Entertainment news and reviews from Bethel Woods Center for the Arts and around the world.
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts may have scored their biggest name to date with the announcement that Elton John and his band will close the 2011 season on the Pavilion stage with a sold out concert on September 3rd. Bethel Woods announced Monday afternoon, “All 15,000 tickets were sold in 53 minutes to what will be the most anticipated concert event of the year at the Sullivan County Catskill’s venue.”
“We thank the many Elton John fans, our members, donors and the wonderful community here in Sullivan County for their support. We are thrilled that so many people have come to see Elton’s premiere concert at Bethel Woods,” says Darlene Fedun, COO, Bethel Woods. Fedun adds, “42 years ago history was made on our site and today we set another record with Elton John.”
Rumors of the show started circulating on Tuesday last week however the official annoucement was not made until Thursday morning. When asked why this show was announced differently than other shows this season a representative for BWCA responded by saying, “When working to secure this type of performance, there is a lot of hard work and care that goes into it. It was announced the moment is was finalized.”
This change in routine left some BWCA members disappointed as they normally get a few days of pre-sale before tickets are released to the general public. When questioned about booking an entertainer of Elton John’s stature and this break in routine, a BWCA spokesman replied; “Elton John is the most anticipated artists to ever play Bethel Woods and the demand for tickets was overwhelming. Starting at 10am the vast majority of tickets were available to the general public and they all sold out in less than 1 hour. Thousands were purchasing simultaneously from the internet, box office and phones.
The Members and Donors’ contributions support Bethel Woods beyond just ticket sales. In fact, they were extremely limited in their ability to buy tickets to this premium event. A limited number of presale tickets were processed using our Member account manager system online and by phone.
We are proud of the achievement to host Elton John and bring him to Sullivan County and thank the community and our Members and Donors for their support in making this a record breaking sellout in 53 minutes.”
They continued by saying, “Basically it boils down to the simple fact that the folks at Bethel Woods have been working hard to create a venue that delivers world class entertainment that attracts Elton John and artists like him. You can certainly expect to see this type of diverse line-up in the seasons following.”
As it turns out this appearance will be a unique break in Elton John’s schedule for the rest of this year. After touring North America earlier this year and currently touring Europe, Bethel Woods is his only scheduled US appearance other than a three week, sixteen show engagement at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in October before moving on to Asia and Australia at the end of the year.
Being billed as “all hits, all night Live!” the tour coincides with the release of a new compilation set titled “Rocket Man – The Definitive Hits.” Fans can expect to be treated to the classic hits from the 70′s that made Elton John one of the top-selling solo artists of all time, with 35 gold and 25 platinum albums, 29 consecutive Top 40 hits, and he has sold more than 250 million records worldwide.
All said this is a great win for the center and the county. So a while a little late in coming together this has turned out to be Bethel Woods strongest season to date and one that should help stimulate some of the best tourism traffic the county has seen in years.