Wantage Road might not be synonymous with rock music but the home of Northamptonshire cricket is about to join the likes of Madison Square Garden, the Hammersmith Odeon and Tokyo’s Budokan as a major concert venue.
The ground will host a concert by Elton John next year as part of his nationwide summer tour. He will also appear at Sussex’s County Ground at Hove on June 26, the day after his Wantage Road gig.
Northamptonshire hope that the concert will attract a crowd of 15,000 and public tickets have already gone on sale.
It is not the first time Elton John has appeared in concert on a cricket ground as his tour of 2006 visited Hove, Canterbury, Taunton and Worcester’s New Road, where the outfield in front of the Ladies Pavilion took a long time to recover from being covered by the stage.
Old Trafford and the Rose Bowl have been used, with differing degrees of success, as regular concert venues in recent years – and now Northamptonshire have got in on the act.
Facilities at Wantage Road have improved considerably in recent years and attempts are being made to use the ground for non-cricket events to increase revenue at a time when county cricket finances are in a parlous state.