THE festive season is upon us and undoubtedly many Hunter residents will be waking on December 25 hoping to find gig tickets stashed under their tree or inside their Christmas stocking.
As always, there's ample events competing for your entertainment dollar. Here's some of the marquee shows coming to Newcastle and the Hunter in 2020 that could make the ultimate Christmas gift.
The Rocketman is on the farewell tour to end all farewell tours. At three years the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour is ridiculously long, but when you've sold more than 300 million records and produced classics like Candle In The Wind, Bennie and The Jets, Your Song and Crocodile Rock who's gonna argue?
If you plan to buy a loved one a ticket to Elton John's January 11 or 12 shows at Hope Estate you'll be forking out top dollar, as VIP tickets start at $449. All general tickets are sold out and don't attempt to purchase one through controversial e-sale site Viagogo as you'll be denied entry.
The Australian pub-rock legends have gotten the band back together to promote their ninth studio album, Blood Moon, released last week. On January 18 Hope Estate will host Cold Chisel on their first ever outdoor summer tour, with support from Birds Of Tokyo and Busby Marou.
Anyone who attended Cold Chisel's headline performance at the 2017 Newcastle Supercars knows Jimmy Barnes, Ian Moss and co remain a blistering act, full of high octave energy and cavalcade of classics.
Platinum and gold reserve tickets are available, starting from $130.
HUNTERS & COLLECTORS
It's been six years since Hunter music fans have been able to belt out the iconic chorus of Throw Your Arms Around Me.
On February 16 Australian rock royalty Hunters & Collectors return to Pokolbin to headline the 10th Red Hot Summer Tour at Roche Estate. Besides Mark Seymour and co, the line-up also includes Australian Crawl's James Reyne, The Living End, The Angels, Baby Animals, Killing Heidi and Boom Crash Opera.
Tickets are available from $120.
RICK ASTLEY & A-HA
Kids of the '80s will be in pop heaven when English star Rick Astley and Norwegian new wave act a-ha co-headline A Day On The Green at Bimbadgen on February 29. Between them, the two acts possess classics like Never Gonna Give You Up, Together Forever and Take On Me - so expect to sing yourself hoarse.
Tickets begin at $120 for general admission.
For a while Russell Brand seemed destined to become another 21st century celebrity who was more famous for his outrageous antics or marriage to pop star Katy Perry, rather than his actual work.
However, in recent years the English comedian, actor, writer and activist has curbed much of his destructive behaviour to become an influential wellness advocate.
On March 2 Brand will deliver his Recovery Live show at the Civic Theatre, which is part comedy, part speaking tour about how he overcame his addictions with a 12-step program.
Tickets go on sale 9am Monday through Ticketek and begin at $90.
You can't deny Newcastle's love affair with internationally-renowned and award-winning musician, comedian, actor, writer and composer Tim Minchin.
Both of his Civic Theatre shows on March 23 and 24 are sold out, no doubt encouraged by the rave reviews Minchin's Back tour received earlier this year. The shows were his first in Australia after living overseas for a decade and the 44-year-old had lost none of his cutting wit.
Lenny Kravitz's performance at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre on April 6 is a real coup for Hunter rock fans. The American guitar legend is only performing two other solo shows in Sydney and Melbourne when he brings his Here To Love tour to Australia for Byron Bay's Bluesfest.
The Broadmeadow venue can be notoriously stale, but expect Kravitz's hits like Are You Gonna Go My Way, Fly Away and It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over to get the tin shed rocking. Tickets range from $102 to $173.
The English rock-pop legend will be 75 when he rolls into Roche Estate on October 24 to celebrate 50 years in music, but his enduring appeal remains ageless.
Rod Stewart is promising to perform all the hits like You're in My Heart, Maggie May and Da Ya Think I'm Sexy on a tour which will likely be his Australian swansong. Tickets are available from $203.
Love him or hate him, James Blunt is incredibly successful and knows how to entertain his audience. The pop-rock singer-songwriter - most famous for his tear-jerker hits You're Beautiful and Goodbye My Lover - last wowed Bimbadgen in March 2018 with his combination of musical prowess and typically English charm.
Blunt returns to Bimbadgen on November 21 with support from Jason Mraz and Olympia. Tickets range from $119 to $229.
It can be dangerous announcing major shows a year in advance, (just ask KISS), but Scottish new-wave legends Simple Minds like planning ahead.
On December 5 the Don't You (Forget About Me) hit-makers will return to Bimbadgen to headline A Day On The Green with English synth-pop pioneers Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.
Tickets start from $120.
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