Australia Battles Over Elton

The cities of Launceston, Tasmania, and Townsville in North Queensland battled to get the sixth Australian show of Elton John’s "Rocket Man Solo Tour – A Knight Under The Stars," with Townsville eventually winning out.

Tasmania even flew its tourism executives to Melbourne to speak to promoter Michael Chugg, who was attending a football game.

The Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights group announced it would write to Elton to tell him of Tasmania’s enlightened policy toward same-sex couples.

Chugg, who grew up in Tasmania and is the patron of its annual music awards, set up petitions for both cities on his tour company’s Web site.

"It’s a big show, let’s see what people will do to get it," he said.

John will play Townsville’s 25,000-capacity Dairy Farmers Stadium December 4th.

He also agreed to play a show in New Zealand – at New Plymouth’s 15,000-capacity TSB Bowl of Brooklands December 6th.