He might look as if he’s been around the block a few times, but 2019 marks Arthur’s 25th birthday, so to celebrate his landmark silver anniversary, we contacted some past winners of the coveted statuette, awarded annually at the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) in London.
As well as learning what the arrival of Arthur meant to their professional lives (and where he resides in their homes and offices), we asked our alumni to share their hopes and dreams for the future; their most memorable ILMC and Gala Dinner moments; and what new Arthur category they might like to see in our annual awards show.
Following yesterday’s contribution from MGR Touring’s Gillian Park, it’s time for Lucy Noble, artistic and commercial director of five-time venue of the year (aka the First Venue to Come Into Your Head), the Royal Albert Hall, to offer her thoughts.
We’re delighted to get this industry recognition so many times, it’s a real honour and it feels so rewarding to know the impact we have with both customers and industry. Part of what makes the Hall such an exciting place to work is the diversity of the artists and partners that come through the door – it’s that constantly evolving troupe that lets us reach so many different audiences, and helps us to achieve this recognition.
We keep our Arthurs in our main boardroom, overlooking the 1851 memorial to Prince Albert, which may soon be replaced with a 20ft “Arthur” statue. It’s great to have them there anyway, as they watch over our plans for the future.
The amazing thing we find about this industry is that everyone has become a friend in some way. We really find that the networking is the most important part of ILMC, so it’s always fantastic to meet new people, and catch up with old friends.
“We really find that the networking is the most important part of ILMC, so it’s always fantastic to meet new people, and catch up with old friends”
Frankly, there are so many brilliant teams working at venues around the world, and we’d love to see a new Arthur to spotlight some of behind the scenes. But we would say that, wouldn’t we.
Looking ahead to the next decade, people’s expectations of live events are going to be higher than ever, so we’re looking to constantly measure and adapt – from the moment a customer hears about an event, to their purchase path, the visit itself and the show production, to the ways we communicate with them afterwards. Technology is allowing the industry to present and promote in so many new ways, whether that’s in the brilliant productions on stage, or the touch-points around that, so we’re going to keep pushing those boundaries ourselves to keep delivering those unforgettable experiences.
We’re hoping to keep seeing young people engaging with music – whether at school or at home, by listening, performing or writing. It’s great to see how technology can help people share their experiences, but at the same time we’d like to see fewer phones at events – for audiences to shift that focus back to the live moment and the experience itself.
Other previous First Venue to Come Into Your Head award winners include the O2 Arena, 02 Academy Brixton, Wembley Arena, Ahoy Rotterdam, Colorline Arena, Earls Court, SECC, Saku Suurhall, Paradiso and Shepherds Bush Empire.
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