The grand World Stadium Tour ‘A Romantic Vienna Night’ came to Europe too! With a set featuring a life-size replica of the imperial Schönbrunn Palace (the world’s biggest mobile stage) André Rieu and his Johan Strauss Orchestra performed together with more than 250 artists in Düsseldorf, Leipzig, Amsterdam, Paris and Brussels. The concerts were a great success. The concerts featured the Platinum Tenors, the Vienna State Opera Ballet, 80 Vienna Debutantes, the golden coach with the Empress Sisi and Emperor Franz-Joseph and the Vienna Figure Skating Association.
In March André Rieu set a new record in Australia when the millionth item was sold. Australia is entirely under the spell of André Rieu. On 7 April 2008 André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra received the golden Medal of Honour from Mayor Gerd Leers of Maastricht – the greatest distinction the city can offer. The autumn was all about Australia. Rieu broke record after record with sales of his CDs and especially DVDs. He was the most successful artist in 2007 and in 2008, with more than 2 million copies sold by the end of 2008.
From mid November Rieu toured Australia with more than 500 people, taking the replica Schönbrunn Palace with them. Almost 300,000 people came to his concerts ‘down under’. The Melbourne concert, attended by more than 38,000, was broadcast live on Australian and Dutch television. The DVD ‘Live in Australia’ was released worldwide. 2008 was a top year for André Rieu and his orchestra. At the end of the year he was the only classical musician in the top ten of the Pollstar list – the important annual ranking of best-selling worldwide touring acts. The only artists above the King of Waltz were big names like Madonna and The Police.