Leeds Arena News: First official birthday for First Direct Arena

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Working as a director of a new music venue means you very rarely get time to stop, rest and think back about all that’s happened.

Anniversaries are a great time to do this reflection. Today, September 4, marks our Official 1st Birthday. One year since Elton John officially opened the building to a sold out crowd. And what a year it’s been.

When SMG Europe were first talking about their plans we’d always said that some of the biggest names would be brought to the city by having a brand new, world class arena. And what a list we’ve seen.

Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Prince, the Eagles, Dolly Parton, Leonard Cohen are just a few to mention.

On top of the world class musical talent, the arena has seen a range of other events that have helped to put Leeds on the map.

We’ve had Cirque Du Soleil wowing sold out audiences with their magical performances.

The last ever Bolero was performed by Torvill and Dean at Dancing on Ice.

Most of our team will never forget delivering BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2014. An amazing evening where the arena shone on National TV.

Then, we saw the opening ceremony of the Tour de France, with the arena playing to a world audience.

People have asked me what’s to come in our second year. Keeping secrets is a big part of my job, but it’s fair to say, we’re very excited about what’s to come.

We’re holding a birthday concert on October 19 with Jake Bugg in conjunction with our naming rights partner First Direct.

First Direct, who are based in Leeds are celebrating 25 years so it’s a great chance to celebrate both birthdays in one. An arena Sound of the Month band, Skinny Living will be performing on the night too.

Tickets are only £15 to allow as many people to enjoy this night as possible and they go on sale on Friday.

British rock legends come to Leeds for one of only three UK dates.

British rock band Thunder will be coming to the first direct arena next March. Joining them will be very special guests Reef (of Place Your Hands fame), plus rhythm and blues infused rock band Tax The Heat.

The group have had 18 top 40 hit singles in the UK, a stack of gold and silver albums around the world, a whole host of awards and a fanbase of unswerving loyalty are accomplishments most bands can only dream of

To book tickets for the show on March 12, or any other event, visit www.firstdirectarena.com, phone 0844 248 1585.

Artist Bay Backner pictured with her work at Cafe 164, The Gallery at 164, Leeds. PIC: Simon Hulme

Painting picture of beauty at Leeds art exhibition