Sir Elton John will get a fine taste of Hawke's Bay and a guaranteed sell-out crowd will get to see the artist voted by Billboard as the most successful performing male solo artist of all time at the 2020 Mission Concert.
The announcement was made on Sunday, just four days out from the Phil Collins concert and Sports and Entertainment's (SEL) managing director Basil Scaffaldi described securing both artists as "two of the greats of all time, back to back."
Sir Elton's concert is scheduled for Saturday February 8 2020 and Mission Members Concert Club exclusive pre-sales of tickets will be available from 9am next Tuesday, February 12 .
They will be the same general admission price of the Phil Collins tickets — $155.
His appearance at the Mission will be part of this remarkable three-year Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour which kicked off in the USA in September last year.
Sir Elton will be doing about 300 shows across five continents and part of the schedule had him lining up Australia and New Zealand.
So the negotiations began.
SEL's concert director Garry Craft said they had always wanted to get Sir Elton on stage at the Mission as he was always top of the list in the database surveys they undertook.
"We have always had him on the agenda but just hadn't been able to seal it — so this is brilliant."
He said Sir Elton's production people "scoped out" the Mission and also spoke with other management crews who had been to the venue.
The timing was perfect, as Sir Elton would be touring Australia from November 2019 for 15 concerts through until January 31 — then there was the New Zealand leg.
"And we got him — the dates worked out," Scaffaldi said.
"It is so good because he epitomises what the Mission is all about," he said, adding that the venue had created international acclaim with artists.
"Rod Stewart called it one of the best places he had performed at — it is a very place and now we have secured another very special artist."
James Erskine, chairman of SEL said New Zealand's love affair with Sir Elton went back decades and said the great tour would see him performing songs that had been "the soundtrack of our lives."
Mission Estate chief executive Peter Holley said he was "absolutely delighted" — more so as a few years back some people were questioning whether the Mission Concert could survive.
"But we are still getting very big names — and from the entertainment perspective we have put Hawke's Bay on the map."
Announcing the date more than a year out from the concert was a first for the Mission, and was made possible by the finely-tuned future schedule of Sir Elton's tour.
Craft said the production had a travelling crew of 90 and there were 12 in the band.
It had two vast sets so one could be put up and prepared while the other, from a previous night's show, could be taken down and packed up.
Sir Elton, who last played in New Zealand in 2015, posted a message to his fans.
"I can't wait to be with you again — it's now 48 years since my first ever New Zealand concert," he said.
"This tour will see my 12th concert in Auckland m my second in Dunedin and my first performance in Hawke's Bay (and) I am thrilled that this final tour will see me and the band playing somewhere new in your great country."
His New Zealand leg will see him at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on February 4, The Mission on February 8 and Mt Smart Stadium on February 9.