Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Pop Prince Reigns

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Pop Prince Reigns

Article excerpt

POP megastar Prince brought joy to thousands of followers last night with his first gig in Manchester in more than a decade.

Fans queued throughout yesterday outside the Manchester Academy to see the US-hit maker.

Pre-order tickets to see the star sold within minutes after going on sale earlier this week.

A small number of tickets - thought to be around just 50 - were due to be released to die-hard fans some who queued throughout the day. Some had travelled from as far as Italy to see the star.

First in the queue was Jay Cochrane, 30, from Salford, after waiting since before 10pm on Thursday. He said: "Prince is a global icon. I would wait in this queue for another 21 hours and do it all again."

Mauro Poletto, 44, who lives near Venice in Italy, jetted to Manchester with his friends Giordano and Amalia Fontana, from Rome. He said: "We came just for the show. Prince is the greatest living artist. When we heard he was going to be in Manchester we just knew we had to be here."

Peter Keogh, 49, from Sale, was the last person in the queue. He turned up with just seconds before the gig started: "I had been monitoring the queue and it's absolutely fantastic to get a ticket."

But in the end all 350 ticketless fans who queued outside the venue were allowed into the gig - and around 150 tickets went unsold. And in a remarkable twist - a second back-to-back gig was announced as music crowds filed into the gig. Fans raced from across the city to snap up the Pounds 35 tickets for the second gig, which was due to start at 12.30am.

M.E.N. reporter Emily Heward was among those who raced to the venue.

But their excitement turned to frustration when they paid Pounds 35 - and only saw his 20-minute encore from the first performance.

Tickets for the first concert had been offered on sale for up to Pounds 1,500.

Prince had been spotted earlier in the day dining at west Didsbury eaterie Volta. …

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