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Freedom Hall preps for Elton John concert

Jennifer Sprouse • Sep 13, 2012 at 9:37 PM

It’s been 12 years since the man famous for writing iconic songs such as “Rocket Man,” “Tiny Dancer” and “Candle in the Wind” performed in Johnson City’s Freedom Hall Civic Center, and civic center staff are eagerly awaiting his return Sunday and helping the promotional team producing the concert finish up show preparations.

The Live Nation promotional team was responsible for bringing Elton John & His Band to Freedom Hall and will take on large portions of responsibility for show production. But Lisa Chamness, civic center director, said she and her team have been helping to make sure that things are available and on hand for the concert.

“We’re working very closely with the promoter on everything. We get a production rider giving us guidance on what they require for the comfort of ... Elton John and the band that will be here. If it’s things that we don’t have, we may have to go buy some things or we may have to rent some things,” Chamness said. “We’re real excited. We’re all about taking care of the show and making sure everything’s good on that end.”

While it’s unusual for John to be playing at smaller venues, Chamness said they were happy to have him come back to Johnson City.

“Apparently he’s made a choice to go to smaller venues on this leg of the tour,” she said. “We’re thrilled he’s here because it highlights us nationally as far as him coming to this facility.”

The doors for the concert will open at 7 p.m., and Chamness said as of right now John will be taking the stage around 8:10. John and the band will be the sole performers at the concert.

She said parking for the concert shouldn’t be a problem, but showing up early wouldn’t hurt.

“We’ve got quite a quantity of parking here on premises, however, you are going to have to walk to some degree from maybe some of the areas. I just advise people to get here early and allow plenty of time,” Chamness said. “If you’ve got any kind of mobility issue, please try to get here early and allow yourself time.”

She said her staff members will be working within the arena all night up until the last fan leaves the concert.

Chamness said she expects the concert to be a good night for all attending.

“I think that (concert-goers are) just really happy that we’re able to have this high ... quality of (an) act available in our own hometown because otherwise you’d have to go to New York or (Las Vegas) or somewhere really big to see it and probably the tickets would be two and three times the price of what we’re paying here,” Chamness said. “This is just really a rare treat. I just think they’re just going to really have a very enjoyable evening.”

For ticket information, call the box office at 461-4884 today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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