Leeds Arena News: Tony Watson on a manic six days and a unique Christmas challenge...

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The first Direct Arena team are now winding down following once of the most momentous weeks we can remember.

Over 60,000 guests were welcomed through the doors in six consecutive nights of concerts.

Monday and Tuesday saw Michael Buble taking to the stage. There were some truly stunning moments, with particular highlights being the whole audience singing along to All You Need Is Love, with tonnes of confetti and Mr Buble performing from stage with no microphone and sounding amazing with our acoustics.

The next show up was Status Quo, supported by Chas and Dave.

The arena was lit in double denim in their honour as thousands of rock fans arrived at the venue to listen to rock royalty performing their back catalogue of smash hits.

Thursday was Madness as the whole arena bounced along to Baggy Trousers and all of the other Madness classics.

Friday saw the UK’s most successful dance troupe, Diversity, taking to the stage and the audience with fireworks, lasers and adventurous dance moves - it was a night to remember for the fans in the crowd.

Saturday was a truly festive evening with Andre Rieu and his Johan Strauss orchestra taking to the stage and performing a catalogue of festive and classical smash hits - it had people waltzing in the aisles and the packed house left with a smile on their faces.

Sunday was a unique day for me and two of my colleagues, Jacob Smith and Kyle Minnock. Why, you ask?

Well, we had agreed to do a festive road trip challenge for the British Heart Foundation.

The premise was we’d set off from the arena at 4am on Sunday and what we did was up to the public. They could challenge us to do anything they wanted.

So on Sunday, we set off on what turned out to be a 700 mile road trip around the UK.

People can see what we got up to here: http://tiny.cc/roadtripchallenge.

We travelled from Leeds to Morecambe for a selfie on a beach, travelled across coastal causeways, taking in high mountain peaks and castles; we went to the gatehouse of Edinburgh Castle, cut down a Christmas tree and danced gangnam style on the steps of Leeds Town Hall.

It was a truly memorable experience and stated donations have already exceeded £3,000.

This week we’re getting ready for the festive ticket buying rush as fans look to share the gift of a night at the arena for Christmas presents. I’ll be back soon with a personal review of the year.

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