Knights beat Guns N' Roses to stadium

PROMOTERS of the upcoming Guns N’ Roses concert in Newcastle have cited a ‘‘scheduling clash’’ as the reason for shifting the March 13 show from Hunter Stadium to Newcastle Entertainment Centre.

News of the change surfaced on Friday but promoter McManus Entertainment did not release a statement confirming  that Axl Rose’s band would move venues until late yesterday afternoon.

Hunter Venues general manager Bicci Henderson said hosting the first Newcastle Knights home game of the season on March 11 would not allow the Guns N’ Roses production crew  time to set up the large-scale concert.

‘‘When the promoter booked it in I don’t think they realised how big of a production the Guns N’ Roses concert needed,’’ Mr Henderson said.

‘‘So given that I had given them stadium availability from the Tuesday morning, being the 12th, and then they booked the 13th, they then realised they need almost three days to put the production in.

‘‘Obviously I couldn’t move the football game and they didn’t want to compromise the production set-up for Guns N’ Roses. They didn’t want to bring in a cheap production and just do a small stage and a small set up. They felt that the Newcastle fans deserved the full show.’’

Mr Henderson said it was disappointing given the show would have been the first rock concert staged at the venue since the 1990s earthquake appeal concert attracted more than 42,000 people.

‘‘We looked at every option of the crew coming in at 11pm on the Monday night and working non-stop through until about 10am on the Wednesday morning to get ready for sound checks but we just couldn’t do it,’’ he said.

‘‘It was just a really tight schedule. We thought we could do it but when they got all the production specs – the stage is 80 feet wide and 60 feet  deep – we physically couldn’t bump it in in time.’’

All tickets  for the previously announced venue will be honoured at the entertainment centre, and can be exchanged from February 25.

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