Elton John World banner

Elton John World News: Be Prepared

Be Prepared-- Posted by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Elton Finalises Plans For Rome Gig

Thursday 1 September 2005 @ 16:42 - GMT

On August 31, 2005, ANSA reported on Elton's preparations for his free Italian concert on the third of September.

The entertainer appears to be determined that it goes down in history. He has said he sees the event as one of the highlights of his career, adding he's been overseeing details with ''almost maniacal zeal.''

Elton admitted, "I can' t wait to be in Rome to play in front of the Colosseum. I'm honoured by this chance to perform in such a special place and  city."

He is having a huge, aluminium-and-plastic stage built. At 22 metres by 16, it's twice as big as the normal outdoor concert stage. Organisers say that the construction - complete with 20 tons of lights - will be practically transparent, and that the ancient Roman gladiators' arena will dominate the view.

Elton is so keen to get the lights and special effects right that he has built an identical stage on the grounds of his mansion near London. That way he will be able to assess and tweak the planned light show while he's still at home. 

Elton is reportedly anxious to see that this gig isn't less successful than the ones given in the same place by Paul McCartney and Simon & Garfunkel.

Those two acts drew crowds of 500,000 to their concerts in 2003 and 2004.

"I know this show will be unique because my Italian fans are the best," the star said.

As part of the build-up to the spectacular, Elton has also revealed that he will perform a duet with a mystery guest from the world of show business.

With the added threat of terrorism, security will be tight at the concert, which is to start at 9 pm. The nearby Colosseo meter stop will be closed from the morning, and traffic in the area will be diverted from the previous evening.

There will be a massive police presence, with many officers in plain clothes.  And 240 private security guards have also been called in to help.