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Swansea Arena to host first major live music show

Ambassador Theatre Group’s (ATG) recently opened Swansea Arena will stage its first major music concert this weekend when it hosts Royal Blood.

The 3,500-cap venue – the UK’s newest arena – officially launched on 15 March with a show by comedian John Bishop, while test events featuring local bands were held ahead of its opening.

Royal Blood perform tomorrow (19 March), with other acts in the coming months set to include Alice Cooper + The Cult, Elvis Costello, Corey Taylor, The Australian Pink Floyd, Kaiser Chiefs, Level 42, Will Young and Squeeze.

“The official opening of Copr Bay phase one is delivering on our promise to the people of Swansea,” says Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart. “We’ve delivered this scheme during a pandemic, so everyone involved deserves enormous credit – from council staff and funding partners to our contractors and Ambassador Theatre Group, who will operate the arena on our behalf and bring world class entertainment to Swansea.”

The indoor venue marks the first arena-sized project for ATG

The indoor venue marks the first arena-sized project for ATG, best known as an operator of London West End theatres. The company, which is majority owned by Providence Equity Partners, and received an injection of funding from Australia’s TEG. portfolio, also runs the 3,000-cap Stockton Globe, which reopened last September following a £28 million restoration.

ATG veteran Lisa Mart was appointed Swansea Arena’s general manager last year. The new arena is part of the £135m Copr Bay urban regeneration project in Wales’ second-largest city and is part-funded by the £1.3 billion Swansea Bay City Deal – an investment in nine major programmes and projects across the Swansea Bay City Region.

Swansea’s 20,000-cap Singleton Park will welcome outdoor gigs by Gerry Cinnamon, Nile Rodgers + Chic, Anne-Marie and Paul Weller this June and July.

 


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Roblox reveals most popular concert of 2021

Twenty One Pilots delivered the most popular music concert experience on Roblox in 2021, according to a new report.

The experience, which took place last September in collaboration with Warner Music Group, included a five-song set from the Grammy-award winning duo with the first-ever fan-dictated setlist.

Pre-concert quests, exclusive custom-designed virtual merchandise, behind-the-scenes footage and a Q&A were also included in the experience.

Fans in over 160 countries joined the virtual event, with nearly 70% of attendees joining from outside of the US – the game’s most engaged market.

Twenty One Pilots’ offering also earned second place on the top 5 events (both music and otherwise) that engaged over 30% of visitors in the 17+ age group, according to Roblox’s end-of-year report.

The only other music-related event in the top 5 was KSI’s launch party which saw the YouTuber and rapper perform songs from his chart-topping debut album ‘All Over The Place’.

Roblox’s daily active users increasing from 32.6 million in 2020 to nearly 50 million across 180 countries in 2021

Roblox’s report also showed stratospheric growth for the platform, with daily active users increasing from 32.6 million in 2020 to nearly 50 million across 180 countries in 2021.

The median daily active user visited 55 unique experiences over the course of 2021, the report reveals, and the fastest-growing demographic is 17-to-24-year-olds.

Roblox describes itself as “an online community where people come together to play, create and explore millions of 3D virtual worlds together”.

The platform’s first foray into in-game concerts was a virtual concert with Lil Nas X in November 2020 which garnered 35 million visits.

In January 2021, Roblox’s global head of music told IQ that one of the platform’s missions was to “double down on what we were already doing and grow our music offering significantly so music becomes an organic part of our users’ daily experience on Roblox”.

Other notable music experiences that took place on Robox last year include Royal Blood’s virtual concert and a concurrent virtual edition of EDC (Electronic Daisy Carnival).

 


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Royal Blood to premiere new single in Roblox

British rock duo Royal Blood will deliver the first live performance of their new single in Roblox, a family-friendly social videogaming platform with more than 150 million monthly users worldwide.

The pair will perform ‘Limbo’ as part of a three-song virtual concert for Roblox’s award show for creators and players, The Bloxy Awards 2021, slated for 27 March at 12 pm PDT on the platform.

“It is fitting that Royal Blood play inside Roblox this year and introduce a whole new audience to their incredible sound”

Royal Blood’s Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher will appear as avatars for the exclusive virtual performance in Roblox’s space-themed virtual concert venue.

“The creativity of the Roblox community powers the experiences on our platform, and the social connections players make while sharing these experiences are deeply enriched by music,” said Jon Vlassopulos, VP and global head of music for Roblox.

“We’re thrilled to host Royal Blood as we celebrate the talent of our creators with the greater Roblox community in this immersive, out-of-this-world Metaverse experience.”

“Royal Blood have always been a forward-thinking band and so it is fitting that they play inside Roblox this year and introduce a whole new audience to their incredible sound,” said Phil Christie, president, Warner Records UK, which is facilitating the partnership.

Royal Blood follow in the footsteps of ‘Old Town Road’ rapper Lil Nas X, who garnered over 35 million visits for his in-game performance in Roblox in 2020, rivalling Fortnite’s record-breaking Travis Scott event held earlier in the year.

Vlassopulos previously told IQ that he plans to grow Roblox’s music offering significantly “so music becomes an organic part of the users’ daily experience”. Read the full interview here.

 


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Swimsuit-wearing Royal Blood thief was ‘human deposit box’

The man arrested after stealing 53 mobile phones at a Royal Blood show in Birmingham last month did so by turning himself into a ‘human deposit box’, police have said, concealing the victims’ phones inside a full-length swimming costume worn under his clothes.

Twenty two-year-old Alin Marin, a Romanian of no fixed address, “secreted” the phones “inside a compression suit he was wearing beneath his clothing”, according to West Midlands police. He was arrested shortly after leaving the concert at NEC Group’s Arena Birmingham on 18 November.

“This was organised pickpocketing,” says police sergeant Julia Slater. “Marin went equipped to steal phones and took advantage of revellers enjoying themselves in the standing area.

“Due to the jostling in the moshpit people simply didn’t realise they’d been targeted”

“Many of the phones were taken from front jeans pockets, which people believe is a safer place to carry valuables, but due to the jostling in the moshpit they simply didn’t realise they’d been targeted.

“He slipped phones inside the swimsuit and effectively turned himself into a deposit box for the phones, allowing him to carry tens of phones concealed around his body.”

Marin (pictured) was jailed for three years yesterday after pleading guilty to theft.

 


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53 mobile phones stolen at Royal Blood Birmingham show

A man has been arrested after 53 mobile phones were stolen at a Royal Blood show at Arena Birmingham on Saturday night.

The phones were recovered by police – who had set up a “proactive” operation at the arena after learning concertgoers had been targeted at previous shows by the band – following the 22-year-old’s arrest.

“It’s unfortunately a reality that large crowds at concerts such as this make rich pickings for career criminals,” says det sgt Jeff Clifford of West Midlands police. “We’re hot on the heels of these offenders, but you can also reduce your chances of falling victim to such crimes by remaining extra vigilant when attending busy events.

“It’s unfortunately a reality that large crowds at concerts make rich pickings for career criminals”

“If you think you had your phone taken, please get in touch with us and we can check whether or not we have been able to recover it.”

A spokesperson for Arena Birmingham, formerly Barclaycard Arena, tells IQ: “We’ve been working closely with West Midlands police regarding the incident on Saturday night, and join them in urging any customers who think they may have had their phone stolen to contact them via 101.”

Police in Germany last August broke up a crime ring responsible for a spate of phone thefts at European festivals.

 


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Plaque for Frontier ahead of Royal Blood Aus/NZ tour

Australian promoter Frontier Touring was presented with a gold record by Royal Blood following the band’s sold-out Sydney show last Thursday.

Frontier tour director Michael Harrison accepted the gold disc of Royal Blood’s self-titled 2014 debut – which hit no3 in the Australian albums chart – on behalf of the company. The British duo played a one-off show at Metro Theatre (1,500-cap.) on 20 July, ahead of their headline slot at Splendour in the Grass on Saturday.

Frontier, part of Michael Gudinski’s Mushroom Group, is promoting the band’s Australia/New Zealand arena tour next April and May.

Frontier in May became the first Australian promoter to partner with face-value ticket resale site Twickets, while recently launched an Australian operation.

 


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