He is one of the biggest music stars ever to perform a concert in Oxford.

Since the date was announced last October, Elton John fans from across Oxfordshire and beyond have been eagerly waiting for the big day to arrive.

And about 16,500 people took their seats in the late afternoon sun on Saturday to see the first major music event at Oxford's Kassam Stadium.

All afternoon fans had been arriving in Oxford from as far away as Bournemouth and Staffordshire. Park and ride shuttle buses ploughed their way to and from the stadium throughout the afternoon.

A 30-strong crew had been at Oxford United's ground since Monday, preparing the pitch and setting up the stage.

And on Saturday they took delivery of Sir Elton's piano, together with the lighting rigs, guitars and drums before the arrival of the Rocket Man himself by private helicopter.

Staff at the Kassam were under strict orders to provide flowers, Twinings tea, Diet Coke and San Pellegrino sparkling water for Sir Elton's dressing room.

Until a week ago there were about 3,000 tickets still up for grabs, but a last-minute surge in sales meant only 1,000 seats were empty when he took the stage.

Sir Elton played for more than two hours and performed a 22-song set, spanning three decades.

It has been more than 25 years since Sir Elton performed in Oxford his last visit was in 1979 when he played at the Apollo Theatre.

Bosses at the Kassam Stadium say they hope Sir Elton will be the first of many musical acts to perform at the venue.

Among the other big stars to perform in Oxfordshire this summer are boy band Westlife, who will be singing at Blenheim Palace, in Woodstock, on Friday.

James Blunt will also be playing at the palace on Saturday and Jools Holland on Sunday.

And former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant, The Waterboys, Deacon Blue, The Pretenders and Texas are scheduled to perform at the Cornbury Festival, in Charlbury, the following weekend.