It’s going to be a steep uphill battle for the promoters of The Rolling Stones‘ 14 On Fire Australian tour to reschedule the legendary band’s dates as they compete with a busy sports schedule. The tour was finally postponed this morning after a day of speculation regarding its ultimate fate.
“We are talking venues that were set up, production that would be in trucks and in motion around the country, crew flights, accommodation, dozens of vehicles and drivers in each city, catering companies in various stages of setting up and pre-production… right down to thousands and thousands of T-shirts printed with cancelled dates on the back,” promoter AJ Maddah told Fairfax.
The rival promoter described the unfortunate situation that 14 On Fire organisers have been thrust into as a “nightmare,” and it’s not difficult to see why. With the tour postponed in the wake of the death of Mick Jagger‘s longtime partner, L’Wren Scott, promoters are juggling a raft of variables.
The flagship of the band’s Australian tour was to be a spectacle at the newly refurbished Adelaide Oval, made possible by a $450,000 expenditure by the State Government. However, Adelaide Oval CEO Andrew Daniels says a return by the Stones would not be possible for at least five months.
Even then, the rescheduled dates face potential clashes with the next cricket season. “[An immediate return] would not be possible for the Adelaide Oval because it’s fully booked until September,” Mr Daniels told Fairfax. “Absolutely nothing could happen until after the AFL season.”
Promoter Tony Cochrane told The Advertiser a new date announcement for the Adelaide show is expected “in a very short space of time.” He added that “all the focus is currently keeping the Adelaide Oval date in the schedule,” though with 51,000 tickets sold, they may have no choice.
Meanwhile, the $450,000 spent by the SA government will be recouped. “The Government will be receiving its money back, there is no doubt at all,” Mr Daniels told 891 ABC Adelaide. “There were a number of insurance policies in place in the unlikely event that the concert could not go ahead.”
Should the issues involved with scheduling around a busy sports calendar be resolved, promoters must still contend with the weather, seeing as both the Adelaide Oval show and the performance scheduled for Victoria’s Hanging Rock were to be outdoor events, possibly ruling out winter dates.
While the rest of the tour was scheduled for indoor venues like Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena, a return in September, October or November could see the legendary rockers clash with major tours by Robbie Williams, Justin Timberlake, and Katy Perry, all scheduled for the same venues.
In the meantime, ticket-holders have been advised to “hold on to their tickets until further notice.” Immediate refunds are now available and will be accessible to fans unhappy with the new dates, though costs such as flights and accommodation will mean many punters are left out of pocket.