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Bon Jovi go rock 'n' reel

Bon Jovi: Rocking via satellite
Bon Jovi: Rocking via satellite

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LONDON, England -- A Bon Jovi gig in London has been billed as the first to be screened live to fans in cinemas across Europe.

Wednesday's concert -- the band's first European gig in 10 years -- was beamed to more than 10,000 people across the world.

Singer Jon Bon Jovi said: "It's cutting edge -- the concert is going to be satellited across movie theatres across the country."

In the first event of its kind in Europe, 20 specially selected cinemas were linked up live via satellite to cinemas in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Austria.

The concert was also be streamed live over the web into 63 countries, and broadcast by a dozen radio stations in Europe.

Sporting events, like boxing fights and World Cup football, have been relayed live to cinemas in the past.

Can film and Web concerts replace live gigs?


A statement on the Bon Jovi Web site said the 1,500 tickets for the gig sold out in just eight minutes.

It said: "This is the first time in Europe that a live concert has been broadcast across a cinema network."

Oliver Buckwell, head of new media at Universal, whose parent company is home to Bon Jovi and UCI cinemas, told The Times newspaper: "People might say it lacks atmosphere, but how good an experience is it to be miles from the stage watching figures in the distance?"

The plan was pioneered in the U.S. in June, when a gig by Korn in New York was broadcast to fans in 37 cinemas nationwide.

Constance Schwartz, a spokeswoman for Korn's management company The Firm, told the New Musical Express: "About 80 percent of the 37 theatres were sold out and the remainder were about 60 percent to 75 percent full.

"The theatre managers were very happy and the fans walked away happy."

Ray Nutt, executive vice president with cinema chain Regal CineMedia told the Los Angeles Times: "It was a wonderful event for us, a larger-than-life screen, great sound, and the kids were dancing in the aisles, literally."

During the summer's World Cup football finals in Japan and South Korea, the UK's Odeon cinema chain showed England's games against Sweden, Argentina and Nigeria live.

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