David Bowie, Split Enz Withdraw From New Zealand Y2K Concert

After looking to become one of the first music artists to ring in the new millennium, David Bowie has decided to pull out of the Gisborne 2000 "First Light" Festival set for Gisborne City, New Zealand on New Year's Eve.

In a statement issued on Monday via his publicists, Bowie's management indicated its belief that the concert's promoters did not "have the ability or financing to complete the necessary infrastructure, production, and marketing arrangements required for a safe and successful Festival."

Also withdrawing from the concert is veteran New Zealand outfit Split Enz. The group was going to reform for the special gig but has now opted out as well, citing the same production concerns as Bowie's camp.

Production issues may not be the ultimate undoing for the event, as reports from New Zealand indicate that "First Light" is suffering from terminal ticket sales.

According to New Zealand's Press Association, only 1000 of the 35,000 tickets to the "First Light"

festival have been sold, and organizers were hoping to secure additional financial support for the concert before ultimately deciding its fate on Wednesday.

The Thin White Duke announced his intentions to play the Gisborne 2000 Festival back in February (see "David Bowie Makes Millennium Date While Phish Changes Plans") and has already written a special "millennium song" that he had planned to perform at the concert.

No announcement has been made as to whether Bowie will participate in another concert event or if he'll sit out the Y2K festivities, but we'll keep you posted.