The European Tour 1999 will most probably cover just 10 shows, unless the Stones add some more shows last minute. The following are some advices in case you plan to travel to one or more of these shows, and you do not know the local places. All distances are given by train travel, i.e. how many hours or minutes it takes to get there by train. To find a lot more travel info, go to the IORR internet site www.iorr.org!
1. Stuttgart May 29: Stuttgart is the home town of the famous cars Mercedes and Porsche, and is selected to be the city of the tour opening this year. It is located two hours north west of Munich, and two hours south west of Nuremberg, in the south west part of Germany. The show will be at the Cannstatter Wasen, a big field. For tickets, call +49 180 55700. Hotel Pannonia is located right next to the field, and is selling a package with Stones ticket and a room - tel. +49 711 95400.
2. Imst May 31: Imst is a Tirolian village in the Austrian alps. Strange place for a Stones show, field show, and all hotels in the area has been full for months. But the austrian railways will be running extra trains from all over Austria, so transportation should be fine. Imst is located half an hour by train west of Innsbruck, towards Switzerland. The travel from Stuttgart to Imst takes 6 hours, not that bad. Tickets call +43 1 88088.
3. Groningen June 2 (Charlie's birthday!): Tickets: This show is sold out, but it's around 100,000 people there, so if you show up without a ticket in Groningen on the day of the show, it's a matter of trading and negotiations to get a ticket from someone having spares. If you are coming from the Imst show, you will spend 16 hours on the train, as it takes you all the way through Germany, from the very south to far north west, crossing into the far northern part of the Netherlands. This is another field show. Trains from Amsterdam to Groningen: 2 h 15 min.
4. Edinburgh June 4: Travel from Groningen to London takes 9 hours by train through Brussels and under the channel by Eurostar, then another 7 hours from London to Edinburgh in Scotland. Edinburgh is world famous as a cultural city and is listed in the UNESCO world heritage list. Tickets: Phone +44 131 549 8383.
5. Sheffield June 6: The city of steel, as Mick announced it when playing the same venue (stadium) in 1995. Sheffield is 4 hours by train south from Edinburgh, one hour east of manchester, one hour south of Leeds. Tickets: Phone +44 114 291 9392.
6 - 7. Wembley, London June 10-11: Wembley is one of the most popular places to see the Stones, and you know why when you listen to the crowd as Mick is saying "It's good to be home". The Stones have played Wembley Stadium 10 times since 1982, including the final 1990 shows, last time with Bill Wyman, now seen in the IMAX movie. These shows may be the last ones, as Wembley will be rebuilt soon, taken down and totally changed. Highly recommended if you can spare a week-end and go to London for these two shows.
Due to the strict curfew of 10:30 sharp, the Stones usually start the shows at 8:20pm in Wembley, but this may change. The stadium capacity is 70,000 people, and transportation is easiest by tube (underground). Prepare for a big, big tube queue after the show, but they move fast, really. Recommended meeting places before the shows: Paddington area: Try the pub Pride of Paddington located right outside the Paddington station. Easy access to direct tubes to Wembley. Also, for a meal, try Bill Wyman's restaurant Sticky Fingers, 1a Phillimore Gardens, tube station Kensington High St. Wembley tickets: Phone +44 181 242 9595.
8. Santiago de Compostela June 15: Another city on the UNESCO world heritage list, a historic pilgrim place. It's located in the Galicia, north west part of Spain, only one hour from Vigo, played last year by the Stones. Travel from London by train via Paris takes around 24 hours, so flying might be an option (Spanair through Barcelona or Madrid). The show is performed at the Monte do Gozo, a field just outside the city. This is a small place, so book your accommodation early! Ticket info: Phone +34 981 541999.
9. Landgraaf June 18: Same place as the Stones played in 1995. The site is called Pinkpop, a field used for festivals. Landgraaf is a small place in the far south of the netherlands, 5 minutes by train from Heerlen, Amsterdam is 3 hours away, Mastricht 40 minutes, Brussels 3 hours, Aachen 25 minutes, Cologne 1 hour 30 min. Tickets: +31 800 300 1250.
10. Cologne June 20: Last stop of the tour, 1 1/2 hour by train from Landgraaf, so these two shows might be a nice week-end travel. Due to a summit in the city, Cologne is very busy, most hotels are full. This is a stadium show in another cultural city, world famous cathedral etc. Tickets: +49 180 55700.
Other events: Rehearsals two weeks before the tour start in Amsterdam (not confirmed), and may be club shows in London, UK, still not confirmed!
It's Only Rock'n Roll no. 36 - May 1999 - © The Rolling Stones Fan Club Of Europe