Kahuku-born Iam Tongi, the first person with Hawaii ties to win American Idol, will return to Hawaii to headline three shows in December.
Tongi last performed in Hawaii in July for Ohana Day 2023, a two-day concert at Turtle Bay Resort. The teen made his ohana and Hawaii proud in May when he beat out Season 21 finalist Megan Danielle from Georgia for the top spot.
During his “Idol” audition, judge Lionel Richie asked why Tongi left the Hawaiian Islands. Tongi said his family had been “priced out of paradise.”
Rick Bartalini Presents announced that “Yessah: Ian Tongi Returns to Hawaii” on Dec. 9 at the 7,000-seat Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu. Ticket prices for that show, which is among the first concerts in the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena since it closed for repairs and renovations in May 2023, will start at $27.50. Tongi will perform Dec. 12-13 at the 1250-seat Maui Arts & Cultural Center, where ticket prices will start at $64.75.
Rick Bartalini said in a statement, “It is incredibly meaningful for us to bring Iam back to Hawaii for this string of performances. All of us at RBP felt a tremendous surge of pride watching Iam progress through and then win the 21st season of American Idol. I recently rewatched some videos from that season and I honestly teared up, knowing how special these shows will be for Iam. We know that the people of Hawaii feel the same way. We do expect that demand for tickets will be very high and that these shows will sell out quickly.”
Geo-limited presale tickets are available online for Hawaii residents starting Friday at 10 a.m. HST, online ticket sales will begin for the mainland on Sept. 29 at 10 a.m. HST. Maui Arts & Cultural Center members may access geo-limited presale tickets on Wednesday at 10 a.m. on the mauiarts.org site.