Audience numbers down for pop show

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TENS OF thousands of music fans shunned this year’s Party in the Park pop concert following the introduction of ticket charges.

Leeds City Council bosses today said the attendance for Sunday’s concert in the grounds of Temple Newsam House was just over 33,700.

Around 70,000 people flocked to the annual event last summer, when admission was free.

General tickets for this year’s concert cost £10, although hefty discounts were available for holders of leisure scheme passes such as Breezecards.

The council has said funding cuts meant it was left with no option but to introduce admission fees.

Opera in the Park, held at Temple Newsam on Saturday, drew a crowd of 6,454 people.

That figure was slightly up on last year, when the event was watched by 6,339 classical music lovers.

Council chiefs brought in charges for Opera in the Park in 2011.

Prior to their introduction, the concert traditionally attracted audiences of around 50,000.

The same prices were charged this year for the classical spectacular and its pop music sister event the following day.

Coun Lucinda Yeadon, the council’s executive member for leisure and skills, said: “Over 40,000 people in total visited Temple Newsam over the weekend for both Opera and Party in the Park, and despite the changeable weather, both events were a hit with the crowd. It has been an extremely difficult decision to introduce admission fees for both concerts over the past few years, but with the very challenging budget situation that the council continues to face, we simply could not continue to put on these events free of charge.

“That said however, we remain committed to keeping ticket prices as low as we possibly can, and this year fans were able to watch a host of chart-topping artists for a small fraction of what is charged to attend many other events and concerts.”

Acts on this year’s bill for Party in the Park included Olly Murs, Dizzee Rascal, Professor Green, and Blue.

The event was organised by the council and 96.3 Radio Aire, with the Yorkshire Evening Post as media partner.

Aled Jones, Laura Wright and Amore were among the artists who played Opera in the Park.

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