Sir Elton John has apologised after launching an expletive-laden tirade at a female steward who appeared to be banning fans from waving their arms in the air.
The 68-year-old musician lost patience with concert staff at Kingsholm Stadium in Gloucester on Sunday, launching a dramatic outburst to the shock of more than 16,000 fans. “These people have come here to hear music so if they want to put their hands in the air, let them,” he said.
In the rant, Sir Elton went on to say that it was “not China” and picked out a female steward, later identified as Maria, telling her to “lighten up”. “You put a uniform on and you think you’re Hitler – well you’re not.” Cameras captured the steward leaving the stadium in tears.
Staff at the Kingsholm, which is the home of Gloucester Rugby, are understood to have been faced with some spectators moving to the front and blocking the view of others at the concert, which was supposed to be entirely seated.
Sir Elton soon apologised saying that his outburst had been “highly inappropriate” and that “no one should ever talk to a lady like that”. He added “It’s so frustrating, if people want to wave their hands, don’t tell them to stop. It’s a musical event.”
“I do apologise. Whoever told the stewards to be restricting that, that’s their f----- fault and not hers. So I apologise to her and I would be willing to apologise to her face.”
The steward duly obliged and the pair appeared to make up on stage. Before the encore he said: “Thanks for putting up with my bull---- earlier, and thanks for being such a brilliant crowd.”
The concert’s promoter Marshall Arts said that it was not responsible for the stewarding arrangements, which a spokesman said were commissioned by Sir Elton’s team. Sir Elton’s publicist last night had not returned requests for comment.