Sign up for IQ Index
The latest industry news to your inbox.
AEG-run venue welcomed a record number of visitors last year with a busy schedule of live music, sporting and entertainment events
By Anna Grace on 15 Jan 2019
The SSE Arena, Wembley, celebrated its busiest year on record in 2018. More than one million fans attended events at the 12,500 cap. arena over the year, the largest number of annual visitors since the venue opened its doors in 2006.
Last year, 157 performances took place in the 12,500-capacity London venue. Events included the world premiere of the Golden Globe-winning film Bohemian Rhapsody, three sold-out nights for Arcade Fire, the first ever all-nighter from drum’n’bass legend Andy C, an exclusive Smashing Pumpkins show, George Ezra’s biggest headline concert to date and a sold-out show for Slayer as part of their historic final world tour.
“Our reputation as one of the UK’s most iconic concert and events venues rang true in 2018,” says John Drury, vice-president and general manager of the SSE Arena, Wembley. “With a stunning array of events across music, comedy, sport and entertainment, we helped to create memories that will last a lifetime.”
“Our reputation as one of the UK’s most iconic concert and events venues rang true in 2018”
Venue developments in 2018 included the unveiling of a brand-new 200-cap. restaurant, the Empire Bar & Grill, as well as an accompanying 50-cap. VIP Empire Lounge. 12,000 visitors downloaded the venue’s new app, which allowed them to skip out food and drink queues, with many outlets in the arena offering dedicated collection lanes for those ordering through the app.
SSE, the venue’s naming partner, invested in free in-auditorium wifi, mobile phone charging points and social activations. Members of the SSE Reward programme received exclusive offers to ticket presales, and enjoyed a dedicated VIP entrance and customer lounge.
“Our building is 85 years old this year, but constant reinvention and innovation ensure we are ready to hit more heights through 2019 and beyond,” says Drury, optimistic for an even busier 2019.
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.