The biggest production ever held at the WIN Entertainment Centre will open tonight when the flamboyant Lady Gaga hits the stage.
The controversial performer with a reputation for sparing no expense on production and costumes will be preceded by 30 semi-trailers and a back stage crew of 180.
And, like all divas, the songstress has forwarded a list of eccentric catering demands including “non-sweaty, non-smelly cheese on ice”.
The bulk of the semis for The Monster Ball World Tour began arriving yesterday, transporting heavy equipment, stage, rigging and video screens.
Illawarra Venues Authority general manager Stuart Barnes said equipment also included a travelator and scissor lift.
“The scissor lift comes out of the stage with her on it, and lifts her five to six metres into the air,” Mr Barnes said.
Prior to tonight’s sell-out show of 5000, the biggest event staged in Wollongong was the Keith Urban concert in December when 18 semi-trailers were used, he said.
“Pink had 12; most concerts have about four, so that shows you the size of it.
“And while most concerts require the use of one forklift and a cherry picker, Lady Gaga will be using five cherry pickers.
“The show is so massive, the bumping-in (set up) process began last Thursday.”
An added consideration was the logistics of accommodating 30 trucks, which will be sent to Vikings oval once unloaded.
“There’s also 50 catering staff and 40 security guards, so it’s a fairly massive undertaking,” he said.
As far as eccentric demands go, Mr Barnes said Lady Gaga had made some “interesting” requests.
A spokeswoman for concert promoter Michael Coppel Presents said the catering list included “a plate of cheese (non-smelly, non-sweaty) on ice”, hot, whole roasted chicken, fresh and dried fruit, six assorted vitamin waters, peanut butter and jelly.
Written in capital letters at the top of the list was: “Note: honey is very important.”
The first release of 4000 tickets to the Wollongong concerts sold out in 24 hours. More tickets have been released over the weekend for “rear restricted view” seating now the stage is erected.