Elton John kicks off regional tour with Mackay show

Almost six months to the day since Tropical Cyclone Debbie hit north Queensland, the region is poised for the arrival of another force of nature — British superstar Elton John.

Sir Elton will play tonight in Mackay and next Saturday in Cairns, with performances in Wollongong and Hobart in between.

The four dates are the 70-year-old singer's only public shows on his Australian tour, which is largely sold out but now has limited tickets in some locations.

Fifteen thousand visitors are expected at tonight's Mackay performance, with 5,000 of that number travelling from outside the region, including 200 from overseas.

Big boost for local economy

Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson said the Once In A Lifetime tour would generate more than $4 million for the local economy.

The city has unveiled a permanent Yellow Brick Road mural in tribute to the performer's 1970s album, and will kick on with an Elton-themed street party on Saturday.

The road to the stadium, once called Casey Ave, has been renamed Elton John Drive.

"[The mural] is going to be a lasting legacy and we hope it's going to be here for decades, to just prove the fact that Elton was here in Mackay for a once in a lifetime event in 2017," Cr Williamson said.

"All of the things that are happening for this week, I've got to say we are extremely proud because this is a fantastic Mackay event."

Once in a lifetime chance

Superfan Vicky Crichton studied Elton John trivia for 10 days to win two front row tickets to the show, which happens to be the night before her birthday.

Ms Crichton from Sarina, south of Mackay, said she had loved Elton John since she was a girl singing along to Crocodile Rock with her sisters.

"I grew up with him and just love his music," she said.

"The only other chance I ever had he came to Townsville … but I had young children then and it just wasn't the right time and I was absolutely heartbroken.

"I swore that if I ever, ever got another chance to see Elton anywhere in the world I would, and it just so happened that it popped up in my backyard.

"It was just meant to be, the night of my birthday, it all just came together."

Ms Crichton prepared 18 written pages of notes for a competition held by a local radio station, where she had to answer questions about the singer's past albums, family, and charity work.

"I knew a lot about him but when I realised there were two front row tickets available I went into Google overdrive," she said.

"I was pretty highly strung. I had all these Elton questions going around my head for 10 days. I was off the planet probably."

Performer keen to see new places

Sir Elton's tour promoter Matthew Lazarus-Hall said the singer wanted to tour places he had never played in before.

"He loves being different and he loves performing, so when we sat down on the last tour and worked out what we wanted to do, he was like 'This is a great idea, let's do it'," he said.

"I've worked on a lot of Elton shows and I've never seen a dud one, so he will give this 120 per cent, it will be fantastic, it'll be a lot of the hits, and you're in for a great time."

He will be on stage for two-and-a-half hours from 8:00pm, with Australian band Busby Marou as the support act.