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Lewis Capaldi embarks on UK, Ireland arena tour

Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi has announced a UK and Ireland arena tour for March 2020, adding a surcharge of 50p to every ticket to pay for anxiety support staff in each arena he visits.

Tickets for the arena tour go on sale on Friday 26 April, preceding the release of the singer’s debut album, Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent, on 17 May.

The announcement follows sold-out tour dates across the UK and United States in 2019. “Cannot believe we’ve got an arena tour going on sale with one already sold out. Milking this one hit wonder thing,” jokes the singer on Twitter.

Capaldi recently added a second date at Glasgow’s the SSE Hydro (13,000-cap.) to the 2020 tour, which also includes shows at Dublin’s 3Arena (13,000-cap.), Cardiff Motorpoint Arena (5,000-cap.) and the SSE Arena, Wembley (12,500-cap.), as well as two performances at the O2 Apollo in Manchester (3,500-cap.).

The singer will use the tour to launch a new initiative called LiveLive, which provides support to fans suffering from anxiety or panic attacks. An additional 50p charged for each ticket will go towards funding a team at each venue qualified to assist in cases of panic, anxiety or any other forms of distress.

“I hate to feel that anyone’s anxiety is making them miss out on anything they want to do”

The initiative also includes the setting up of designated help points, a safe place or ‘escape room’ and a gig buddy system for those attending shows alone.

“I always get tonnes of messages from people online who have said they want to come to my shows but can’t because they’re struggling massively with anxiety or are just generally afraid they will have a panic attack during the show,” says Capaldi.

“I really wanted to put something in place to help those people feel comfortable and offer them support to allow them to experience the shows.

“I hate to feel that anyone’s anxiety is making them miss out on anything they want to do and LiveLive is my attempt at helping make these shows enjoyable for as many of those people who have been supporting this journey for me,” adds the singer.

The tour is promoted by Live Nation, DF Concerts, MCD Productions, SJM Concerts and DHP Family.

Capaldi was nominated for the critics’ choice award at this year’s Brit Awards in London.

A full list of tour dates can be found below:

Mon 2 March – O2 Apollo Manchester
Tue 3 March – O2 Apollo Manchester
Thu 5 March – The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
Fri 6 March – The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
Wed 11 March – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Thu 12 March – The SSE Arena Wembley, London

 


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SEC makes new live entertainment appointments

The Scottish Event Campus (SEC) Glasgow has announced today two new live entertainment appointments in the areas of ticketing and programming.

Julie Carson has been promoted to head of ticketing, taking responsibility for maximising ticketing delivery across the SEC, which comprises the SSE Hydro (13,000-cap.), SEC Armadillo (3,000-cap.) and SEC Centre (13,000-cap.).

In another internal move, James Graham becomes the new head of live entertainment programming and will be responsible for driving content to optimise sales profitability across live aspects of the business.

“The success of live entertainment presents an opportunity to acknowledge team members who have contributed significantly to the growth and delivery in this sector”

The announcement follows the appointments of Debbie McWilliams as director as live entertainment at SEC on 1 March, and of John Watson to the SEC board on March 18.

“The success of live entertainment presents an opportunity to acknowledge team members who have contributed significantly to the growth and delivery in this sector,” says Mcwilliams.

“I am delighted that James and Julie’s dedication to this area of the business has been recognised and that they have accepted these well-deserved promotions”.

McWilliams told IQ‘s European Arena Yearbook 2018 that “arena business continues to be buoyant in Glasgow”, with SEC’s SSE Hydro finishing the year at number four in the Pollstar arena rankings and taking the top spot on Billboard’s list.

The Hydro celebrated its fifth anniversary in September and renewed its partnership with AEG’s venue management division, AEG Facilities, in October. Hugh Jackman, Michael Bublé, Westlife, Kiss and Ariana Grande are among the artists performing at the Hydro in coming months.

 


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Debbie McWilliams appointed director of SEC Glasgow

Glasgow’s Scottish Event Campus (SEC) has promoted Debbie McWilliams to director of live entertainment, effective immediately.

McWilliams, who was previously head of live entertainment and ticketing at the SEC (formerly the Scottish Exibition and Conference Centre, or SECC), will be responsible for overall management, commercial delivery, event booking and content creation at Scotland’s largest entertainment centre, which also includes the AEG-run SSE Hydro arena (13,000-cap.).

Peter Duthie, the SEC’s chief executive, says: “We are delighted that Debbie has accepted the position of director of live entertainment. Debbie has been instrumental in the growth and success of the live entertainment sector of our business.

“Debbie has been instrumental in the growth and success of the live entertainment sector of our business”

“She played an integral role in the delivery of Scotland’s largest music venue, the SSE Hydro, in 2013. Debbie’s extensive knowledge, experience and proven track record across all aspects of live entertainment will be invaluable to the role.“

“I am excited to be taking up this new position and honoured to be given the opportunity to play a part in the future of live entertainment at the SEC,” comments McWilliams. “Live entertainment is a sector which is challenging, but also very rewarding, and I look forward to working with the team to build on the incredible success that that we have achieved to date.”

The Hydro celebrated the fifth anniversary of its opening last September, with more than 5 million people having attended an event in that time.

 


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AEG renews with the SSE Hydro Glasgow

AEG Facilities, AEG’s large-venue management division, has extended its partnership with Scotland’s SSE Hydro arena.

The SSE Hydro, which celebrated its fifth birthday last month, first joined forces with AEG Facilities in September 2010, and has been operated and booked by AEG since it opened in September 2013. The 13,000-capacity venue is located on the Scottish Event Campus (SEC; formerly SECC) in Glasgow and owned by SEC Ltd.

Under the renewed deal, the length of which AEG declined to disclose, AEG Facilities will continue to handle event booking, venue operations, “premium seating initiatives” and sponsorship sales and marketing.

“We are truly excited to continue our partnership”

“We are delighted to renew our partnership with AEG Facilities,” says Peter Duthie, SEC’s CEO. “The engagement with AEG has been very positive and we look forward to further successes working together in the future.”

“The SSE Hydro has firmly established its position as one of the top venues in the world,” adds Bob Newman, president of AEG Facilities. “We are truly excited to continue our partnership and to build further success on the great foundation now in place.”

Since opening, the Hydro has continually placed as one of the world’s top-five arenas, serving as the Scottish venue of choice for artists including Ed Sheeran, Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, the Who, U2 and more.

 


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Hydro celebrates five remarkable years

The jewel in Glasgow’s crown, the SSE Hydro, celebrates its fifth birthday this month having surpassed all expectations since the £125 million (€139m) arena opened with a concert by local hero Rod Stewart in 2013.

By the time the fifth anniversary rolls around on 30 September, the 13,000-capacity venue will have hosted 639 event performances, welcoming more than 5.2 million visitors through its doors – equivalent to the entire population of Scotland.

Those numbers have consistently seen the Hydro rank among the top five venues globally, but management of the arena are keen not to rest on their laurels and have revealed ambitious expansion plans for the Scottish Event Campus, where the Hydro sits alongside the 3,000-cap. Armadillo (which was also designed by renowned architects Foster + Partners), and the adjoining SEC Centre exhibition halls, which have a combined capacity of about 22,000.

In July, the SEC applied for planning permission for a £150 million (€167m) scheme that would see the construction of new conference suites and a significant extension of its exhibition space. “The new conference facility would allow us to stage two events simultaneously, or large conferences on a scale that we currently can’t offer,” explains SEC chief executive Peter Duthie. “We believe our expansion project will provide a significant economic impact, not just to Glasgow and Scotland, but to the UK.”

“Five years, over five million people through the doors, the SSE Hydro has exceeded all expectations”

Those plans are likely to receive a sympathetic hearing from Glasgow’s local authority, as the impact the Hydro has had on the city, and Scotland as a whole, is exceptional. Since the building opened, the nearby area of Finnieston has been gentrified to cater for people making their way to concerts and other SEC events, and no fewer than 48 new bars and restaurants have opened as a result of “the Hydro effect”, leading to Finnieston winning the crown for hippest area in the UK, according to the Times.

Additionally, the local area has more than 1,000 hotel rooms within a five-minute walk of the Hydro, with more hotel projects due to begin construction on the arena’s doorstep.

SEC’s head of live entertainment, Debbie McWilliams, says: “Five years, over five million people through the doors, the SSE Hydro has exceeded all expectations. It stands as a beacon of city partnership and the people of Glasgow have responded by making it consistently one of the busiest arenas in the world.

“The success of the SSE Hydro has made an impact, not just to Finnieston, but to Glasgow’s wider economy – we’re firmly placed now as a world-class venue.”

 


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Metallica smash more attendance records with WorldWired tour

Not content with breaking Muse’s attendance record at The O2, Metallica have smashed box-office records across the continent with the first half of the European leg of their WorldWired tour.

The tour kicked off with two record-smashing shows at the Ziggo Dome (17,000-cap.) arena in Amsterdam in September, attracting 16,853 and 16,856 fans on 4 and 6 September, respectively, before continuing to break attendance records at Paris’s AccorHotels Arena (18,896), Cologne’s Lanxess Arena (18,446 and 18,483), London’s The O2 (22,211), Glasgow’s SSE Hydro (13,111), Manchester Arena (20,048), Birmingham’s Genting Arena (15,604) and Antwerp’s Sportpaleis (22,616 and 22,626).

A total of 262,690 people have attended so far.

The Live Nation-promoted European leg of the WorldWired tour – its 11th and last – continues until May 2018, resuming at Lisbon’s MEO Arena (20,000-cap.) on 1 February.

 


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SECC becomes the Scottish Event Campus

The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), the Glasgow entertainment and conference complex that includes the SSE Hydro arena, has been rebranded the Scottish Event Campus (SEC).

The news – announced last night at the SE(C)C’s annual Burns Night dinner at the V&A in London – reflects the evolution of the site, established in 1985, from an exhibition centre to one that includes a significant proportion of live entertainment. The SECC added the 3,000-cap. Armadillo (Clyde Auditorium) venue in 1997, followed by the AEG Live-operated SSE Hydro (13,000-cap.) in 2013.

SEC chief executive Peter Duthie (pictured) explains: “The decision and announcement comes at a time when the company has seen changes in the nature of the business it now operates in. The name Scottish Event Campus better describes the site, is more representative of what we do and reflects a vision for the future. [O]ur three buildings will be known as The SSE Hydro, SEC Armadillo and the original building, the SEC Centre.

“We believe that this is the perfect time for a revamp of our brand, building on the success of the business to date. Historically, we have found that many people don’t necessarily realise that all of our buildings are part of the SECC.

“The name Scottish Event Campus  better describes the site, is more representative of what we do and reflects a vision for the future”

“We also want to showcase that the SEC is able to stage large-scale events, capitalising on the huge success of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and, more recently, the Ignition Festival of Motoring – both great examples of utilisation of all areas of our campus, internally and externally.

“It is important to add that the new name still retains a clear reference to its origins, maintaining a connection to the excellent reputation the venue has built up in each of the market sectors – conferences, exhibitions and live entertainment – in which we operated as SECC.”

Major shows at The SSE Hydro last year included sold-out performances by Adele and Justin Bieber.

 


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