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American Express named BST presenting partner

American Express is the new presenting partner for AEG festival British Summer Time (BST) Hyde Park, taking over from Barclaycard.

The new partnership, brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, sees the festival take the name American Express Presents BST Hyde Park. Cardmembers will have pre-sale access to tickets to all of the BST shows, as well as on-site benefits.

The festival, which last year saw headline performances from Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder, Barbra Streisand, Robbie Williams and Florence and the Machine, will return in 2020 after securing a new two-year agreement with the Royal Parks for the use of Hyde Park.

“American Express is a valued partner of ours and I’m thrilled that the success of our relationship has expanded to the new signing of our flagship festival,” comments Paul Samuels, executive vice president of AEG Global Partnerships.

“They offer Cardmembers and fans access to the very best events and the addition of American Express Presents BST Hyde Park, will further connect fans to unforgettable live AEG experiences.”

“American Express is a valued partner of ours and I’m thrilled that the success of our relationship has expanded to the new signing of our flagship festival”

Brandy Sanders, vice president of global entertainment partnerships and experiences at American Express adds that the company is “excited to bring American Express Experiences to the heart of London culture”.

The collaboration between AEG and American Express began 15 years ago and has developed into a multi-faceted, global partnership with over 100 venues, sports teams and events across five continents, including LA Live, AEG Presents Global Touring, the O2, Mercedes-Benz Arena, Stockholm Globe Arena, Accor Hotel Arena Paris, All Points East and Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

Launched by AEG in 2013, the BST concert series has featured acts including the Rolling Stone, Paul Simon, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, the Cure, Bon Jovi, Michael Bubler and Roger Waters.

BST last year received a gold status from charity Attitude is Everything for its commitment to improving accessibility and implemented a range of sustainability initiatives for its most eco-friendly edition yet.

 


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Celine Dion to headline first day of BST Hyde Park

AEG Presents has announced that Celine Dion will headline the opening night of British Summer Time (BST) in London’s Hyde Park on Friday 5 July.

The Canadian singer joins previously-announced headliners Florence and the Machine and Robbie Williams, who will play the event on Saturday 13 July and Sunday 14 July respectively.

It is the first time that Dion will perform on Hyde Park’s Great Oak Stage and the show is believed to be her only European appearance of the year. The five-time Grammy award winner will be the best-selling artist ever to perform at BST, having sold more than 240 million record worldwide.

“I’m so excited. I love London, and it’s a great honour for me to be part of the Barclaycard presents BST Hyde Park concerts. I can’t wait… summertime in London, here we come,” says the singer.

“Celine’s record-breaking career has seen her perform her many iconic songs on the globe’s most iconic stages, yet never before in Hyde Park,” comments senior vice president of AEG Presents, James King.

“I love London, and it’s a great honour for me to be part of the Barclaycard presents BST Hyde Park concerts”

Daniel Mathieson, head of experiential marketing and partnerships for event’s sponsor Barclaycard says it is a “privilege” to welcome the singer along with “a fantastic set of headliners”.

Launched in 2013, BST Hyde Park is back this year for its seventh edition. Past highlights include the Rolling Stones’ return to Hyde Park, and comeback shows by the likes of the Strokes and Libertines.

Rock legends Bob Dylan and Neil Young were originally set to co-headline this year’s event on 12 July, but following Young’s objection to the involvement of headline sponsor Barclaycard, the pair will now play a standalone concert. On the same date, and in the same venue.

Tickets for Celine Dion’s performance go on sale on 29 January at 9am, with presale tickets available from 23 January. The remaining headliners and full line-up are expected to be announced shortly.

 


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Barclaycard Arena to become Arena Birmingham

The Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham, UK, will as of 1 September be known as Arena Birmingham, following the previously reported end of its naming partnership with Barclaycard.

At the time, bosses at the 15,500-capacity venue (pictured) – originally opened in 1991 as the National Indoor Arena (NIA) – suggested they were seeking a new naming partner for the arena; the new, sponsor-free name is, however, hailed as a “brand that reflects the venue’s location”.

Phil Mead, managing director of operator NEC Group Arenas, comments: “The Barclaycard Arena has been a resounding success since it launched with Michael Bublé in 2014 following a £26 million redevelopment. The award-winning venue has attracted world-class entertainment from Drake to Iron Maiden and Céline Dion, and has secured high profile international sports events from the Davis Cup in 2016 to the IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships in 2018.

“We are now entering another exciting era with Arena Birmingham as it’s transformed into a destination in its own right within the city”

“Much of what we have achieved is down to the support of Barclaycard, who have been an excellent partner since 2012, but we are now entering another exciting era with Arena Birmingham as it’s transformed into a destination in its own right within the city. The construction of the Legoland Discovery Centre Birmingham is already underway, we are a principle venue of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 bid and will be hosting a roster of great events throughout the rest of 2017 and 2018.”

Along with its sister venue, Genting Arena (15,683-cap.), Arena Birmingham is one of Europe’s most-visited arenas; between them, NEC Group arenas attract more than 1.5m visitors annually. Upcoming events at Arena Birmingham include the Nooran Sisters (9 September), John Legend (20 September) and the Australian Pink Floyd Show (30 September).

 


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Barclaycard Center gets go-ahead for expansion

The Barclaycard Center in Madrid, which currently seats 15,500 for concerts, has received approval to expand its capacity by over 12.5%, to a maximum of 17,453.

The increase in capacity has been made possible by improvements in escape routes and new security systems, reports Spain’s Association of Music Promoters (APM), which also notes that the newly enlarged venue will become a “more competitive facility [with which] to attract major international tours”.

Kiss, Muse Maroon 5 and Robbie Williams have all played the Barclaycard Center (formerly the Palacio de Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid, or Community of Madrid Sports Centre) in the last year. In Pollstar’s end-of-year ranking of the world’s top 200 arenas the Barclaycard Center was 197th, selling 49,463 concert tickets in 2015, though APM notes that the arena was second only The O2 in London in the number of events held, with 131.

Barclaycard to pull out of Birmingham arena

The National Indoor Arena (NIA) in Birmingham, UK – known since 2014 as the Barclaycard Arena – is seeking a new naming partner as it approaches the end of a five-year commercial partnership with the credit card business of the same name.

Operator NEC Group announced the tie-up with Barclaycard in March 2012, and the 15,800-capacity venue reopened after an 18-month, £26 million programme of refurbishment in late 2014.

NEC Group confirmed to IQ that the current naming-rights deal will expire in February 2017.

The NIA was opened in 1991 by Olympic athlete Linford Christie and has since then hosted more sporting world championships than any other indoor venue in Europe. It is one of the busiest large-scale indoor sporting and entertainment venues in the world.