SHEFFIELD Arena is preparing for its 25th anniversary year after a memorable 2015, in which they hosted some of the world’s biggest acts in showbiz, including triple-headers from Take That and One Direction.
Rob O’Shea, the Arena’s general manager, is now looking forward to a “new era” for the venue, as a change in management takes place with plans in place for another big year. It includes a comeback by another well-loved boy band, Busted, who will return with their original line-up in May - and there’s more to look forward for many female music fans with the arrival of pop sensation Justin Bieber in October.
Take That played their three sell-out 2015 shows during June, then One Direction followed that with their three performances in October. One Direction’s dates were their final ones before going on their hiatus from the world of music.
Those boy bands’ memorable acts were not the only events of 2015 will be recalled fondly. There were sell-out gigs from the likes of Olly Murs, Florence & The Machine, Queen & Adam Lambert, The Script, Mumford & Son’s, and S Club 7.
Local pride could be felt at the performances from Richard Hawley and fellow Sheffield rockers Def Leppard. Those events took place recently during the winter months.
Aside from music, 2015 at the Sheffield Arena will also be remembered for Clarkson, Hammond and May’s cars and stunts, Strictly Come Dancing, and Disney on Ice - which is the only touring show to have played at the venue every year since the building opened in May 1991. Disney on Ice has delivered over 280 performances in that time, seen by almost 1.4 million people.
There were belly laughs to be had from Michael McIntrye and Mrs Brown’s Boys - and body slams to be admired when Hulk Hogan showed up for an exclusive evening. Serious sports fans, too, were also entertained by the Steelers ice hockey team.
The exciting plans for the 25th anniversary year also include Strictly Come Dancing Live Thunder, Ellie Goulding, The X Factor Live Tour, 5 seconds of Summer, The Vamps, Bryan Adams, Lionel Richie, Andrea Bocelli, Little Mix and major biking events. More local flavour is also provided by Dynamo’s magic and more comedy will be on offer when Russell Howard visits.
With other wide-ranging entertainment - including the Harlem Globetrotters and wrestling - on the agenda, 2016 is likely to be another memorable year, as the Arena celebrates its 25th.
O’Shea said: “2015 has been another successful year for the venue. A personal highlight has been the success of the venue’s reduced capacity Steel Hall, culminating in November’s hometown Richard Hawley gig.
“2016 will be our 25th anniversary and we already have some of the world’s biggest touring artistes lined up to perform. It will also be a new era for the venue as Sheffield International Venues take over the management of the venue in April and the search for a new naming rights sponsor will be at the top of everyone’s to-do list next year.”