ONE of the UK’s biggest music industry events is to go ahead at Glasgow’s multi-million pound new concert arena - despite fears the venue’s opening will have to be delayed for a second time.
Organisers of the MOBO Awards revealed today that they are bringing the 18th urban music extravaganza to the Hydro on 19 October - less than three weeks after its rescheduled opening date.
Bosses admitted last week that there were still unresolved issues over the Clydeside venue’s vast roof which could impact on the construction programme, following a dramatic blaze earlier this month.
The MOBOs will be the first major awards event to be staged at the venue, next to the SECC in Glasgow, which has already twice played host to the event.
It is renowned for recognising emerging acts before they achieve mainstream success, including Amy Winehouse, Emeli Sande and Rita Ora. Destiny’s Child, Rihanna, Tina Turner and the Black Eyed Peas are among the other acts to perform at the event.
Tickets have also gone on sale today for the ceremony, which is due to be broadcast on television to more than 200 countries thanks to a deal with BBC Worldwide.
And the first two acts to perform at the event, on 19 October have been revealed - Rudimental and Iggy Azalea.
Delays in the building works at the Hydro forced organisers to postpone the planned first concert with Andrea Bocelli while the fire - believed to have been caused by a spark from welding work - has left contractors facing a race against the clock to get the venue ready for its new opening date on 30 September, when Rod Stewart is due to appear.
Public bodies have invested heavily to bring the MOBO Awards to Glasgow, with backers including national events events EventScotland, the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau all named as official backers.
The MOBO Awards are also due to return to the same 12,000 capacity venue in 2015.
Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson said the Hydro would “absolutely” be ready to open on time. “The assurances are there that have given us the confidence to launch the MOBOs today. It will be yet another event in Glasgow’s music and style calendar.
“I’m delighted we’ll be hosting the awards at the Hydro, which will provide a foretaste of what music fans and visitors can expect from this terrific new venue in years to come.”
Kanya King, founder of the MOBO Awards, said: “We are ecstatic to be coming back to Glasgow for the third time and are working flat out on making our 18th anniversary show an unforgettable one.
“We are used to flying by the seat of our pants, so it will be no different this year.
“We deliberately chose October, than September, for the awards this year, as we didn’t want to be the first show in the Hydro.
“We’ve been told that it has to be ready, because they have events lined up. We’re not worried about it.
“I’ve had a hard-hat walk around the Hydro and it looks spectacular. We like being creative, it is what we do.
“I’ve set us a challenge. This is going to be our most important show yet. We have got to set the bar so high so that it is our best show ever. We are really under-pressure to produce show-stopping performances.”
Scottish culture secretary Fiona Hyslop added: “The MOBOs are the perfect event and the Hydro is the perfect venue to show off the passion and appreciation of live music that Glasgow and Scotland are famous for.”