The success of Sir Elton John’s Cairns concert at the weekend has set the city on a path to attract more big names, says Mayor Bob Manning.
“This concert will go down in history as one of our city’s greatest moments,” said Cr Manning, who was in the audience on Saturday night.
“I can’t thank everyone involved enough for their roles in making this happen. From the very start, the collaboration between Cazalys, Chugg Entertainment, Tourism and Events Queensland and Cairns Regional Council was tremendous.
“The people on the ground, both inside and outside the venue, had a huge job in making sure everyone had a safe and enjoyable night and I’m pleased to note that everything ran smoothly.
“The success of this event is surely one of our city’s finest accomplishments to date.”
Prior to the star taking the stage, Cr Manning presented Sir Elton John with an historical photograph of Lake Street, circa 1930, on behalf of the city.
“We received word that Sir Elton collects historical photographs of the cities and towns that he visits on tour,” Cr Manning said.
“We chose an image that depicted the typical early Far North Queensland architecture, with wide awnings and verandas, and an array of period cars set against the mountain range backdrop.
“We thought this photo perfectly captured the character of an evolving and growing tropical city, on its way to becoming the internationally renowned destination that it is today.”
Cr Manning commended the audience for contributing to a successful and enjoyable event.
“This was probably the biggest event of its type ever hosted in Cairns,” he said. “It was always going to be a challenge logistically but, thanks to the cooperation and positive attitude of everyone attending, it all came together incredibly well.
“As a result, everyone who attended has helped to put Cairns on the map as a genuine contender for future major events.
“I have no doubt that promoters everywhere are now sitting up and taking notice of Cairns.”
Free shuttle buses provided by Cairns Regional Council from Lake Street and the Cairns Showground were well-utilised, with more than 100 bus loads of eager concertgoers delivered safely to the venue.
The successful music event builds on the ever-growing list of national and international sporting events hosted by Cairns.
“We’ve already got a reputation as an outstanding sports tourism city,” Cr Manning said.
“Testament to this is the fact that we are hosting three Rugby League World Cup games in the next month and our selection as an Event City for next year’s Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
“In bringing Sir Elton John to Cairns, we have proved that our city has the versatility to expand into major cultural events and, indeed, to become established as the arts and cultural capital of Northern Australia.”
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