Leeds Arena opening act announced as Elton John

Leeds City Council has welcomed today's announcement that Leeds Arena will open on Wednesday September 4 2013 with a performance from Elton John.

This press release is issued on behalf of Leeds Arena:

Leeds Arena to stage only UK indoor show by Elton John in 2013

He is undoubtedly one of the biggest artists in the world today, instantly recognisable, adored by his fans and he has today confirmed that he will play his only UK indoor date at the Leeds Arena next year.

Elton John and his band will bring their unique and unforgettable live show to the new Leeds Arena next September, the first time in nearly 30 years Elton and his band have performed in Leeds.

Leeds City Council leader Councillor Keith Wakefield said:

“This is a real statement of intent for Leeds Arena as a venue that will compete with the best in Europe and indeed the world. To have a long-established and world-famous artist of Elton John’s calibre opening our venue as his only UK arena appearance of the year is a great coup.

“He can easily sell out massive stadiums and concert halls across America and over the world and we’re delighted to have him for our opening night. This demonstrates very clearly that Leeds Arena will be a key stop on the international touring circuit for the world’s biggest performers.

“Our opening season will showcase the range of acts we are capable of accommodating as bookings are now starting to come in thick and fast. Already we have Leeds’ own Kaiser Chiefs and the very popular JLS booked in and another announcement imminent soon. With shows on there up to one night in three, there’s really going to be something for everyone.”

The concert will take place on Wednesday 4 September 2013. The fully reserved seated concert will give 12,000 fans the opportunity to dance and sing along to his much-loved songs in this new state of the art arena.

Elton John said:

“It is difficult to believe that it has taken so long for such a large city to get its own arena, but it has certainly been worth the wait. I am delighted to have been invited to be one of the first artists to perform in what will be a wonderful new venue.”

“I recently played to incredible audiences in North Yorkshire, but this will be the first time I have played Leeds with the band since 1984 when I played at the Queens Hall, so I am really looking forward to playing to the City of Leeds once again.”

As one of the greatest and most successful live artists, his spectacular stage shows continue to leave the competition standing! Elton’s set in Leeds will include number one hits and classic songs from his 40-year career.

Tickets for the Wednesday 4 September show go on sale Friday 7 December at 9am, priced from £65.00.

Elton John is one of the most highly acclaimed and successful solo artists of all time. Along with long-term lyricist Bernie Taupin, Elton has achieved 35 gold and 25 platinum albums, 29 consecutive Top 40 hits, and has sold more than 250 million records worldwide. Elton also holds the record for the biggest selling single of all time. Over the five decades since his career began in 1969, Elton has played more than 3,500 concerts worldwide.

Besides his cherished knighthood, Elton’s landmark awards include 4 Brit Awards, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 5 Grammy Awards and a Grammy Legend Award, the Kennedy Center Honor and 12 Ivor Novello Awards. In 2002 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Royal Academy of Music.

In a career that has kept him at the top of the charts for 40 years, Elton’s life work comprises far more aspects than only being a recording artist. Through a partnership with lyricist Tim Rice came the music for both the feature film and Broadway stage production of ‘The Lion King.’ Elton also wrote the music for the stage production of ‘Billy Elliot: The Musical’ and more recently for the box office smash, ‘Gnomeo & Juliet.’

This year Elton had a number one album in the UK with Good Morning To The Night, a collaboration with Australian electronic duo, Pnau. He recently returned to Las Vegas for a three-year residency with his brand new show, The Million Dollar Piano, billed as “a gargantuan feast of music and imagery”. Next year marks the fortieth anniversary of the release of arguably Elton’s greatest album, ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.’ He will also release of a new studio album, and continue to tour throughout the world.

John Knight, Regional Vice President for SMG Europe, who will operate the venue, said:

"For the new Leeds Arena to host Elton's only indoor concert in this country next year is a major coup for the city.

“We promised the new Arena would put the city back on the world map for live entertainment. Bringing Elton to Leeds for his first show in nearly 30 years is the perfect concert for us to open with.”

To book tickets for this event from 9am Friday (December 7) phone 0844 248 1585, visit eventim.co.uk/leeds-arena or buy your tickets in person from the Leeds Arena pop up box office, located at Leeds Town Hall.

For media enquiries about the arena itself (journalists only: all other queries about events and ticketing need to go to the box office) contact:

Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335
e-mail: donna.cox@leeds.gov.uk