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
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.
''His music takes me back to fond memories of the '60s
and every decade since. Paul Simon will be a huge drawcard,''
Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive Darren Burden
said he was ''really stoked'' to successfully conclude
negotiations with Chugg Entertainment that began in September
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
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
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.
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
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
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
• Simon inducted in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as solo artist
• 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