Strong winds cut short Sir Elton's gig in Blackpool

Sir Elton told a disappointed crowd of almost 11,000 that on police advice he had been told to stop playing.
Sir Elton told a disappointed crowd of almost 11,000 that on police advice he had been told to stop playing. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The inaugural concert by Sir Elton John at a new venue in Blackpool was cut short on Saturday night by strong winds.

Nearly two hours into his set, Elton told a disappointed crowd of almost 11,000 that, on police advice, he had been told to stop playing.

The Blackpool Tower Headland outdoor arena lies in the shadow of the Lancashire resort's tower.
The Blackpool Tower Headland outdoor arena lies in the shadow of the Lancashire resort's tower. Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Blackpool Tower Headland outdoor arena, which was where the gig was held, lies in the shadow of the Lancashire resort's tower.

Rain poured for most of the day at the resort but relented as the concert began.

The temporary stage though was buffeted with high winds shortly before Elton called time.

I have been told there is some really bad weather on the way.

The police say you need to leave right now in an orderly fashion.

I'm sorry but I don't want anyone to be hurt. I'll make it up to you.

– Sir Elton John

ITV Granada's Entertainment Correspondent Caroline Whitmore tweeted this photo of the empty stadium after the gig had been cancelled.

The Blackpool Tower Headland outdoor arena after the show had been cancelled.
The Blackpool Tower Headland outdoor arena after the show had been cancelled. Credit: Caroline Whitmore's Twitter
Choppy waters in Blackpool.
Choppy waters in Blackpool. Credit: Caroline Whitmore's Twitter

The largely middle-aged crowd filed away from their seats without much fuss and some were happy to buy programmes and T-shirts on their way out.

Earlier he played a rousing set of all his hits and opened appropriately with Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting).

The concert was the first in a series of summer events at the venue but conditions were breezy throughout on The Promenade.

"I can't see anyone with a bikini on out there," Elton told the crowd on his first trip to Blackpool since 1977.

Other favourites played were Candle In The Wind, Rocket Man, Sacrifice and Sad Songs.

The weather, though, brought an unwelcome and early end to the night.

Strong winds have forced a charity run to be re-planned in Bournemouth.
Strong winds have forced a charity run to be re-planned in Bournemouth. Credit: Cancer Research UK/PA Wire

Throughout Saturday strong winds swept up the country from the south coast.

The strongest winds were in Southampton where they reached 56mph.

In Bournemouth a charity 10k run due to take place today was also hit after a thick layer of sand was blown off the beach and on to the seafront course.

The seafront road was covered with up to a foot of sand, leaving Bournemouth Borough Council with insufficient time to clear it before the Cancer Research UK Race for Life events.

Instead, the charity is staging two 5k runs.