Adele is coming to New Zealand and she's bringing the chaos
It's touted as being the biggest concert New Zealand's ever seen but with that comes 130,000 Adele fans, full hotels, $400 plane tickets and a whole heap of traffic.
Adele will play at Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday as part of her world tour.
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The British singer is the fastest-selling record artist in New Zealand, and has now broken ticket sale records, selling in excess of 100,000 tickets in one day.
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Her promoters say the tour will be bigger than Pink Floyd's 1988 show (80,000 people) and U2's 2010 concert (95,000 people), which is great for Adele but a lot of pressure for Auckland.
A selection of Jetstar flights across the weekend have sold out, with remaining flights more than $300 one-way.
Remaining Air NZ flights for the days are now priced between $369 and $469 one-way, despite the airline adding a further 15,000 seats.
Now with accommodation selling up fast, and remaining rooms priced upwards of $600 a night, fans are choosing to fly to Hamilton and stay in Waikato rather than bunk down on an Auckland couch.
NZ'S BIGGEST SHOW
Live Nation Australasia chairman Michael Coppel said from what he could tell, this was the biggest concert to come to New Zealand.
Ticket sales had surpassed expectations, and they could've sold out a further two shows, "if we'd had time to play them".
It was the first time the veteran promoter had heard of fans basing themselves in Hamilton due to unaffordable flights and accommodation in Auckland.
"It's the Adele factor."
While the massive influx was expected to slow down traffic and put pressure on facilities, no major issues were expected, Coppel said.
Generally Auckland had good infrastructure to deal with visitors and Mt Smart Stadium was a well-tested venue.
A new circular stage set-up meant Adele would perform in the centre of the crowd, allowing for further seating in the area that would usually be behind the stage.
Auckland Stadiums director Paul Nisbet said these three shows were the largest ever hosted by Auckland Stadiums.
This capped off what would be the busiest outdoor concert season, with the likes of Coldplay, Bruce Springsteen and Justin Bieber performing during the summer months.
A lot of effort and co-ordination had gone into making sure transport ran smoothly but concertgoers were encouraged to plan their trip ahead of time and allow plenty of time to find their seats, Nisbet said.
"We are very excited to be hosting Adele at Mt Smart and hope that guests have a fantastic evening and make memories to last a lifetime."
BEDS AT A PREMIUM
High demand has made most central hotels either unaffordable or unavailable.
Hotels within public transport distance of Mt Smart stadium are pricing remaining rooms between about $500 and $1000 a night, forcing concertgoers to look to Hamilton for a bed.
Hospitality Association accommodation general manager Rachael Shadbolt said these were literally the last rooms available in Auckland; for those prices they were likely penthouses or three-bedroom suites.
March was high season in Auckland, which meant a big event upset usual visitor business.
In February, hotel occupancy was at 94 per cent; that was without an Adele show.
The hospitality industry would have preferred the show to come during the winter months but fans wanted to be sure the weather would be nice but the extra business was welcome.
"We'll take what we can get, thank you."
While hotels were operating at high occupancy levels during the warmer months, it would be difficult to convince investors to build more hotels in the city, Shadbolt said.
"You shouldn't race off and build a new hotel every time an Adele concert is announced."
Waikato Chamber of Commerce chief executive William During said he wasn't surprised fans had decided to fly to Hamilton and commute to Auckland for the show.
Visitors were increasingly using Hamilton as a base over Auckland due to affordability and overloaded Auckland accommodation.
This wasn't the first time a big Auckland event had caused visitors to spill into Waikato, he said.
And more international travellers were choosing to spend their first and last nights in Hamilton.
"It's not a bad problem to have."
As international events became more common, Waikato had an opportunity to invest in tourism infrastructure in Hamilton, Waitomo and Matamata, Durning said.
While some had missed out on flights, which fell in their price-range, thousands of people would be boarding planes to and from Auckland between Wednesday and Monday.
In anticipation of the huge influx Air NZ has added more than 80 extra flights (an additional 15,000 seats) to and from Auckland. The airline is also deploying its 312 seat Boeing 777-200 aircraft (which usually operates on international routes) on some services between Christchurch and Auckland.
Jetstar, which had sold out many of its flights during the days Adele is in concert, has not added any services to or from Auckland.
An Auckland Airport spokesman said meetings around airport and traffic logistics, involving airport staff along with Auckland Regional Facilities and Auckland Joint Traffic Operations Centre (JTOC) began last week.
"Whether it goes off without a hitch is another thing."
The airport would be in constant contact with those responsible for managing traffic and phasing the lights around the airport starting from Wednesday, he said.
While JTOC will be keeping an eye on traffic build ups across the region, Auckland Transport has prepared for high public transport demand.
Extra train, bus and ferry services will be in place on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
Trains and buses to and from the stadium would also be free for ticket-holders.
A Regional Facilities spokesman said there would be many extra public transport services but Adele fans would undoubtedly put pressure on the systems.
The Thursday show would be the real test, as the systems would have to deal with weekday commuters as well as concertgoers.
Adele will play at Mt Smart Stadium on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Limited tickets are still available.