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Robbie Williams plays Ischgl - James Cove, Ischgl
Friday May 2, 2014 - Email this article to a friend

He performs on Saturday at 2,240m up in the Austrian resort. The closing concerts have been taking place for 20 years since the first one by Elton John back in 1994. PlanetSKI reports from Ischgl.

Robbie Williams is one of the biggest stars to play the Top of the Mountain closing concert and he follows the likes of Tina Turner, Sting, Bon Jovi, Diana Ross, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart and The Killers.

In town expectation is growing, though the weather has not been lucky so far, with rain as he arrived on Friday.

The forecast for Saturday is better, though with light cloud.

He will perform with his 25-piece band on Saturday afternoon before heading straight off to Amsterdam where he continues with his current European tour. 

He used to be a keen skier and went to Zermatt but he will not be going on the slopes this time round.

He is though staying at the best hotel in town, the 5* Hotel Trofana Royal.

Robbie's placeRobbie's place













We will hear music from his current album 'Swings both Ways' and he has his entire big band with him.

The set will include classics such as "Minnie The Moocher", a new version of "Supreme" and his latest hit "Go Gentle".

But best of all he will be performing some of his greatest hits.

In fact it was stipulated in the contract that he plays some of his classics so we can expect to hear Angels, Rock DJ and, of course, Let Me Entertain You.

"The fans want to hear his hits here at our legendary closing concerts and hear them they will," said the director of the tourist office, Andy Steibl, to PlanetSKI.

"It is fabulous to book him and we have been working on getting him here for over 2 years.  Each year we need a bigger and better act and we have done it again," he added.

The resort will not reveal how much it cost to book Robbie Williams.

However I understand that The Killers charged €1m when they played in 2011. I have it on very good authority that Robbie Williams' fee is larger.

It is though big business for the resort and 25,000 people are currently in the resort.  Last weekend there were 15,000 people so the extra 10,000 bring in much extra revenue.

No other ski resort has this many people in it in May.

"It is the biggest day of our season and puts us on the map so we get valuable exposure and branding throughout the year and it shapes our image," said Head of Reservations, Maritta Jungmann.

Robbie Williams has certainly calmed down since his wild days of the past and often travels with his wife and young child.

This week he announced that they are expecting another child.

His rider list contains nothing too outrageous.

"He wanted a large backstage area and we have provided the biggest one any artist has asked for. He wants special mineral water and fruit, plus a large massage area. However he will take the lift up like anyone else, but if he had wanted a helicopter then we would have provided it," a resort official said to me.

Elton John arrived by helicopter back in 2008 when he performed for a second time in Ischgl.

I was lucky enough to be in the resort at the time and reported on it for the BBC.

On Friday final preparations were being made to the stage with skiers and snowboarders still able to go past.

On Saturday it will heaving with people.

Quite a setting for a concertQuite a setting for a concert













In town expectations are growing that even the rain can't dampen.

Ischgl is re-known for its après ski scene and during this final weekend it takes place on an industrial scale.

Every bar is blasting out music and après ski is taken very seriously here.

Rain or shine.

Apres in IschglApres in Ischgl













The dancing girls of IschglThe dancing girls of Ischgl













More beer pleaseMore beer please













So what happens if it is cold, it snows or it rains?

Robbie is being provided with a jacket courtesy of Hugo Boss. 

I can report that it is a warm, black puffa jacket with a fur collar. Wink

I was shown it but was unable to photograph it. 

Lets hope it is not needed tomorrow and the weather is like it is in the photograph below.

Whatever happens to the weather it promises to be quite a day.Smile

NEWS UPDATE - Sunday 4th May.... and here is what the concert was like: see here for pictures reports and videos.

  The settingThe setting











Going to be quite a partyGoing to be quite a party












James Cove has special VIP access to the concert and will be attending a press conference given to selected journalists ,so do check back over the weekend for a full report of the concert including a video interview with Robbie himself.


James Cove is in Ischgl as a guest of Ski Total and is staying in its chalet-hotel, Abendrot; see here for further details.

He is also attending a special celebration event in the resort for Inghams that is 80 years old this year; see here for further details about one of the oldest British tour operators.

For the spirit of the mountains

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