Monday, May 5, 2008

Elton John's concert in Ischgl

The Elton John's concert in the Austrian ski resort of Ischgl was a complete success. Concerts like this are primarily a marketing ploy for the ski resorts, and they appear to be successful. "It was a bit of a gamble to begin with and a large investment for the resort but it has really paid off", says Lynsey Devon, a spokeswoman for tour operator Inghams. "It has really put the resort on the map and brought an increasing number of skiers in". Getting performers like Elton John is a expensive bet. It is thought Sir Elton John commanded a fee of around £500,000 for his set. They also had to meet a 60-page list of "personal requirements". Elton John specified that he must have Persian rugs and large non-leather sofas to relax on before and after the show. He wanted palm trees over two metres tall as well as a range of flowers, specifying there should not be a lily in sight .
Thirteen years ago, Ischgl decided to put its entire advertising and marketing budget into staging two massive concerts a year to open and close the winter season, and the ploy appears to be paying off. Elton John was the first star to feature in the Tirolean resort's now famous season closing concerts, back in 1995. Since then the resort has hosted Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan, Sting, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Bon Jovi, Enrique Iglesias, Atomic Kitten, Peter Gabriel, The Corrs, Alanis Morissette, Lionel Richie, Pink, the Scissor Sisters, the Pussycat Dolls and Rihanna.
That kind of events is also part of a strategy for resorts to offer more than just skiing to attract a wider client base. For the 25,000 skiers at the afternoon concert Sir Elton was a bonus to the spring skiing. And thousands of fans put their skis on and went to hit the slopes, making the last few runs before Ischgl closed for the winter.
"The resort pronounced Sir Elton's concert a huge triumph and that another major international act would play next year. Judging by its success, more resorts may follow suit and concerts on ski slopes could become more common" (James Cove, BBC News).