Airport runway too short for top bands

Coldplay's Chris Martin
Coldplay's Chris Martin
Dunedin airport's limitations could be another stumbling block to the city hosting top international music acts, it appears.

It was revealed yesterday Coldplay had considered playing the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, but ruled it out for logistical reasons.

The megaband from Britain is touring stadiums with its Mylo Xyloto tour and yesterday announced four dates in Australia and New Zealand, including one show in New Zealand at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland on November 10.

Asked yesterday if stadium representatives had tried to persuade Coldplay to play in Dunedin, Dunedin Venues Management chief executive David Davies said he had been "actively involved" with Coldplay's promoter over bringing the show to Dunedin, but after the promoter did some research, they decided to stick with just an Auckland show because of logistical issues.

Those were that the band's wide-bodied jet, which they used to transport their lighting rig, would be unable to fly fully laden out of Dunedin International Airport.

A representative of Coldplay's Australasian promoter, Chugg Entertainment, could not be reached for comment yesterday, and Coldplay's New Zealand publicist referred questions to Chugg.

But Dunedin International Airport chief executive John McCall said while he did not know what kind of jet Coldplay used, there were limitations at Dunedin because of the airport's runway.

A fully laden Boeing 747, for example, could not take off from Dunedin because the runway was too short.

In fact, the same was true of most New Zealand airports, apart from Auckland and Christchurch, Mr McCall said.

Top international acts reported to use Boeing 747s for transporting equipment include U2, Lady Gaga and Madonna.

Mr Davies said Dunedin would not get every show that came to New Zealand, but stadium acts always presented an opportunity which would be pursued.

Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin stayed in Dunedin in 2003 while his then soon-to-be wife Gwyneth Paltrow was filming the biopic Sylvia.


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