Seeing Sir Elton John perform greatest hits at Portman Road was once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, say crowd
PUBLISHED: 21:29 17 June 2017 | UPDATED: 10:07 18 June 2017
Starry-eyed Sir Elton John fans turned out in their thousands as the music legend's long-awaited concert at Portman Road got underway.
Guests travelled to the Ipswich stadium from as far away as America to see their idol perform chart-topping hits like Tiny Dancer, Your Song and Can You Feel the Love Tonight to scores of people on Saturday night.
Concert-goers, who filtered into the stadium for a 6pm start, basked in dazzling sunshine and soaring temperatures of 28C and above.
Security at the much-anticipated gig was stepped up with sniffer dogs from both Suffolk and Norfolk Constabulary - who are trained to detect explosives - guarding the gates.
Seeing Sir Elton so close to home was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, according to some visitors.
Kathleen Woodward, from Felixstowe, said the concert was on her bucket list.
Her daughter Samantha, who went with her, bought her the tickets as a birthday present.
“I knew how much it meant for mum to go,” said Samantha.
“She is a big fan and I also like a lot of his songs so it was a no-brainer when we heard he was coming to Ipswich.”
Kathleen added: “It’s on my bucket list, Rod Stewart was as well and we went up to Norwich for that.
“We can’t wait, I reckon it’s going to be a good night - it’s once in a lifetime really. We’ll both be dancing the night away.”
Louise and Matthew White went to the gig with seven of their friends and family.
One of their friends, John Skelt from Ipswich, said: “It’s a big outing for us and I think for Ipswich too really. It’s great for the town to have someone like Sir Elton come along and play here, it raises the profile of Portman Road.
“If you think however many years ago REM played here - to have someone like Elton John play here is just fantastic.”
Self-confessed Sir Elton superfan Janet Belchamber travelled to the gig with her friend Marina Baskett.
Wearing oversized sunglasses similar to those worn by the star himself, the pair said they were “bursting with excitement” to get through the doors.
Ms Belchamber said: “I’ve loved Elton John since I was a teenager, I met him when I was a teenager.
“He gave my horse a carrot when he was living at Hercules in Virginia Water.
“I absolutely love him - my Crocodile Rock.”
The gig was also on Florida resident Marcie Dickens’ bucket list.
The newlywed travelled over to Norfolk earlier this year to marry her new husband Neill.
“This is our first concert together - it was on my bucket list,” Marcie said.
“I brought this pink feather boa over from the States and we both bought our golden glasses online.”