‘Elton John’ swamped by fans on the Gold Coast
FROM elaborate VIP dinners to fan-mania on international flights, this southeast Queensland man's likeness to Elton John has lead to a life of luxury.
But the tribute artist doesn't always need the fancy get-up to turn heads.
"When I was in India doing shows I received an official welcome from a top-ranking parliamentarian, welcoming Sir Elton to the city," the Sunshine Coast performer recalled.
"My tour manager begged me not to correct her because he knew she'd be so mortified."
The uncanny likeness to the iconic British performer has also led to luxurious hotel room upgrades and decadent VIP meals, as well as plenty of fan-mania.
"When I travel I wear a black-and-white Adidas tracksuit like Elton because it's comfy," he said.
"I was flying to Bankok sitting in seat 1A at the front of the plane, and as I get on the entire plane screams - they were all coming up for autographs during the flight and afterwards I had a photo with everyone.
"I try make it clear I'm not him, sometimes there's a language barrier."
Mr Andrew was swamped with onlookers as he visited Surfers Paradise beach yesterday, ahead of the VIVA festival, which is set to take over the beachfront from July 12-21.
Surfers Paradise Alliance CEO Mike Winlaw said this year Australia's largest tribute artist festival would be boosted by the release of Hollywood biopics like Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody and Elton John's Rocketman, and a forthcoming Elvis film.
"We're seeing, through the films that are being produced, a resurgence of interest in the old music so the crowds are getting younger …(they're) just leading us to bigger and better crowds," he said.
The 10-day festival is free, but fans are encouraged to purchase VIP tickets to ensure a seat at some of the most popular shows, with thousands of international music lovers travelling to enjoy the music.