Sir Elton drops by

HE may not be due in Ipswich until the summer but that didn't stop Sir Elton John making a surprise visit to town today to announce ticket details of his forthcoming concert.

HE may not be due in Ipswich until the summer but that didn't stop Sir Elton John making a surprise visit to town today to announce ticket details of his forthcoming concert.

The international superstar spent the morning casting an eye over the Portman Road venue, the home of Ipswich Town Football Club, at which he will perform on June 16.

And he even found time to pop into the town centre, prompting countless double takes from passers by.

Tickets for Elton's concert will go on sale at 10am on February 13 and phone lines are expected to be jammed from the moment they open as fans from Suffolk and across the country clamour to book their seats for the spectacular event.

A capacity crowd of 25,000 is expected at the summer concert with ticket prices ranging from £37 to £100 - 23,000 tickets will be priced £60 or under. All will go on sale through The Way Ahead ticket agency.

Corporate entertainment packages will also be sold by the ITFC sales team.

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The club's commercial director Paul Clouting said: "We know that when Sir Elton tickets went on sale for a performance scheduled at Bristol City's Aston Gate ground later this year, the demand was so huge that the event sold out within days as fanatical fans scrambled for their seats."

The Elton John concert comes as a sign of the club's commitment and effort to establish Portman Road as the number one events and entertainment venue in East Anglia.

The stadium has previously played host to other big name artists, including Bryan Adams, Rod Steward and Tina Turner but it is over 12 years since the club has hosted a concert. ITFC's ability to attract a performer of Sir Elton's calibre serves to reinforce the message that Portman Road is major entertainment venue for Suffolk.

ITFC chief executive Derek Bowden said: "We are committed to making this stadium the number one entertainment venue in Suffolk. We know that we have achieved this in the field of football and we have a thriving conference and events operation.

"Now by bringing Sir Elton to Portman Road we are opening up yet another aspect to our business which is good for us and the wider community of Suffolk."

The club will be working with proven experts in the field of live music with staging and lighting provided by Marshall Arts who have over 27 years' experience working within the music industry. The promise is that fans should expect Portman Road looking like it never has before when Sir Elton returns to town.

n Sir Elton John will perform at Portman Road, in Ipswich, on June 16. Tickets for the concert go on sale at 10am on Friday, February 13, priced £37 to £100. To book call 0871 22 00 260 or log on to www.wayahead.com

n Elton John was played today by lookalike Ray Johnson.

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