The new arts venue on the banks of the Clyde in Glasgow is attracting high quality events. The lights at The Hydro were switched on earlier this week, with shades of blue, green and purple visible on the external walls of the £125m area. Part of the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) complex, it will formally with singer Rod Stewart performing at the opening concert on 30 September.
The venue is expected to host around 40 events a year, especially concerts and other live shows. It can hold up to 13,000 people, making it the largest purpose-built indoor arena in the country. Indeed, it’s hoped the venue will become one of the world’s top five busiest indoor arenas.
One of the first confirmed shows for early in 2014 will be Top Gear Live, which is is coming to Scotland in January for the very first time. Hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May together with driving legend ‘The Stig’, the show’s expected to run for three performances over the weekend of 18-19 January.
“I’ve absolutely no idea exactly what we’ll be up to in Glasgow but, as this is the first time we’ve ever performed live north of the border, you can guarantee it will be something very special. What we can promise is lots of gigantic explosions, some very scary stunts plus a magnificent line-up of incredibly expensive supercars… not to mention all the usual cock-ups, crashes and arguments. Who knows, you might even see The Stig in a kilt,” said Clarkson.
Over the last 12 months, Top Gear Live has been on a world tour with spectacular shows in Moscow, Sydney, Amsterdam, Antwerp and Durban culminating in the biggest extravaganza yet performed in Poland last weekend (21 September) to a sell-out 50,000+ crowd in Warsaw’s National Stadium. Glasgow will be the first time the Top Gear team has appeared in the UK since headlining at the Birmingham NEC in October 2012.
Opened this week and designed by Foster and Partners, The SSE Hydro is Scotland’s largest entertainment venue. “I’m told the building was inspired by ancient Roman and Greek amphitheatres so it sounds like the perfect setting for our kind of arcane humour and barbaric acts. I think some epic chariot racing should be on the cards!” added Clarkson.
With popular events like this, the Hydro’s expected to bring about £130m extra expenditure each year to Glasgow, on top of the £357m which the SECC currently generates.