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27 January 2023

Elton John concert cancelled due to wild New Zealand weather

27 January 2023

Torrential rain and wild weather in Auckland caused disruption throughout the city and a Sir Elton John concert to be cancelled just before it was due to start.

About 40,000 people were expected to attend the evening concert at Mt Smart Stadium in New Zealand’s largest city.

Thousands were already at the venue when organisers decided to cancel not long before Sir Elton was due to take the stage at 7.30pm.

The concert was billed as a final farewell tour for Sir Elton.

Elton John performs during the British Summer Time festival at Hyde Park in London (Suzan Moore/PA)

(PA Wire)

Frontier Touring, one of the concert promoters, tweeted the concert had been cancelled due to unsafe weather conditions.

Many concertgoers who had braved the conditions were frustrated the decision had not been made hours earlier.

Weather agency MetService warned of flash flooding and hazardous driving conditions throughout the city.

On Friday night, transport authorities closed parts of State Highway 1, the main road that bisects Auckland.

Video posted online showed waist-deep water in some places, and authorities were asking residents in flood-prone areas to be prepared in case they needed to evacuate.

Legislator Ricardo Menendez posted a video of water surging into residential houses.

“We’ve just had to evacuate our home as the water was already rising rapidly and coming in aggressively,” he tweeted.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand said it had taken more than 1,000 calls for help, but that many were from people who had flooded properties.

The agency urged callers to clear the lines for those in immediate danger.

The unseasonable weather also caused some flights to be delayed or cancelled.

Auckland Airport said it had reduced its runway operations after an arriving aircraft had damaged runway lighting.

“This is largely impacting international arrivals and departures and larger aircraft travelling domestically,” the airport wrote on Twitter.

“Our maintenance team is on site and is working hard to fix the damage.”

Auckland mayor Wayne Brown told Radio New Zealand: “We need the rain to stop. That’s the main issue.”

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