Press Release | 25 Jun 2022

Elton John wows Hyde Park crowd with AR concert dedicated to NHS and frontline workers

Fans at BST Hyde Park enjoyed a spectacular time-synced 3D show, viewed through a special app.

Vodafone and British icon Elton John came together at BST Hyde Park on the evening of 24 June to deliver a unique augmented reality show that paid tribute to the NHS and frontline workers for their incredible efforts during the pandemic.

Using cutting-edge AR technology to take Elton’s highly anticipated Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour to the next level, the performance, which took place during the singer’s iconic song I’m Still Standing, saw fans enjoy a spectacular time-synced 3D show, viewed through a special app.

Speaking after the show Elton John said: “I’ve always loved to innovate with my performances and be as creative with the visual side of my shows as I am with the songs themselves. That’s why this Vodafone AR experience was so exciting tonight, and why I’m delighted to be able to dedicate it to our NHS and frontline workers. When you look at the first shows I did at the Troubadour back in the 70s, to what’s possible now, it’s completely transformed, and I’m fascinated about what this technology could mean for the future.”

Max Taylor, Consumer Director at Vodafone UK, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many NHS and frontline workers enjoying the tech tribute we designed for Elton John’s iconic song, I’m Still Standing. We hope we helped the audience feel connected to the performance in a new, exciting way and that it will be one that they will remember for a long time to come.”

The AR performance is part of Vodafone’s wider commitment to use its technology and connectivity to enhance festival experiences for music fans this summer.

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Vodafone 5G gives deaf and hard-of-hearing fans a first-of-its-kind live music experience

The wearable tech lets fans feel the music through vibrations, delivered by 24 touch-points around the suit, to provide a multi-sensory experience.

About American Express presents BST Hyde Park:

Set in London’s beautiful Royal Park, the event kicked off in 2013 with The Rolling Stones reliving their legendary 1969 gig, plus Bon Jovi, Lionel Richie and many more packing out the park for memorable summer nights.

In 2019, the festival experienced more once-in-a-lifetime moments – Celine Dion slaying the festival, Stevie Wonder stunning with a greatest hits set, Barbra Streisand charming fans and critics alike in a rare show, Florence + The Machine bringing a host of female performers to their day as well co-headliners The National and finally, Robbie Williams royally entertaining a sold out Hyde Park.

The event has featured many now-famous shows from Carole King, Stevie Wonder, Black Sabbath, Take That, Kylie Minogue, The Who, Blur, Kendrick Lamar and so many more.

Every year, each headliner is joined by a full supporting line-up across multiple stages, from major superstars to handpicked developing acts performing for fans from across the UK and the world.

And the midweek programme allows free access to the site with outdoor cinema, street food markets, children’s theatre, fitness classes, summer sports screenings, evening events, live music and much more.

About Elton John:

Elton’s career achievements to date are unsurpassed in their breadth and longevity. Elton is one of the top-selling solo artists of all time. In the UK and US charts alone he has 1 diamond, 32 platinum or multi-platinum, and 21 gold albums as well as over 70 Top 40 hits. He has sold more than 300 million records worldwide.

He holds the record for the biggest-selling single of all time, “Candle in the Wind 1997”, which sold over 33 million copies. Released in 2017 ‘Diamonds’ the Ultimate Greatest Hits album, became Elton’s 40th UK Top 40 album and has spent over 200 consecutive weeks in the top 75 of the UK album charts, over 110 of these in the top 20. This release celebrated 50 years of his songwriting partnership with Bernie Taupin. August 2018 saw Elton named as the most successful male solo artist in Billboard Hot 100 chart history, having logged 67 entries, including nine No. 1s and 27 Top 10s. ‘The Lockdown Sessions’, an album of collaborations recorded during the COVID-19 Pandemic, was released in October 2021 and went straight to number 1 in the UK album Charts, becoming Elton’s 8th UK number 1 album in the process. It’s lead single “Cold Heart (PNAU Remix) with Dua Lipa” became a bona fide global hit, reaching number 1 in the UK and Australian singles charts. Its success meant that Elton became the first-ever solo artist to score a UK Top 10 hit single in six consecutive decades. In America, he holds the record for the longest span between Billboard top 40 hits at 50 years.

Elton announced the ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ tour at New York’s Gotham Hall in January 2018. Encompassing five continents, and over 350 dates, this five year long tour started in September 2018 and marks his retirement from touring after more than 50 years on the road. In 2019 it was named Billboard’s Top Rock Tour and Pollstar’s Major Tour Of The Year. To date, Elton has delivered more than 4,000 performances in more than 80 countries since launching his first tour in 1970. 2019 also saw the release of ‘Rocketman’ and global bestselling autobiography, ‘ME’. An epic fantasy musical motion picture of Elton’s life, ‘Rocketman’ has been a commercial and critical hit, taking close to $200m at the box office. It has won an Oscar, two Golden Globe Awards and a Critics’ Choice Award and garnered BAFTA nominations. Its soundtrack was also nominated for a GRAMMY Award.

Among the many awards and honours bestowed upon him are six GRAMMYs, including a GRAMMY Legend award, a Tony and two Oscars, a Best British Male Artist BRIT Award, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Kennedy Center Honor, Legend of Live Award, 13 Ivor Novello Awards between 1973 and 2001 and a knighthood from HM Queen Elizabeth II for “services to music and charitable services”.

In 1992, Elton established the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which today is one of the leading non-profit HIV/AIDS organizations and has raised over $515 million to date in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. In June 2019 President Emmanuel Macron presented Elton the Légion d’honneur, France’s highest award, for his lifetime contribution to the arts and the fight against HIV/AIDS. Elton was awarded the Companion of Honour in the 2021 New Year Honours list. The highest acknowledgement in the list, Elton became one of only 64 people to hold the honour. September 2019 saw The Royal Mail issue a set of 12 stamps as a tribute to Elton being one of the most popular and enduring music artists of all time. Elton was only the second individual music artist to be featured in a dedicated stamp issue. In July 2020 the Royal Mint released an Elton John commemorative coin, the second in their music legends series to celebrate ‘one of the most successful and enduring artists of all time’. Always a tireless champion of new artists, Elton has been a leading industry voice in lobbying the government for young artists visa-free touring rights in Europe post-Brexit.

About The Royal Parks:

The Royal Parks manages, protects and improves over 5,000 acres of historic parkland and green space so that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy their natural and historic environments.

It costs around £45 million a year to care for the eight royal parks and your purchase today has helped us raise vital funds for a sustainable future. Thank you.

If you would like to do more to support The Royal Parks charity, please visit royalparks.org.uk/support-the-parks to find out about opportunities such as volunteering or taking on some of London’s most popular sporting events.

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed-line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were also the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. As of March 2022, we have 5G in 380 locations across Europe – 141 in the UK and 239 across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland. Our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. To help deliver Gigabit UK, our full-fibre broadband roll-out programme now covers 26 UK towns and cities, rising to 35 over the coming months, through partnerships with CityFibre and Openreach. Our full fibre services are now available to more than eight million homes across the UK.

Sustainability is also at the heart of what we do: as of 1 July 2021, 100% of the grid electricity we use in the UK is certified to be from renewable sources.

For more information about Vodafone UK please visit: www.vodafone.co.uk.

Vodafone UK Media Relations

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