Wembley Stadium, London, England
25 Live tour, 2006
In 2006, George Michael made history as the first artist to perform at Wembley since the stadium closed for major renovations six years prior. Tickets sales for the gig broke records as they sold out less than two hours after being released. Michael was ultimately fined £130,000 after running 13 minutes past the new venue's curfew.
The 25 Live Tour proved to be one of Michael's most commercially successful, grossing over $200 million. A total of 1.3 million fans across 43 countries witnessed the former WHAM! singer perform his first European tour in over fifteen years and first American tour in seventeen years. Though originally slated for a four-month run, the tour was extended for an additional two years due to overwhelming demand.
25 Live presented concertgoers with some of the most technologically-advanced live spectacles of their time--among them, a 3D background video screen comprised of 3,000 LED pieces and extending to the stage floor, on-screen visuals synchronized to the music, and a state-of-the-art sound system producing a more vibrant and less distorted live audio.
Throughout the tour, Michael used the opportunity of performing on the world's platform to draw attention to causes near and dear to his heart. During his concert in Sofia, Bulgaria, he voiced support for the Bulgarian nurses prosecuted in the HIV trial in Libya. Over a year later, he kicked off the North American leg of his tour in San Diego with positive remarks for the state's recent move to legalize gay marriage.
“It's fantastic news that George Michael is to play Wembley Stadium’s opening concert. He's no stranger to this great stage having performed at the old stadium both with Wham! at Live Aid and also as a solo artist, so this is a fitting first gig in the new stadium. I'm sure this will be a very hot ticket and we are looking forward to putting the stadium back on the world map as a major music destination…"
— Alex Horne, Managing Director of Wembley Stadium