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It’s coming home? Venues prepped for Euros final

A number of music venues in England are making special arrangements to show Sunday’s UEFA Euro 2024 Final.

The Three Lions, who are bidding to become the first England men’s side to win a major international tournament in 58 years, go up against Spain in Berlin from 8pm BST.

Organisers of Wireless Festival, which takes place this weekend in London’s Finsbury Park, are bringing forward Doja Cat’s closing headline set to allow the event to finish at 7pm and give fans “plenty of time to travel home” to watch the final.

“The change in running order and curfew is exclusively to accommodate people wanting to watch the football, no artists have been pulled or sets cut because of this,” a spokesperson for promoter Festival Republic tells the BBC.

Elsewhere, London mayor Sadiq Khan has confirmed The O2 will be hosting the capital’s “largest screening”, with a ballot closing earlier today (12 July) for the 15,000 free tickets.

In Manchester, the 23,000-cap AO Arena, which will feature “the UK’s biggest HD screen” is charging £7.25 to £20.25 for general admission and from £185.75 for VIP packages, including private suites for up to 14 people.

Bristol Ashton Gate stadium is also showing the match for £6 entry, while Bournemouth’s BIC and HMV Empire Coventry have already sold out their allocations.

England’s dramatic semi-final victory over the Netherlands in Wednesday’s semi-final sparked memorable scenes during The Killers gig at The O2, where the band broadcast the closing moments of the game on the big screen before launching into their biggest hit, Mr Brightside.

Fellow American band Kings of Leon also celebrated the triumph at their AO Arena Manchester show, leading a singalong of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline, which has been adopted as an England football anthem.

England are vying for their first European Championship trophy, while Spain have won the tournament three times before – in 1964, 2008 and 2012.


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Spanish rapper sells out Madrid stadium in presale

Spanish artist Dellafuente has sold out a one-off show at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium just in the presale.

The trap star reportedly shifted all 75,000 tickets within an hour for the 15 November date, organised by promoter and music management company MAAS to celebrate Dellafuente’s decade in the music industry.

Affordable ticket prices of €32-65 have been credited for helping make the Granada-born singer-songwriter the first domestic independent artist to sell out the recently renovated home of the UEFA Champions League holders. The concert will be Dellafuente’s only remaining concert of 2024.

Real name Pablo Enoc Bayo, the 32-year-old previously sold out three shows at Granada Sports Palace in 2022 and two nights at Madrid’s WiZink Center in 2023, where he was joined by fellow Spanish rapper Morad. He also attracted 15,000 people to a secret free gig on Granada’s Explanada del Paseo del Salón last month.

The Bernabéu will also welcome Karol G from 20-23 July, with the Latin superstar becoming the first artist to fully sell out four consecutive nights at the Spanish stadium.

“We have been working discreetly, but continuously, with Real Madrid to reach an agreement that allows us to reduce the noise”

Earlier this summer, it hosted two nights of Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour, as well as shows by Luis Miguel, Duki, Manuel Carrasco and Vintage Culture.

However, Público reports that all major concerts at the stadium held up to the end of May had exceeded noise limits set by municipal regulations, leaving promoters facing fines of up to €20,000 in the most serious cases.

Following protests by local residents, Real Madrid and the city council reached an agreement in June to install noise barriers and limit the number of concerts at the venue to 20 per year.

“Measures had to be taken to guarantee the residents’ rest and peace of mind,” said Madrid mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida. “The Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is also important for everything it can contribute to the city of Madrid. We have been working discreetly, but continuously, with Real Madrid to reach an agreement that allows us to reduce the noise.”


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London’s Soul Mama seals Ticketmaster partnership

Ticketmaster has been announced as the exclusive ticketing partner of YolanDa Brown’s latest venue, Soul Mama.

The London-based Afro-Caribbean restaurant and music venue will open this September at The Gantry in Stratford after Brown and music manager Adetokunbo “T” Oyelola set a Guinness World Record for the most money pledged on a Kickstarter restaurant project, raising £248,148.

The venue will regularly host local and emerging artists, with a strong focus on jazz, soul, gospel and reggae. MOBO Award-winning British saxophonist Brown will perform a three-night headline run this October, with the launch programme also including Omar, Bill Laurence from Snarky Puppy, YellowJackets and Terri Walker.

“We look forward to bringing Soul Mama to life, supporting independent artists and championing a venue that truly cares about diversity,” says Tim Goom, Ticketmaster client development director – music. “YoLanda and T have done incredibly with their record-breaking Kickstarter campaign, and we can’t wait to see how Soul Mama will change the game for live music.”

Soul Mama’s fundraiser launched last year with a selection of packages available to purchase – from tickets to Brown’s first concert at Soul Mama to pre-booked meals and memberships.

“We aim to create a space where diversity in music and venue ownership thrives”

“Having Ticketmaster as our venue ticketing partner is a significant boost for Soul Mama,” adds Brown. “This collaboration not only underscores the importance of supporting grassroots music venues but also amplifies our mission to provide a platform for emerging artists.

“We aim to create a space where diversity in music and venue ownership thrives, ensuring that every artist and visitor feels a sense of belonging and community as we build this special venue together.”

Brown, who toured with the likes of The Temptations, Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, Billy Ocean, Dave Stewart, Kelly Jones and Rick Astley. is chair of the BPI, a member of the Arts and Media Honours Committee and a broadcaster on BBC Radio 4.

Oyelola is a manager and promoter who owns entertainment management and consultancy brand Black Grape Global.


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Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena secures anchor sports tenant

Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena has been named the home venue of newly established sports franchise team, Dubai Basketball.

The ‘milestone agreement’ is said to pave the way for international professional basketball in Dubai.

The Dubai club’s initial foray will be in the 16-team ABA (Adriatic) League, which will set in motion a series of events that will bring European stars to the 15,000-capacity arena, according to the two organisations.

While the Dubai club will be playing their ABA League matches away in Europe, the emirate will host all 15 teams in the league during the nine-month season, which kicks off in September 2024.

“We’re looking at a minimum of 20 home games this season,” said Coca-Cola Arena general manager Jan Kar in the recently published Global Arenas Guide 2024.

“What’s amazing about this is it’s going to be complementary to our live entertainment programming”

“What’s amazing about this is it’s going to be complementary to our live entertainment programming. Most games will take place on a Sunday or midweek, allowing us to deliver concerts Thursday through to Saturday and the occasional Sunday.”

Salem bin Dasmal, president of Dubai Basketball, said in a press release: “Securing the Coca-Cola Arena as our official home venue underscores our dedication to elevating the sport of basketball in Dubai.

“As a beacon of entertainment and sports excellence, the 15,000-capacity Coca-Cola Arena aligns with Dubai Basketball’s commitment to delivering world-class experiences to fans across the region. This partnership allows us to create unforgettable experiences for our fans and showcase the best global basketball talent in a world-class facility.”

Coca-Cola Arena, Dubai’s first and largest multipurpose indoor venue, recently marked five “monumental” years since it opened.

The ASM Global-operated arena launched on 6 June 2019 with a sold-out show from Canadian comedian Russell Peters.

Read more about arenas in the UAE in the Global Arenas Guide 2024.


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Ticketmaster announces integration with Shazam

Ticketmaster has announced a new partnership with Shazam, the leading song-identification app.

The integration enables artists to link their Ticketmaster events directly in the Shazam app, so that fans can see where their new favourite artist is performing whenever they Shazam a new track.

The feature, which is available in all Ticketmaster markets, comes on the heels of similar partnerships with TikTok and Snapchat.

On Snapchat, fans can browse Ticketmaster’s complete catalogue of upcoming events anywhere in the world by using Snap Map. On TikTok, Certified Artists can share links to their Ticketmaster events so that fans can get tickets without leaving the app.

All three integrations aim to help facilitate easier event discovery and ticket buying for artists and fans, according to Live Nation-owned Ticketmaster.

“Our collaborations with platforms like Shazam are designed to make it easy for artists to connect their fans to their live events”

“At Ticketmaster, we are constantly working to enhance the live event experience,” says Dan Armstrong, executive vice president of distributed commerce at Ticketmaster. “Our collaborations with platforms like Shazam are designed to make it easy for artists to connect their fans to their live events.

“By seamlessly integrating ticket purchases with moments of musical discovery, we’re not only ensuring fans never miss out on unforgettable live shows but also fostering a deeper connection with the artists they love.”

To celebrate their platform expansion, Ticketmaster has enlisted Meghan Trainor, NIKI and Peach Tree Rascals to show fans how to find Ticketmaster events using TikTok, Snap and Shazam via a new campaign called Music Finds You which includes three new ad shorts that bring the app integrations to life.

“For us, music is all about connection,” say Peach Tree Rascals. “Ticketmaster’s integration with Snap Map means that our fans can easily discover when we’re in town performing, creating a space for us to unite and vibe together live. It’s a win-win situation – bringing us closer to our fans and spreading the love.”

NIKI adds: “I’m so excited for fans to be able to scroll through TikTok and buy Ticketmaster tickets for their favorite artists’ shows right away. This Ticketmaster integration makes the concert-going process a lot more streamlined. It feels like it should have always been this way in the first place!”

Ticketmaster was the first ticketing platform to partner on a product integration within TikTok in 2022, and was the only ticketing company to integrate with Snap Map’s Layers feature, which allows users to view events near them directly in the Snap Map.


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Arena fever: New venues in the global pipeline

The following article is an excerpt from the 2024 edition of the Global Arena Guide, the definitive guide to arenas hosting live music and entertainment internationally. The fourth edition of the Guide features in-depth profiles of 69 touring markets, a directory containing key contact information for nearly 600 arenas, information on key new builds and insight into cutting-edge sustainability initiatives. Subscribe now to read the full publication.

The must-have tool for promoters, booking agents and artist is published in print, digitally, and will also be available via a dedicated year-round mini-site.

This year saw a raft of new arenas open their doors, including Co-op Live in the UK; K-Arena and LaLa Arena in Japan; Bangkok’s UOB Live; and the Indonesia Arena in Jakarta. Plenty more are slated to open before the end of the year, and there are even more in the pipeline.

Much is being made of the huge scale of development in the Middle East, which is already well on its way to becoming an unmissable stop on global outings. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has some mind-boggling plans for huge developments before 2030, which many in the industry are watching with great interest.

Asia is booming, particularly Japan, where new basketball rules mean there’s a rush to build home-team venues – which will also host music. And South Korea’s K-Pop global domination is bringing dividends at home, where a number of new arenas are set to open soon – many of them with a strong focus on the genre.

Nigerian artists have also seen success around the world – and they will soon have arenas to perform in locally. Read on for a look at some of the key venues currently being built or due to be built around the world…


The Sage Arena – Newcastle, UK
Scheduled opening date: 2025
This new 12,500-cap arena is being built as part of a huge development project in the northeast city of Newcastle. Owned and operated by ASM Global, it will be one of the largest concert venues in the region and will replace the existing Utilita Arena, which opened in 1995.
The development will be supplied with heat and power from the Gateshead District Energy Scheme, fed by urban solar parks and naturally heated mine water extracted from ancient mine workings 150 metres below the site.

YTL Arena – Bristol, UK
Scheduled opening date: late 2026
At 19,000-capacity, the YTL Arena is set to be the fourth-largest arena in the UK and will be operated predominantly as a music venue, with approximately 70-75% of programming being concerts. Planned to host approximately 140 events a year, it seeks to be carbon neutral from day one.

The venue is being built in the historic hangars where Concorde was designed and built and will have the region’s largest column-less exhibition and convention halls with 11,000m2 of floor area, height clearance of 21 metres, and banqueting capacity for 4,000, together with a flexible hub for entertainment, film, TV, and music rehearsals.

Edinburgh Park Arena – Scotland
Scheduled opening date: 2027
Planning permission for the capital of Scotland’s largest indoor venue was granted to AEG in June 2024. The 8,500-capacity arena will span 18,500sqm and aims to attract an estimated 700,000 visitors per year.

Cardiff Atlantic Wharf Arena – Wales
Scheduled opening date: 2025
The single-tier arena will feature seating and floor space that can be adapted to audience sizes between 3,500 and 15,000. Set to be operated by Live Nation and Oak View Group, it was redesigned last year after inflation saw costs rise from £180m to almost £280m. The arena’s height, width, and length shrank by 6.5m, 9.53m, and 14m, respectively, reducing the venue’s capacity from 17,000 to 15,348, according to Architects’ Journal.

MUCcc – Munich, Germany
Scheduled opening date: TBC
Bavaria’s forthcoming state-of-the-art venue will not only have a capacity of 20,000 but also aims to be the country’s first climate-neutral arena.

Designed by Populous, the arena will be located in a new green space next to LabCampus, the technology and innovation centre at Munich Airport, with the seating to be arranged in a 270° horseshoe shape. This design aims to offer artists and fans unrestricted sightlines across the venue.

Specialist audio firms have been engaged so that the venue will offer “perfect sound” no matter where you’re seated. Special materials will ensure an optimal sound balance and reduce noise reflection.

MSG Arena – Milan, Italy
Scheduled opening date: 2025
Work has started on the new 16,000-capacity Milano Santa Giulia Arena (MSG Arena), which will be one of the largest in Italy and will be run by CTS Eventim. Initially, the arena (part of the Milano Santa Giulia urban development project) will be used for the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic games, after which, CTS will continue to operate it.

As well as the striking indoor arena, the design includes a piazza with more than 10,000m2 of space for festivals and open-air events.

The project, designed by Sir David Chipperfield and the international design firm Arup, is being positioned to “strengthen Milan’s standing as a global centre of culture, entertainment, and sporting excellence,” while raising “the bar for live entertainment venues.”

Roig Arena – Valencia, Spain
Scheduled opening date: 2025
The 18,600-capacity venue will be the home of Valencia Basket Club as well as hosting concerts and other entertainment. It is being funded by and named after Spanish entrepreneur Juan Roig, the billionaire owner of the Spanish Mercadona supermarket chain. Costing €280m, it will be the largest capacity arena in the country.

Víctor Sendra, MD of Roig Arena, tells us: “There is no venue like it in Spain. We are completely changing the mentality.”
It will boast state-of-the-art design, including flexible facilities for crew to ensure load-in and load-out are as swift as possible. It will also have pioneering acoustic capabilities that are adaptable to different use cases.

Ratapiha Arena – Turku, Finland
Scheduled opening date: 2027
Ticketmaster has been appointed the ticketing company for the new 10,000-capacity, €100m ice hockey arena, which is being built in the southwestern city of Turku. The venue will be operated by Turku Live, which is the current operator and restaurant company of the city’s existing venue, Gatorade Center.


Intuit Dome – Inglewood, California
Scheduled opening date: August 2024
Bruno Mars is set to open the 18,000-cap Intuit Dome in August, as the LA Clippers basketball team finally has a permanent home of its own (it previously shared the Crypto. com Arena with the LA Lakers). Other artists booked to appear include Mexican star Marco Antonio Solís, Peso Pluma, Twenty One Pilots, and Slipknot. The venue, which cost about $2bn to build, boasts an impressive 1,160 toilets, meaning people can get back to their seats more quickly – in fact, modelling shows the maximum amount of time it takes to travel the route from a seat to the toilet, to the snack bar and return is 123 seconds, according to the LA Times. (This obviously doesn’t include time spent at each site).


Arena São Paulo – Brazil
Scheduled opening date: 2024
Oak View Group, Live Nation, and GL events have partnered to build a 20,000-capacity venue, which will host concerts,
sport, family entertainment, and more.

Arena Guadalajara – Mexico
Scheduled opening date: September 2024
With a capacity of 20,000, this new venue has a façade inspired by Guadalajara’s “colourful landscape and local materials, such as the Huentitán Golden Quarry and the Tequilero Blue Agave.” It will be run by Mexican live entertainment firm Zignia Live, which as well as promoting international concerts, owns ticketing company Superboletos and operates the super-busy 17,599-capacity Arena Monterrey and 22,300-cap CDMX Arena in Mexico City.

Arena Primavera – Medellín, Colombia
Scheduled opening date: 2026
Medellín is Colombia’s second city and home to stars such as Karol G, J Balvin, MALUMA, and Freid/Ferxxo, and will be getting a 16,000-capacity arena in two years.

Arena Primavera (Spring Arena) sits on a 14-acre site, an eight-minute walk from two Metro stations, and will include a new entertainment district, a green corridor, new roads, and additional facilities. It is projected to host 600,000 spectators across 75 events each year. The venue will add to the nation’s Coliseo Live (24,000) and the Movistar Arena (12,000), in Bogotá.

“We are convinced of the potential of the entertainment market in Medellín and Antioquia, which has become a
musical and cultural reference for the country, a must-stop for national and international artists,” says Hernando Sánchez, general manager of CLK Group, which is behind the development. The company is a consortium of ticketing market leader Tuboleta, Movistar Arena, promoter TBL Live, specialised food company Venues Snacks, and Thunder Production.

The five-story arena will feature a changing LED facade, 22 suites, 20 boxes, 450 parking spaces, bicycle locations, and water- and energy-saving systems.


IG Arena – Nagoya, Japan
Scheduled opening date: 2025
Situated near the beautiful Nagoya Castle in Aichi Prefecture, IG Arena is set become one of the landmark arenas in Japan when it opens in July 2025. The 17,000-cap venue, strategically located between Tokyo and Osaka will also boast a 30m height, making it one of the largest entertainment facilities in Japan. It is projected to host 200 events a year, says CEO Edwin Omura, of AEG, which will operate the arena. “The ‘hybrid oval bowl’ design which combines both an oval and horseshoe-bowl will allow promoters to bring in multiple types of music, sports and family-type events,” he tells us. “It provides flexibility and usability to accommodate different stage layouts and various sporting events. It is also a great advantage for fans as well, allowing them to enjoy various types of entertainment and sporting events at IG Arena.” It will be the site of the 2026 Asian Games and Asian Para Games, which will be co-hosted by the Aichi Prefecture and the City of Nagoya.

Bangkok Arena – Thailand
Scheduled opening date: 2026
Due to open in 2026, Bangkok Arena will become the home of local and international entertainment in Thailand. The 15,000-capacity arena aims to host 1m guests across more than 90 events each year. The arena is adjacent to the Mall of Bangkok, which averages 35m visitors a year.

Busan Arena – South Korea
Scheduled opening date: TBC
Live Nation is partnering with Korea’s Busan Metropolitan City to develop a new arena and multicultural entertainment complex in South Korea’s second most populous city. The new destination will include a 20,000-capacity arena, an exhibition centre, hotels, and an educational facility to foster talent in K-Pop and K-Culture.

Live Nation will manage the venue, with the local Live Nation Korea team also providing expertise on content and concert promotion to book talent.

“As we continue to expand our global venue business, Busan will be an important touring hub for global superstars who are touring more of the world, as well as K-Pop and local artists,” said Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino. “We’re excited to help create more opportunities for artists and fans to connect, while also contributing to the growing tourism in the city.”

CJ LiveCity Arena – South Korea
Scheduled opening date: TBC
The “world’s first K-Pop-specialised arena,” is expected to host more than 150 events annually, including a diverse range of entertainment shows from K-Pop stars to international acts. The arena says it wants to be the epicentre of Korea’s entertainment industries and will have 20,000 indoor seats and a 40,000-cap outdoor setup, equipped with a cutting- edge stage system for quick setup and teardown.

Seoul Arena – South Korea
Scheduled opening date: October 2025
A further new arena is being built in South Korea, including state-of-the-art sound equipment, a seating capacity of around 19,000, and a maximum capacity of 28,000 for standing events. The arena will also feature a separate 7,000-capacity concert venue, as well as a cinema and commercial facilities. Seoul Arena is expected to attract some 1.8m visitors per year.

Kai Tak Sports Park – Hong Kong
Scheduled opening date: 2025
Featuring a 50,000-capacity stadium and 10,000-capacity indoor arena with retractable seating, Kai Tak Sports Park will be operated by ASM Global and predominantly host sporting events.

Glion Arena Kobe – Japan
Scheduled opening date: spring 2025
Being built as home to the Kobe Storks basketball team, Glion Arena will also host concerts, family entertainment, and conferences. The arena is built with a horseshoe-style seating arrangement and will have a maximum capacity of 10,000. The venue includes a permanent LED screen on one side, which it claims is the largest in Asia, and it will have a restaurant with an open terrace and a VIP floor.

Osaka Arena – Japan
Scheduled opening date: 2027
Due to open in 2027, the 18,000-capacity arena will play host to over 145 events and 1.6m visitors per year. The arena will include performances from international and regional music, entertainment, and sports.


Lagos Arena – Nigeria
Scheduled opening date: late 2025
The most populous nation in Africa is set to get its first purpose-built arena. In February, ground was broken on the $100m venue, which will have capacity for 12,000 and is projected to host 200 events each year, including concerts, family entertainment, basketball games, UFC fights, boxing matches, WWE shows, and more.

The consortium delivering the project includes Live Nation, Oak View Group, Tayo Amusan (chairman of real estate company The Persianas Group), the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, Yinka Folawiyo (chairman of the Yinka Folawiyo Group), Nigerian investment fund Adino Capital, and MBO Capital.

John Reid, president of Live Nation EMEA, said at the ground-breaking ceremony: “Nigeria and Africa more broadly present massive opportunities to touring artists when it comes to connecting with their global audiences. This brand-new, 12,000-capacity venue will open up Nigeria to international stars, and Nigerian artists will benefit hugely from having an arena to showcase their talents in front of a home audience.”


Diriyah Gate Arena – Saudi Arabia
Scheduled opening date: TBC
The 20,000-seat, multipurpose venue is being built in a new city on the outskirts of Riyadh, around the historic town of Diriyah. Designed by London-based architects HKS, Diriyah Gate Arena will cover 76,000sqm and is currently one of the tallest new buildings planned for the town.

With huge, sand-coloured stone blocks and a cascading waterfall of digital windows, the design of the building adheres to the classic style of Najdi architecture that Diriyah is famous for. Adjacent to the arena will be a plaza intended for live performances, pop-up shows, and events, as well as an urban park.

Oak View Group is understood to be involved in the project, which will be located near a new 45,000-capacity stadium in Qiddiya, an entertainment and tourism megaproject in Riyadh that’s also part of Saudi’s Vision 2030 masterplan.

Jeddah Arena – Saudi Arabia
Scheduled opening date: December 2025
Saudi Arabia is about to go through a venue-building boomtime. And with a population of 35m – over a third of them aged 15-34 – this is a market with huge potential.

Among the first to come on stream is Jeddah Arena, a state-of-the-art venue with a capacity of 20,000 that will be managed by ASM Global. It is being built as part of the Jeddah Airport City complex, which will include shops, homes, a financial district, an artisan district, and a green food-yard.

“There are some very aggressive plans for new arenas in Saudi Arabia. The desire for people to see live events in Saudi Arabia is wonderful to see. When all the venues are completed, there could be potential for a touring circuit of the country itself,” says Iain Campbell, ASM Global’s EVP for the MENA region.

“Jeddah Arena and the neighbouring exhibition centre is on a cracking site and in a cracking location, right by the airport and with a shopping precinct, too.”


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ASM Global to operate Sheffield City Hall

ASM Global has been appointed the new operator of the UK’s Sheffield City Hall – its second venue in the city.

The company was selected as the successful bidder to run the 2,271-cap building following a “highly competitive” tender process launched in June last year.

“We are delighted to have been selected to operate the wonderful Sheffield City Hall – a truly beautiful and unique venue steeped in heritage,” says ASM Global Europe president Chris Bray.

“Sheffield’s rich culture and phenomenal music talent are recognised far and wide, and working with Sheffield City Council we have exciting plans to evolve and transform the city’s live entertainment experience for both residents and visitors, delivering content that is nothing short of world leading.

“We are thrilled to be able to support the local community and the city’s economy”

“Having announced just a few months ago that ASM Global has also been appointed to manage the city’s Utilita Arena, we are thrilled to be able to support the local community and the city’s economy, ensuring these venues are must-plays across a broad spectrum of acts and artists, from grassroots to world-renowned.”

Sheffield City Hall, which has welcomed the likes of The Beatles, Elton John and Kylie Minogue since opening in 1932, currently hosts more than 750 events each year. Upcoming concerts include David Essex, Ryan Adams, Will Young, The Australian Pink Floyd Show and Adam Ant.

Sheffield City Hall and the Utilita Arena Sheffield will join ASM Global’s network of more than 350 venues, which collectively host 20,000 events and welcome 164 million guests every year.


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Cities up stakes for A-list tours in tourism push

As A-list tours become increasingly hot commodities in cities’ efforts to boost tourism, it has emerged the Western Australian government paid A$8 million to subsidise two Coldplay concerts.

The band played two nights at Perth’s Optus Stadium – their first gigs in Western Australia since 2009 – in November 2023 as part of their Music of the Spheres World Tour, in what was hailed as a “major tourism coup” for the country’s fourth most populous city.

Presented by the WA government, through Tourism WA, and Live Nation, the Australian-exclusive gigs were promoted alongside hotel packages designed to encourage visitors to stay longer in Perth and explore the region further, creating additional economic benefits.

A new Guardian report has revealed that $8m (€5m) was paid to Live Nation in relation to the performances, which Tourism WA said injected “tens of millions of visitor spend” into the state’s economy. The body said the award followed “a rigorous assessment, cost benefit analysis, review and approvals process, including review and approval by the Tourism WA Board, Treasury and final sign off by the minister for tourism and premier”.

Coldplay are returning to Australia and New Zealand this October and November to perform in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.

It follows a similar disclosure around Coldplay’s four nights in Portugal at the 50,000-cap Estádio Cidade de Coimbra in Portugal in May last year. The concerts attracted controversy when it was revealed promoter Everything is New would receive €440,000 from the municipality and was exempted from “municipal fees and prices” for the shows. The authority also spent €28,000 on restoring the stadium’s pitch.

In return, the promoter had to ensure the council was included as a partner on press materials and within press communications, among other obligations. Coimbra City Council mayor José Manuel Silva called the agreement “one of the best deals ever in this area”, which he said would “place the city on the route of major world events”.

The shows were attended by 211,000 fans overall, generating €36 million for the local economy, with each visitor spending an average of €180, concluded a study by the Instituto Superior de Contabilidade e Administração de Coimbra (ISCAC).

The Singapore Tourism Board authorised a grant for Taylor Swift to perform six nights at Singapore National Stadium in March 2024

In another high-profile case earlier this year, Singapore reportedly struck an exclusivity deal with Taylor Swift to make the island nation her only Eras tour stop in south-east Asia.

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) authorised a grant for Swift to perform six nights at the 55,000-cap Singapore National Stadium in March 2024, allegedly on the condition she would not play any other countries in the region.

Thai PM Srettha Thavisin alleged the Singapore government offered $2 million to $3m (€1.4m to €2.1m) per show for exclusive rights, after enquiring why the tour would not be stopping in Thailand.

“[Promoter AEG] didn’t tell me the exact figure but they said the Singapore government offers subsidies of between $2m and $3m,” said Srettha. “But the Singaporean government is clever. They told [organisers] not to hold any other shows in [south-east] Asia.”

In a joint statement, the culture ministry and the STB admitted working directly with concert organisers, but declined to confirm either the amount of the grant or the existence of an exclusivity deal.

“It is likely to generate significant benefits to the Singapore economy, especially to tourism activities such as hospitality, retail, travel and dining, as has happened in other cities in which Taylor Swift has performed,” they said at the time.


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Odesza show evacuated after pyro causes brush fire

A gig by electronic music duo Odesza was cut short and the venue evacuated after pyrotechnics used for the show caused a fire to break out.

The incident occurred at the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Washington, US, on Saturday (6 July), as the band were nearing the end of their set.

“The incident commander at The Gorge confirms that there was a small brush fire last night during the Odesza show,” says a spokesperson for Grant County Sheriff’s Office. “Nobody was injured and firefighters put out the fire. The cause was pyrotechnics used during the show.

“The fire burned a small area adjacent to the concert venue. The remainder of the show was cancelled and concertgoers exited the concert venue.”

“Out of an abundance of caution and safety, the show ended without an encore”

The concert was the duo’s third in a row at the 27,500-cap outdoor site and marked the final date of their The Last Goodbye Tour.

“During the last song of Odesza’s set at the Gorge, a brush fire broke out not far from the stage,” says a statement from the Gorge. “The fire was contained and fortunately was quickly extinguished.

“Out of an abundance of caution and safety, the show ended without an encore. We truly appreciate everyone coming tonight and celebrating the end of the tour.”


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Promoter Barrie Marshall honoured with NAA award

British promoting great Barrie Marshall has been honoured by the National Arenas Association (NAA) for his outstanding contribution to the UK’s live music scene.

Marshall, who founded Marshall Arts in 1976, has worked with P!nk since 2002 and Paul McCartney since his 1989/90 world tour, in addition to promoting iconic artists such as Elton John, George Michael, Tina Turner, Taylor Swift, Celine Dion, Cher, Whitney Houston, Lionel Richie, Sade, Joe Cocker and Stevie Wonder.

He was presented with the award by P!nk, real name Alecia Moore, and NAA steering group member Debbie McWilliams, director of live entertainment of the Scottish Event Campus (SEC).

“It was an incredible surprise to receive this very prestigious award and so nice that Alecia would take the time to present it to me. My thanks to John Drury, Debbie McWilliams and the members of the NAA,” says Marshall. “My first arena show was at Wembley with the Commodores in 1979 – having at that time been ‘interviewed’ by Mr John Evans, who ran the arena, to make sure our company was suitable and honourable enough to hire the venue!

“We followed that in 1980 with a very memorable week of ‘Wonder At Wembley’ with Stevie – and it has been such an honour to work with so many talented artists and fellow promoters across the decades at so many tremendous arenas. A true privilege for which I am extremely grateful.”

Marshall has also worked with the likes of Eurythmics, Rod Stewart, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Al Jarreau, Bryan Adams, Bon Jovi, Spice Girls, Amitabh Bachchan, The Highway Men, Moody Blues and John Denver in an illustrious 45-year career.

“We’re so pleased to be able to present this well-deserved award to such an industry icon”

“As the figurehead of Marshall Arts, Barrie and his team have become almost as legendary as many of the acts they represent and have been a consistent and welcome supporter of the UK’s arena business for many years,” says NAA chair John Drury, VP/general manager of OVO Arena Wembley. “We’re so pleased to be able to present this well-deserved award to such an industry icon. NAA members look forward to hosting many more Marshall Arts shows to come.”

The NAA Outstanding Contribution award has been selected and presented annually by the NAA members since 2009 to recognise those who have gone above and beyond in their venue and/or industry at that time.

Previous winners of the award are David Vickers (2009), Danny Betesh (2010), Paul Latham (2011), Simon Moran (2012), Phil McIntyre (2013), Geoff Huckstep (2014), Pete Wilson & Dennis Arnold (2015), Matt Wooliscroft (2016), Anne-Marie Harwood (2017), Phil Bowdery (2018), Annette Robinson (2019), Lucy Noble (2020), Chris York (2021), Greg Parmley (2022).

Established in 1991, the NAA brings together the UK and Ireland’s arena network promoting best practice and knowledge sharing between its members, serving as a forum for event and concert venue managers with a minimum seated capacity of 5,000.


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