Forget £400 for a Rolling Stones ticket – one couple are shelling out £1,500 to bring their favourite artist to Cardiff.
Gareth and Kate Coombes first saw American rocker Willie Nile perform in Bristol three years ago. The couple became friends with the singer after attending his gigs all over the UK.
And the couple, from Windsor Road in Penarth, were determined to bring him to Cardiff.
Gareth, 51, a school adviser, and Kate, 46, who runs a nursery, have no previous music industry or promotional experience.
But they funded the gig at Clwb Ifor Bach, which takes place on Saturday, with their savings.
Gareth said: “We are not your typical rockers and it’s all completely new to us, but sometimes you have to do what you believe in.
“We’ve had to chase radio stations, book venues and sort out insurance, among other things. The club holds 220 people, and we hit 100 on Tuesday, which was our first target.
“We will receive a very small amount back from ticket sales, but overall it will cost us just over £1,500.”
That amount dwarfs the price of Rolling Stones tickets for a recent show, which sparked controversy when they went on sale for between £106 and £406.
Gareth describes their efforts as a “necessary labour of love”, and says he was drawn to the artist by the social conscience and values of his records.
He added: “There are two sorts of people in this world – those who have seen Willie Nile perform and those who haven’t. There is no one who has seen him just once! We’ve been about 18 or 19 times.”
Nile, 65, is from Buffalo, New York, and has previously toured across the US, opened for The Who and performed with Bruce Springsteen.
The singer says Gareth and Kate have almost become like his family, and he no longer sees them solely as fans.
He said: “They take vacations all round the UK just to come and see me. They are wonderful people and their friendship is so important to me.
“One of my favourite parts of what I do is making friends with the fans. But my relationship with Gareth and Kate is an exception. It’s much more special.”
Nile has previously performed in charity events in North Wales, but this Saturday will be his first visit to Cardiff.
He added: “I’m really looking forward to performing in such a great city, and it will be fantastic to see Gareth and Kate once again.”
After Saturday night’s gig on their doorstep, Gareth and Kate plan to travel a bit further afield to see their favourite singer – in Gothenburg, Sweden.