Sydney Fans Bail...
Whitney Houston's fans' hopes are wilting on the vines
By Marcus Casey From: The Daily Telegraph February 26, 2010 8:33AM
management team has gone into damage control as her controversial tour
lurches from crisis to crisis, with reps insisting the fallen star is in
fine health and "having a great time".
A week of toxic publicity and worse reviews for the pop-soul legend has made
thousands of ticket-holders nervous about the rest of her tour, which
resumes at the Hunter Valley tomorrow.
The phone rang regularly at the Hope Estate vineyard in Pokolbin yesterday
with ticketholders - who paid between $165 per person to $699 depending on
their packages - nervous about making the trek to the open-air venue, which
can hold 19,500 people.
"Yeah, we've had a lot of calls from people ringing up to have a whinge," a
Hope Estate spokeswoman said yesterday, saying 12,000 tickets had been sold.
"They've been asking if the concert is still going ahead, and, if it does,
whether she'll make it back to the stage if she has a break.
"But the show is going
ahead - there seems to be an overreaction out there."
Houston's publicist Kristen Foster was also defiant, saying: "Whitney is in
great health and having a terrific time on her tour and with her fans."
Foster noted that there were thousands of people dancing and signing along
at Houston's concerts this week and said the singer "appreciates their
Yet that view contrasts with news reports quoting disgruntled fans who have
complained about the star's voice and performance. Video snippets of Houston
struggling to hit notes in concerts in Sydney and Brisbane have circulated
widely on YouTube and other outlets.
Several people who asked
for refunds to the Hunter Vallery concert were directed to Australian tour
promoter Andrew McManus, who did not return calls yesterday.
Making matters worse, there are also expected to be travel problems in the
area as Tom Jones is staging a concert at nearby Bimbadgen Estate.
Disappointed Sydney fans inundated The Daily Telegraph's website with mostly
negative comments yesterday.
"If her voice is shot, and she knows it, how dare she get up on stage and
pretend it's not . . ," Pete, of Nowra, wrote.
Ross, of Moorebank, added: "I defy anyone to convince me that last night's
performance was anything but awful."
She heads to Melbourne next week.
26 FEBRUARY 2010