North Queensland has scored a rare musical coup, with Sir Elton John’s Once In A Lifetime tour set to hit Mackay and Cairns in September.

“I always love coming back to Australia,” Sir Elton John said.

“It holds a very special place in my heart, ever since my first visit there at the start of my world-wide career in 1971. My band and I are really looking forward to playing there again in September and this tour will be even more memorable because it will be the first time I have ever played Mackay and Cairns… which I can’t believe, but there you have it.

“If the audiences are anything like those at all of the other shows we have done in Queensland over the years, everyone will surely be in for a wonderful, crazy night!”

In Mackay for the announcement, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the two concerts combined are expected to attract crowds of more than 24,000 people.

“Queensland is the only state to secure two performances on the Australian leg of this world-class tour – and they’re both in North Queensland,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Bringing one of the world’s biggest names in music to Mackay and Cairns is a major win for this region, particularly the local tourism industry.

“This will be the first and last time Sir Elton John will perform in the region, so for many locals it will be their only opportunity to experience a live performance by one of the most highly acclaimed and successful solo artists in the world.”

Mayor of Mackay Councillor Greg Williamson said it was an extremely exciting opportunity for the region.

“A concert involving an icon of the international music industry provides the ideal platform to promote Mackay’s liveability, natural assets and showcase the enormous pride within our community,” Cr Williamson said.

“This concert is tangible evidence of how we are developing partnerships to deliver significant economic benefits to our region.”

Mayor of Cairns Councillor Bob Manning also welcomed the news.

“We’re excited to welcome a performer of this calibre to our city. Sir Elton John is an icon of the international music industry and we’re thrilled that Cairns has been chosen to host the closing show of his upcoming Australian tour,” Cr Manning said.

“We are striving to make Cairns the arts and culture capital of Northern Australia and the opportunity to host this major music event will allow us to showcase our city as an arts destination.

“We look forward to working with Tourism and Events Queensland, Cazalys and the promoter to make this a truly memorable event for Far North Queensland.”

Sir Elton John and his band will play BB Print Stadium (Mackay) on 22 September and Cazalys Stadium (Cairns) on 30 September.

Tickets will go on sale on Wednesday 14 March. To sign up for pre-sales and buy tickets, visit Chugg Entertainment.