Elton John’s A Day on the Green concert in Melbourne was cut short by wild weather. Picture: AAP/Julian Smith
Elton John’s A Day on the Green concert in Melbourne was cut short by wild weather. Picture: AAP/Julian Smith

Elton John flees stage as flash storm hits

Music legend Elton John has been dramatically covered with a tarp and rushed off stage after torrential rain forced him to abandon his outdoor show in Victoria's Yarra Valley.

The wild weather struck about an hour and a half into the performer's Friday night set, A Day on the Green festival organisers said.

"Best show stopper I've ever seen! It was 43C all day then out of nowhere a flash storm hit (with) wild winds!" one woman at the concert, Susan Ellis, wrote on Instagram.

 

Ms Ellis took this photo at the concert, showing rain lashing the stage. Picture: Instagram/Susan Ellis
Ms Ellis took this photo at the concert, showing rain lashing the stage. Picture: Instagram/Susan Ellis

"That's not a beam of light in the photo but sideways rain pelting down straight onto Elton John and his grand piano. The piano is f***ed, so are the drums (rained even reached the back of the stage) and all the camera gear!" she said.

"Elton played on until he was taken off stage as they got scared he might get electrocuted. Craziest part of the tour so far. A chair even flew off stage … and nearly hit me."

Video posted online appeared to show rain and wind lashing Sir Elton and his piano as he performed Funeral For A Friend at the front of the stage.

"This is the moment the storm hit and someone threw a tarp over Elton John," one fan wrote on Twitter.

 

 

Crew could be seen escorting the star away and rushing to cover music equipment.

Elton John's A Day on the Green concert was cut short after a sudden storm pelted the event with hail. Picture: Supplied
Elton John's A Day on the Green concert was cut short after a sudden storm pelted the event with hail. Picture: Supplied

"Unfortunately due to tonight's short but heavy downpour that occurred 95 minutes into Elton John's set resulting in damage to musical instruments and monitors on stage, the show could not continue," a post on the event's Facebook page said.

"We too are upset about the impact of the weather on tonight's show. Please hang on to your tickets to await further information."

 

 

Earlier on Friday, the state's emergency services minister had warned of flash flooding and rain after a day of intense heat and humidity that caused power outages and prompted calls to reduce electricity usage.

An extreme heatwave - the most intense you can get that affects both the fit and healthy and the vulnerable - is engulfing southeastern Australia, with several states bracing for wild weather this weekend.

VICTORIA

The merry-go-round weather experienced a week ago is set to return as sweltering hot and humid conditions submerge the state.

Authorities are facing a number of extremes over the weekend, including heat, dust, fire and thunderstorms.

Temperatures reached almost 43C at Melbourne Park just after 3pm on Friday making the state feel more like Darwin with its tropical, oppressive weather.

Saturday is looking at 32C.

The heat saw severe fire danger forecast on Friday in the Mallee, Wimmera, Northern Country, North Central, South West and Central districts. The Northern region will continue to have a severe fire danger rating on Saturday but conditions should ease on Sunday.

Severe thunderstorms are a risk on Saturday.

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

The Australian Capital Territory is facing its worst bushfire threat in more than 15 years, the territory's Chief Minister has said.

A state of emergency was declared for the state on Friday by ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr, who said that Canberra would face its "biggest bushfire threat" since 2003's devastating fires.

RELATED: 'Erratic' fire could break containment lines

"The combination of extreme heat, wind and a dry landscape will place suburbs at Canberra's south at risk in the coming days," he said.

Of most concern is the out-of-control, 24,000-hectare fire in Namadgi National Park, which is currently at a Watch and Act level.

"It has been unpredictable," Emergency Services Commissioner Georgeina Whelan said.

"This fire could create its own weather system."

Canberra faces a second day of the mercury exceeding 40C on Saturday - with "textbook" fire conditions expected - and storms and 35C predicted for Sunday.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

South Australia is bracing for damaging winds, flooding and isolated rainfalls of up to 100mm.

Port Lincoln saw 50mm of rain in just four hours on Friday. Picture: Robert Lang
Port Lincoln saw 50mm of rain in just four hours on Friday. Picture: Robert Lang

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe thunderstorm warning for damaging winds and heavy rainfall, covering almost the entire state, on Friday afternoon.

Parts of Kangaroo Island were submerged as more than 50mm of rain fell in just four hours.

Cars were bogged down and a local Woolworths was underwater.

 

The deluge is a result of heavy rain in Australia's north which will hit South Australia the hardest before the wet weather band weakens and moves east through Victoria and NSW as the weekend progresses.

Heavy rain from northern and Central Australia is forecast to move toward South Australia over the weekend, bringing the potential of flash flooding. Picture: Bureau of Meteorology
Heavy rain from northern and Central Australia is forecast to move toward South Australia over the weekend, bringing the potential of flash flooding. Picture: Bureau of Meteorology

Rainfall totals around Adelaide are expected to be in the range of 20 to 80mm, with isolated falls of up to 100mm.

Authorities say the rain will provide temporary relief to volunteer firefighters but also creates the risk of flash flooding, prompting a warning for people to avoid deadly floodwaters.

NEW SOUTH WALES

NSW residents are being warned that extreme heat, strong winds, dust and thunderstorms pose a threat to health and could lead to bushfires flaring once again.

Temperatures continued to climb on Friday and are expected to do the same on Saturday, reaching into the 40s in the state's southeast and west.

Bureau of Meteorology acting NSW manager Jane Golding said the high temperatures, coupled with strong winds, will create very high fire danger along the state's south coast.

"With the heat comes fire," Ms Golding said on Friday.

Total fire bans have been issued for Saturday in the Illawarra, Monaro Alpine, Southern Slopes, Far south coast, Southern Ranges Monaro Alpine and Southern Ranges.

Ms Golding said the Central West slopes, Southwest Slopes and the Riverina could experience dust storms generated by thunderstorms on Sunday.

Thunderstorms are also expected in central eastern NSW.

With heatwave conditions forecast through to Sunday, NSW Health Director of Environmental Health Dr Richard Broome said people should take extra care to keep cool by staying indoors during the heat of the day and minimising physical activity.

"Even though Australians are used to hot weather, we know that conditions like those forecast cause severe and even life-threatening illness," said Dr Broome.

"Oppressive humidity" and extreme heat are forecast for much of the weekend in southeastern Australia. Picture: Supplied

WEEKEND FORECAST

Sydney is looking at 34C on Saturday - with the chance of the city's west reaching a scorching 43C - and 33C on Sunday. It could see possible storms and rainfall on Sunday afternoon.

Hobart, which also felt the heat on Friday when the mercury hit 40C, will drop back to 28C on Saturday, and back again to 21C on Sunday., with the mercury expected to hit 40C before dropping back to 28C tomorrow and 21C on Sunday.

In Adelaide, a top of 36C was expected on Friday, cooling down to 25C on Saturday and 22C on Sunday.

The mercury was forecast to hit 43C in Melbourne on Friday, with tops of 33C on Saturday and 23C on Sunday.

For West Australians, much of the heat in Perth travelled east on Friday, where the mercury hit 24C. The capital has a sunny weekend ahead, with 29C forecast for Saturday and 33C on Sunday.

Port Lincoln Woolies – the flash flood people. Picture: Robert Lang
Port Lincoln Woolies – the flash flood people. Picture: Robert Lang


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