The stage is set, the preparations are complete, Bloomfield Road is ready...
Tomorrow night, more than 20,000 Rod Stewart fans from across the country will cram into this corner of Blackpool for what is set to be the town’s biggest ever gig.
The superstar singer has already promised an electric show worthy of packing out the famous venue.
Organisers have been stunned by the ticket sales for what is Stewart’s first visit to Blackpool in 40 years.
And it his first as a solo artist – the last time the 69-year-old music legend was in the resort was with The Faces back in December 1974.
Among most excited of fans are the promoters of the concert, Daniel Cuffe and Peter Taylor.
The duo have been in charge of promoting three of Rod’s five concerts through their firm Cuffe and Taylor, but none are as important to them as Friday night’s gig on their own turf.
And the Blackpool concert has proved to be the most popular, as it’s the only one out of the three which has sold out before the day of the event.
Peter, concert director of Cuffe and Taylor, which is also behind the highly successful Lytham Proms Festival, said: “In Blackpool it’s been sold out for a few months now.
“I think that’s because Blackpool is the capital of entertainment. And Rod Stewart has a lot of Scottish fans and I know a lot of them are travelling from Scotland for the concert.
“We’ve already done two gigs, but this one we are really looking forward to the most.
“It’s literally just down the road for us, which makes it easier and means we can sleep in our own beds at night!”
The pair also reckon the thousands of visitors to Blackpool FC tomorrow will not be disappointed.
Confident fans will be left impressed, Peter said: “I think people will be surprised and shocked at how amazing the stage looks and how good the concert is.
“There are a lot of people involved and enough equipment to fill 25 trucks, so it’s a really big event.”
According to Cuffe and Taylor, who are based near Preston, this is the biggest concert Blackpool has ever seen.
“This is massive for Blackpool,” Peter said.
“I don’t think there’s been a gig this size in Blackpool ever really. We have more than 20,000 people coming – even Elton John didn’t have that.
“This is a massive coup for us as promoters as Rod Stewart is a massive artist.
“To be able to promote someone like him; it’s huge for us. It’s such a privilege for us, and it’s great for Bloomfield Road as well.
“The other concerts have gone down really well and have had a really good response.
As well as being a huge attraction for the resort, Rod’s gig is a massive boost for The Gazette’s Hospice Heroes campaign, as Cuffe and Taylor has very kindly agreed to donate £1 for every ticket sold to our £200,000 appeal, which is supporting Trinity Hospice and Brian House children’s hospice.
Peter said: “This is such a good cause and we are delighted to be able to help in this way.”
Concert to provide £2m boost
Music icon Rod’s much awaited appearance in Blackpool tomorrow is set to boost the town’s economy by an estimated £2m, organisers say.
That’s the economic spin off for local traders, including hoteliers, restaurant owners and publicans, Rod’s concert will bring to the Fylde coast.
With the final few tickets about to sell out, it promises to be a massive night for Rod fans – and local businesses.
It’s part of just a handful of shows Rod is performing in the UK this summer on a short tour of football stadiums and a cricket ground.
Promoter Peter Taylor says the financial benefits to Blackpool and the surrounding area from the show are phenomenal.
He said: “We estimate Rod’s appearance at Bloomfield Road will give the economy of the Fylde coast a welcome £2m boost.
“Businesses across a range of sectors will benefit from the influx of Rod fans to the town.
“Hoteliers, pubs and restaurants as well as shops will be among those feeling the benefit.
“We’re already hearing that business is looking good across the Fylde coast on Friday.
“And because the show is on a Friday that feelgood factor is also being spread throughout the weekend.
“We’re all tremendously excited by the concert and Rod can’t wait either. It promises to be a real evening to remember.
Rod announced his tour after releasing his first album of new original material in almost 20 years. The album, called ‘Time’, hit number one.
Any remaining tickets for the show are available from www.ticketline.co.uk or by calling 0844 888 9991, as well as a few last-minute VIP, coach and hotel packages.
‘It’s great to be back in Blackpool’
Rock legend Rod Stewart may have given up playing ‘the beautiful game’ at the age of 69 – but that doesn’t mean he won’t get a kick out of performing at the home of Blackpool FC.
The football-mad singer has hung up his playing boots. But he is continuing to kick footballs into the crowd every night of his summer UK tour – just as he has done at gigs around the globe.
It has become one of Rod’s entertainment trademarks and he even does it at his Vegas performances every night.
He said: “The show wouldn’t be the show if I stopped kicking out those footballs. It would be like not performing ‘Maggie May’ – it’s part of what I do.
“It’s extraordinary the lengths people will go to get hold of one of the footballs.”
However, Rod reveals that he uses his football skills to make sure the balls land where he wants them.
He explained: “I love to see people’s faces light up when they get one of the balls and try to place them at particular points within the crowd.”
Rod, who believes his entertainment skills are getting better with age, has recently toured the States with fellow music legend Carlos Santana.
But he’s looking forward to travelling back to Blackpool for the first time in 40 years.
His much anticipated concert at Bloomfield Road on Friday will mark his first in the resort since December 1974 when he performed here with legendary group The Faces.
His autobiographical last album, ‘Time’, forms the heart of his five-date road trip across the country.
Fans are already counting down to the big kick off.
The tour started at Brighton and Hove Albion’s Amex Stadium before moving on to Premier League Stoke City’s Britannia Stadium and now he’ll be at Bloomfield Road on Friday.
The three venues are the biggest of the tour, which also included a concert at Somerset County Cricket Ground in Taunton, on Wednesday, as well as a show at Falkirk Football Club, on Saturday.
Rod said: “It’s great to play smaller places, though they’re not exactly small venues.
“I tend to go to the same places every year, Manchester, Glasgow, London, it’s nice to mix it up and go to other places.
“It’s what I do and I love doing it. It’s my job and I am just loving it.
“I’m just smiling all over the place when I’m up there. It’s a wonderful way to earn a shilling.”
Rod added: “A lot’s happened for me both professionally and personally since I last played these locations and I’m delighted to be finally coming back.
“It’s been a long time coming, but I’m looking to make my return something people will remember.
“It’s also going to be fantastic playing football stadium venues and the atmosphere is going to rock!”