Where Delta waits 14 hours for fans

August 14, 2015 11:22 am 1 comment Views: 18
People person ... Delta Goodrem meets fan Rosanna Deidda in Sydney during one of her many

People person … Delta Goodrem meets fan Rosanna Deidda in Sydney during one of her many, many instore appearances.
Source: News Corp Australia

DELTA Goodrem set the bar high at her first epic instore appearance. It went for 14 hours.

It was 2003, she had been driven way out west to Melbourne’s Highpoint Shopping Centre straight from the way out east set of Neighbours to sign copies of her debut album Innocent Eyes.

“I knew the singles had gone to No. 1 but I was so busy on Neighbours I didn’t really have any feeling of the gravity that was in the air or how people had connected with my music,” she says.

Waiting to go out on centre stage, Goodrem recalls asking “Is anyone actually here?”

Crowd estimates were at around 8000 people spread over several levels, all wanting facetime with the musician. It was the pre selfie era: full of hugs, signatures and a third party taking the photo.

“I’d never seen anything like that before,” Goodrem says. “I remember looking up at all the people and instantly it all felt real. I was blown away. They were telling me they could cut off the line to finish earlier and I said `No, if people came to say hi I’ll say hi back’. And it went for 14 hours. It was epic.”

Singer and judge on 'The Voice' TV show, Delta Goodrem sings her new single to fans at th

Singer and judge on The Voice Delta Goodrem sings her new single to fans at the Westfield Kotara shopping centre in Newcastle.
Source: News Limited

Delta Goodrem has hit the in-store circuit religiously ever since, for almost every major single or album. The average length is around six hours. By 2003 terms, that’s a sprint.

The physical CD single effectively died in 2009 as digital downloads took over, but Goodrem’s record label Sony still manufacture a large amount of physical CDs for each of her single releases. Her fans like to collect them and it gives her something tangible to sign at in-stores, which also count towards the ARIA singles chart.

“I have always had fans who like to buy the physical CD single or album. I think it’s that tactile thing, I think that comes out in having something to hold or to sign.”

LATE NIGHT SIGNING

Even professional shoppers haven’t spent as much time inside Australian shopping centres as Delta Goodrem. They are her happy place, and not for retail therapy.

“We’ve shut down shopping centres, we’ve made shopping centres stay open until midnight,” she says. “There was one where I passed out out the back because I was so tired, I had a little rest and got up and back on stage and kept going. I love them because anyone can come. A concert can be $ 100 or more. This isn’t. All you have to do is buy a single, come and get it signed, have a chat. It’s not so much about me at all, in-stores are about the people sharing their stories with me. It’s truly been a unique and epic experience when it comes to instores and me. They’ve been epic though!’’

SIGN OF THE (VERY LONG) TIMES

Delta Goodrem is not a clock watcher.

“How do I do the long in-stores? I just keep going. I’m there to be meet everybody. I live by the motto ‘If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well or you don’t do it’. If they’re going to be kind enough to wait to say hi, if they’re taking time out of their life to meet me then I’m more than happy to sit there for as long as everyone can wait. I just did another six hour one in Sydney the other week.”

Sign of the times ... Delta Goodrem signs a CD for Sharnay Stavrow of Mt Louisa.

Sign of the times … Delta Goodrem signs a CD for Sharnay Stavrow of Mt Louisa.
Source: News Corp Australia

HYDRATION NATION

Long before The Voice, Team Delta had a very different meaning …

“When the in-stores were going for 12 or 13 hours I remember we’d have juice runs and coffee runs. You’d sing a song, people get on stage, it’s a lot of fun actually. Being a very tactile person I love hearing people’s stories. You get a glimpse of their energies, you get this window into people’s lives and I truly believe eyes are the window to the soul. But you have to be quick because you don’t want to hold the line up. I’ve got a bit of a rhythm down pat now.”

FREE HUGS

Delta Goodrem is literally hands-on with her fans.

“I’ve never been one of those artists who has a personal space barrier. I believe we’re all the same. We’re all human beings. I’m probably more space invading than people are to me. I like to break down that wall straight away when we meet, I’ll hug them first and say ‘Hi, let’s talk’ to get that connection. I never know what my music has meant to someone in their life. But I know how important music has been to me, the songs that have helped me through something. Sometimes you can be in your own bubble as an artist. But every single day someone comes up to me and shares their stories with me. And I want to hear them. The instore is a good meeting place, it just happens to be in a shopping centre. I want to have a hug and an embrace and feel that connection with the people buying my songs.”

FREE EXERCISE

Forget working her wrist and vocal chords, the in-store is a full body workout and efficient time management.

“It’s good for my muscles. It’s a good work out. I’m up and down off the chair, hugging people, sitting down, standing up. I’m tall so often I have to bend forward if it’s a small kid. It’s my gym. I do it all in one.”

Group hug ... Delta Goodrem with Queensland fan Sami Stockton in 2005. Pic Annette Dew

Group hug … Delta Goodrem with Queensland fan Sami Stockton in 2005. Pic Annette Dew
Source: News Corp Australia

FREE GIFTS

She gives them music, they give her chocolate. That is a good deal.

“People know I like a lot of sweet things, I tend to walk away with truck loads of chocolate. I love the personal letters they give me too, I read a lot of the letters, that’s another way to get to know everybody.”

NEVER CAN SAY GOODBYE

Unless there’s a time or safety issue, Goodrem tries to stay to the bitter end.

“I can’t leave if there’s someone who has waited and is still there. It’s in my DNA, in my blood. I’m not someone who would disrespect someone who has respected me by listening to my music. It’d kill me to drive off and leave people waiting who wanted to meet me.”

Meet the masses ... Delta Goodrem performs to thousands of fans at Highpoint in Melbourne

Meet the masses … Delta Goodrem performs to thousands of fans at Highpoint in Melbourne.
Source: News Corp Australia

FAMILIAR FACES

Delta never forgets a face. Or a story.

“I have a very loyal group of fans who come to absolutely every thing I do and I don’t take that for granted. I have watched them all grow up. Some were 12 when I first met them, they’re now 25. They tell me about their jobs, their families, their kids. From having that personal touch at instores I’ve been able to know things about their lives. You do remember the stories, even though there’s thousands of people, you do remember the different people. And now with Twitter it’s so much easier to stay connected and see what is going on in their lives.”

TATTOO YOU

Some fans have got her under their skin, forever, regularly unveiled to her at instores.

“I’ve seen a lot of Delta tattoos, on this last instore I saw more than ever. There’s a lot of people with ‘Believe Again’, a lot of my lyrics and different symbols related to my career. It’s an absolute honour to see people connect in that way and literally get it under their skin. People who don’t get it say ‘Do you find that strange?’ and I say ‘Are you kidding me? It’s such an honour’. What a beautiful, deep connection. That moment stays with me more than they even realise. Although I do have the worst handwriting, especially after hours of signing and someone wants to get my signature tattooed over. I have to really concentrate!”

Old school ... Delta Goodrem signing albums for fans in 2004.

Old school … Delta Goodrem signing albums for fans in 2004.
Source: News Limited

Ice ice baby ... Delta with a transient souvenir from the great Blacktown instore hailsto

Ice ice baby … Delta with a transient souvenir from the great Blacktown instore hailstorm of 2007.
Source: Supplied

FANS WITH INK

Laura got the lyrics to Delta’s One Day tattooed on her arm. “She helped me through a tough time in my life when I didn’t think anything was going to be okay again,” Laura explains. “The tattoo reminds me that everything will be okay. About three months later I had the chance to show Delta in person. I was so nervous to show her because I wanted so badly for her to like it. As soon as I showed her, her face lit up and she gave me the biggest tightest hug ever. She kept saying ‘Thank you’ over and over again and she said it was amazing. Delta is the nicest, most genuine, down to earth, humble and beautiful person I have ever met. I’m so thankful for her.”

Laura’s tattoo of Delta’s lyrics

Laura’s tattoo of Delta’s lyrics
Source: Supplied

Delta Goodrem meets fan Laura

Delta Goodrem meets fan Laura
Source: Supplied

Messages to and from Delta Goodrem to fan Troy on Twitter.

Messages to and from Delta Goodrem to fan Troy on Twitter.
Source: Supplied

Troy got Delta’s signature tattooed over as well as a striking portrait of the singer on his leg. “I have a lot more to go, I am going to add all my favourite songs she has done around her,” he says of future work on his leg. “Wish You Were Here was the reason I got the Delta tattoo because that song hit my heart because I lost my nan at an early age,” Troy says. “Delta is a beautiful soul, everything she does is just amazing! The love I have for her and her music is so hard to explain.”

Troy got this tattooed over

Troy got this tattooed over
Source: Supplied

Delta portrait on the leg of fan Troy

Delta portrait on the leg of fan Troy
Source: Supplied

Bohdi from Sydney got ‘Believe Again’ tattooed on his wrist. “A few years ago I was in a dark place,” he says. “I was harming myself and didn’t see the point of living anymore. One night Believe Again came on and it really made me stop and think `No, this needs to stop. This isn’t a way to live’.” Delta knows the reason behind the tattoo. Over the past few years whenever I’ve felt down I look at my wrist and feel hopeful again.” Bohdi is now proudly 1243 days self-harm free, studying, working and happy. “I’m living my life again, instead of just existing.” He showed Goodrem the tattoo (which she’d commented on through Twitter) in the flesh two weeks ago. “I’ve met her six times over eight years. She has always been authentic.

I went to her recent instore six hours early. Her instores are the only way I feel I connect with her. She remembers me every time. She puts in effort to connect and talk. It’s not a fan/celeb basis. But a friendship. Like one big family. Cliche, yet true. I told her once after an event that she helped save my life. She told me, “and you save my life too.”

Delta and Bohdi over eight years.

Delta and Bohdi over eight years.
Source: Supplied

Bohdi’s Believe Again wrist tattoo.

Bohdi’s Believe Again wrist tattoo.
Source: Supplied

THE FAN SITE

Artin has run official fan site Delta Daily for seven years, digitally documenting Goodrem’s movements from all over Australia and the world. He says in-stores have been crucial for her career, beyond marketing and sales. “They really help to strengthen and build the fans connection with Delta and each other. I know a lot of people that see her in person at instores and see how genuinely caring she is and truly become fans afterwards. When you interact with her you see the talent and just want to help her succeed.” His site has rallied fans to help Goodrem score a No. 1 with Wings. “Delta instores are a great way for fans to come together and make new friends. This definitely helps with friends and fans uniting to help promote Delta and her active campaigns. Fans definitely want to give back to Delta as much as they can as she’s helped them so much already. We all want to see her song Wings succeed and become No.1. She definitely deserves it!”

SEARCH PARTY

Goodrem harks back to a time when musicians were enjoyed for their music. She’s had no Twitter beefs a la Iggy Azalea and focuses on her immense online love rather than her anonymous haters. The media seized on her ‘feud’ with Voice judge Jessie J, but Goodrem put it down to TV editing and the fact they’re two passionate women. Other Australian singers may get more Google searches, but Goodrem has shown you can sustain a career without resorting to controversy.

Delta at a 2003 instore appearance

Delta at a 2003 instore appearance
Source: News Corp Australia

Delta meets Delta Ruth Kimmins.

Delta meets Delta Ruth Kimmins.
Source: News Corp Australia

WINGS OVER AUSTRALIA

A pop-up instore in Richmond this week while Goodrem is in Melbourne for Cats rehearsals gave her latest single Wings a few more sales and her fans a few more signatures and selfies. The track debuted at No. 8 two weeks ago, then fell down the chart but flew back to No. 1 on iTunes after a performance on The Voice and heavy radio play kicked in. Goodrem will find out on Friday night whether she has her ninth ARIA No. 1 single and first since In This Life in 2007.

“I keep checking iTunes with one eye open to check it’s still No. 1,” she admits. “It’s exciting.”

She’s now finishing her fifth album, writing more songs with Sydney team DNA who she wrote Wings with. “I started sending the DNA guys voice messages last night of new songs — ‘Right guys, here’s a new idea, let’s get it going!’ Wings is charting in the UK now on its own steam, so I think I’ll go back over there after The Voice to promote it. There’ll be another single, hopefully the album and Cats. It’s all systems go.”

Delta’s most recent instore in Melbourne this week.

Delta’s most recent instore in Melbourne this week.
Source: Supplied

One of Delta’s first signing sessions way back in 2001.

One of Delta’s first signing sessions way back in 2001.
Source: News Limited

MARATHON IN-STORES OVER THE YEARS

Two in one day — 2003, started 11am at Cambelltown, then 4.30-9.45pm at Castle Towers, signing copies of Innocent Eyes.

Five hours at Warringah Mall in 2005 for Mistaken Identity.

Seven hours at Bankstown in 2005 for Almost Here.

Five hours at Westpoint Blacktown in 2007 for Believe Again. Fans queued from 3am with so many there it was moved outdoors in 37 degree heat. Over the course of the five hour signing the weather changed and it started hailing. Goodrem finished signing wet CD slicks for wet fans inside. Over 1600 copies of Believe Again were sold, and signed, that day.

Six hours in Parramatta in 2007 (1.15am finish) for self-titled Delta album.

8 hours at Westfield Plenty Valley signing I Can’t Break It To My Heart single.

Six hours at Parramatta in 2015 signing new single Wings.

www.news.com.au/entertainment/music

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