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60 years of SSE Arena, Wembley celebrated in pictures

Heroes – the Exhibition, a photographic exploration of the sixty-year history of the SSE Arena, Wembley, is opening to the public on Thursday 28 November at Getty Images Gallery, Wembley Park.

The exhibition will feature over 100 photographs of artists at the London music venue, which celebrated its busiest year yet in 2018.

From 1960s snaps of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, to more recent images of Kendrick Lamar, Queens of the Stone Age and the Prodigy, the exhibition will cover the arena’s rich musical history. Other artists to feature in the collection include David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Whitney Houston, Queen, Prince, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Rihanna.

Words by the arena’s vice president and general manager John Drury accompany the photos, which are taken by renowned music photographer Michael Putland and former and current Getty photographers Dave Hogan and Brian Risac, among others.

“Over the past 60 years The SSE Arena, Wembley has earned its place as one of the most iconic live music venues in the world,” comments Drury. “There is a chemistry that keeps bringing artists and fans back, that feeling of connection, passion, and shared experience.

“Heroes brilliantly captures the magic on stage and in the audience that could happen nowhere else”

“Playing Wembley for the first time is a special milestone in any artist’s career and each show builds on its legendary status. That is what Heroes brilliantly captures, the magic on stage and in the audience that could happen nowhere else.”

Built in 1934, the arena in Wembley – originally known as the Empire Pool – has been a live music venue for over six decades. Following a £26 million refurbishment, the arena reopened in 2006, taking the name of the SSE Arena, Wembley in 2014.

“Wembley Park has always been about people coming together to share experiences, and The SSE Arena, Wembley is central to this,” says Josh McNorton, cultural director of Wembley Park.

“Over the past 60 years, it has played an enormous part in the cultural history of the area and in global music history, and Heroes is a great way to celebrate this through the performances of some of the world’s most famous performers.”

The exhibition is open every day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Getty Images Gallery, Wembley Park. Admission is free for the first three days. All photographs are available for purchase, priced from £70 to £648.


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Ambassador Theatre Group makes live music moves

Theatre operator Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) has announced a major move into live music venues, as it reopens historic north-east England venue, the Stockton Globe (+3,000-cap.).

The move signals ATG’s intention to strengthen its foothold in the live music and comedy industries, leading the expansion of the venue operator’s portfolio of music-focused venues.

Providence Equity Partners-backed ATG runs close to 50 venues worldwide, including theatres in London’s West End and on Broadway.

ATG aims to utilise its network to bring music and comedy talent back to Stockton Globe for the first time in over 40 years, as the art deco venue is due to open its doors again in 2020.

Stockton Globe first opened in 1935, playing host to artists including the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, before closing in 1974.

Post-refurbishment, the venue will accommodate over 3,000 people in a flexible auditorium suited to standing and seated events. A smaller 250-capacity venue will open in the adjoining building.

“We’ve been working with the council to tailor the Globe so that it is one of the best in the industry for hosting live music and comedy events”

“We’ve been working with the council to tailor the Globe so that it is one of the best in the industry for hosting live music and comedy events,” says Adam Kenwright, ATG group board director.

“With over a year to go before doors open, ATG are already in discussions with household music and comedy acts so that we can bring these stars to the Tees Valley community and back onto the Globe’s stage after having no live entertainment inside the venue for over 40 years,” adds Kenwright.

The opening of the Globe is expected to bring in £18 million annually to the local economy and will give Stockton the biggest live entertainment venue between Newcastle and Leeds. The venue’s refurbishment is funded by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

For more information and to find out about memberships and ticket sales, join the Stockton Globe mailing list.


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HB2: Ringo Starr cancels North Carolina concert

Ringo Starr has become the latest artist to cancel a planned show in North Carolina in protest against the US state’s Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, commonly known as House Bill 2 (HB2).

In a statement posted on his website, the former Beatles drummer says he cancelled his All Starr tour concert in Cary on 18 June in order to “take a stand against this hatred”. He adds: “Spread peace and love.”

HB2, also known as the ‘bathroom bill’, invalidates at a state-wide level several local anti-discrimination measures, and also compels transgender people to use public toilets that correspond to the sex listed on their birth certificates.

“We need to take a stand against this hatred. Spread peace and love”

Last week Bruce Springsteen also cancelled an appearance in Greensboro, North Carolina, in protest against HB2, which critics have called discriminatory against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Bryan Adams, meanwhile, earlier this week called off a show at Mississippi Coast Coliseum following the passing of a law in that state also widely criticised as being anti-gay, Bill 1523, which allows religious groups and some private businesses to refuse service to gay people and anyone who offends their “sincerely held religious beliefs”.

Cyndi Lauper has also come out in opposition to HB2, announcing to ABC News that she donate all profits from her upcoming performance in Raleigh to Equality North Carolina’s campaign to repeal the law.