© Guardian photo by Nigel Armstrong
Donald K Donald president Andre Hudon stands by the staging at the Charlottetown Event Grounds ahead of the Aug. 30 Shania Twain concert.
Country music superstar Shania Twain’s concert in Charlottetown Saturday night will be one of the biggest concerts in the province’s history.
Andre Hudon, president and CEO of Donald K. Donald, the Montreal-based concert producer who played a large part in bringing Twain to P.E.I., says he expects the show to draw as many as 22,000 people.
The biggest concert in P.E.I. history was the July 2007 Aerosmith concert at the former Charlottetown Driving Park that attracted about 35,000 people.
That Twain continues to be a serious box office draw is reflected in the makeup of that audience.
Hudon said a geographical analysis of ticket buyers for the show reveals that every province and territory in Canada will be represented, as well as 24 of the 50 states.
“They really are coming from all over North America for this show.”
Hudon said the show those fans will see Saturday night will be one to remember.
“This will be a truly great show, a moment in history that people will remember for a long long time. It will be an event to embrace.”
The show will feature much of the same music Twain performs in her Las Vegas show but it will not be a carbon copy of that show, which wraps up a two-year residency at Caesar’s Palace later this year.
“We’re going to give people something different, something with more of a local flavour,” Hudon said. “The Shania camp has not revealed everything to me, but there will be some surprises.”
Speaking of the show purely from a production standpoint, he said it’s quite an undertaking to put a show of this scale together.
“It’s a big event, it takes a lot of time.”
While the show was only announced publicly in March, it has been on Hudon’s desk for over a year.
“I started work on this project about 18 months ago. By the time I entered into discussions with the Shania camp to see if there was any interest it was February of 2013.”
Negotiations were made somewhat easier because Twain is under contract to AEG, which is partnering with DKD on this show.
Permission was required from Caesar’s Palace because she’s under contract to them but Hudon said the people at Caesar’s Palace were very open to the idea because this was strictly a one-off show as opposed to a tour and because it’s a special event.
“We were very lucky to get her because this is one of only two shows in Canada this year and her only outdoor show. Shania is a marquee artist in this country so you don’t do a zillion shows like this one ... This is a coup for P.E.I. and its generated a lot of interest.”
There are still some tickets available for the show and Hudon advises anyone who’s still waiting to buy tickets to do so in advance.
“Go down to the Eastlink Centre in advance or buy your tickets online to avoid long line-ups at the box office on day of show.”
Hudon, who is in Charlottetown for the show, says bringing a big show like this to a new city is exciting.
“We’re pleased to be able to do this, to collaborate with people from the city and from the Eastlink Centre to make this happen.”
He expressed the hope it might lead to other shows down the road.