baby-boomers hold most of the world's weath and they will be looking for security, health care and affordable, high- quality lifestyle, all things Dunedin can offer.

Just add to that safe, inner-city residential options and a great inner city arts/ culture and restaurant scene and you have a recipe for success way ahead of occasional events at an over-sized stadium.


Well said Max.....

The very small number of stadium haters would never go to a event at the stadium anyway.

I'm proud to be a Dunedinite with such a great stadium.

Wrong Max

Carisbrook did host several major concerts. Joe Cocker was one a few years ago. Mary Hopkins was there when she was riding high in the charts. I can't remember who she was coupled with, Gordon Lightfoot perhaps. That's not never. All this nonsense about economic activity overlooks the fact that most of the money flies out of the city in the entertainers' and promoters' back pockets. I'm all for more concerts coming, even though I know it's close to impossible to sell such events in Dunedin and therefore unlikely, but find it annoying when I hear the nonsense spouted about economic benefits. There are plenty of economic studies from all over the world that paint the real picture.

Lessons in the economy

Speedfreak do you know how the economy works? $15m into the economy doesn't mean speedfreak gets x amount in his pocket himself. It means people that don't live in this sitting are putting money into our retail, hospitality and tourism sectors in particular and there are many flow-on effects. Just because you don't like the stadium and you didn't receive cash in hand it doesn't mean it's not a good return for the city as a whole.

As for paying for the stadium and not going out of principle that too is flawed. I understand why you don't but if you want it to stop costing you long term you need to support it. You are naive if you think it will ever be shut down.

Well done

Awesome news, we have attracted a world-renowned artist such as Paul Simon - a sign that there are plenty more top acts to follow - and don't worry, in the entire population of Dunedin there are only a couple of handfuls of stadium haters, and whether they like it or not, our stadium is the envy of NZ.

Elton John

stevepf says "Elton John brought in $15 million over a 2-3 day period". 

Fairly sure that figure can't be proved.



Simple economics

''And how will it benefit them if some outsiders travel here and spend some money with some local business owners?''

Simple economics. Business owners employee people to work for them. They are in turn rewarded with money.

One step closer to the edge...

@speedfreak: none of these events, apart from NitroCircus, have ever been held in Dunedin. In the hundred or so years that Carisbrook existed it never hosted a major concert. The Phoenix never played here, neither did the Warriors. The new stadium is a success in terms of events and some people can't look past their own opinions to see that. We just need 1 or 2 events like Paul Simon and Elton John to turn it around financially.

I also find it odd that you rate a band like Linkin Park as better than Paul Simon. While I absolutely hate Paul Simon, he is in another league compared to Linkin Park. Linkin Park have never had a US number 1, while Paul Simon has had many.

But it wouldn't matter if Linkin Park came anyway, your stance against the stadium means you wouldn't go. [abridged]

Bad return

@Stevepf:  As a ratepayer, I have already, and will continue to pay my share for this stadium. I have received absolutely nil return, like many others. Whats my share of that $15 million and when will I likely receive it? I cannot afford a calculator, so you may need to work it out for me. Thanks in advance . . .

Stadium use

Pablo, first of all reread the article as DVL will profit regardless. Secondly for the $25m 'supposed' return for FIFA we need to part with half a million cash plus probably another half million to a million in city 'preparation'.

Elton John brought in $15 million over a 2-3 day period for just a small fraction of that spend.

Therefore, if you're looking for more bang for your buck, big gigs are the way to go. Don't get me wrong I would love us to bid for FIFA but if you are anti stadium and its expenses then you can't diss a Paul Simon concert but get upset when the council don't want to spend on FIFA.

Not 'hater', love justice

This is the kind of insanity and injustice that occurs when a relatively impoverished population is governed by (mostly) financially well-off people who see the world only from their point of view.

How can most people  in Dunedin afford $100-$200 for a ticket to a concert? And how will it benefit them if some outsiders travel here and spend some money with some local business owners? There also is the risk that the stadium will make an operating loss on this, which the ratepayers will end up paying for.

If you live in Dunedin and can't afford to go to this concert, you are still paying for it.[abridged]


Is Paul Simon still alive?

Thought he passed away some years ago (of old age).

@Max Power: All of these events you mention could have been held here even if we did not have the new stadium. I was offered a free ticket to Nitro Circus (and turned it down due to my stance on the new stadium) but would have gladly paid to go if it had been elsewhere. I have also spoken to 4 people that did go, all with free tickets, who stated they could not understand any of the commentary.

Linkin Park have announced they are coming to New Zealand. They are not coming to our flash new white elephant. I stand by my original comment. A decent band will never play here

At home with Gertrude Stein

It' s been a lovely day in the neighbourhood, but no stewing. We been baking.

Lovely day today!

Not many hater comments, must have been out enjoying the sunshine instead of at home stewing.

Must have missed this bit...

DVML had struck a deal with the promoter that ensured it would be ''profitable'' for DVML regardless of crowd size.

Great news?

max_power, until this stadium makes money and does not rely on the ratepayers there is no real good news and it can have 1000 different acts but if they are not paying their way they are of little use to the stadium and the average ratepayer.

In the case of this concert we don't know if it will pay its way as no one is saying but in the past it seems very few if any acts have paid their way and made money for us ratepayers judging by the 1st year loss.

As for the supposed millions generated for the city I'm not seeing the chamber of commerce and the business community having a whip around to bring in the fifa U-20 as one would think if the returns are so good there would be no problem in business finding the $450,000.

Great news

This is great - well done to the Stadium team. Although I bet people will still find fault. The only worry that I have is that he will also play Auckland, meaning that people from Auckland will attend that show. We need to get one off concerts like Elton.

The first few months of this year prove that the stadium is a sucess in terms of events. It also shows that the stadium is not just a Rugby stadium. We have Macklemore and Ryan, Nitro Circus, Ride the Rhythm, The Windery Tour, The Phoenix, The Warriors, Orientation, Otago United, Stadium Markets... the list goes on and on.

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