Glasgow's Hydro arena in running to be named global 'venue of the decade'

Glasgow's iconic SSE Hydro is in the running to be named the world’s “venue of the decade” in a global music industry poll. It will be up against venues in Brazil, Germany, Belgium, France, Manchester and London for the honour in the annual Pollstar Awards.

The landmark venue, which has a capacity of 14,300, will be up against venues in Brazil, France, Germany, Belgium, Dublin and London for the honour, which will be decided at the annual Pollstar magazine awards in Los Angeles next month.

The Glasgow arena, which opened in September 2013 with a sell-out concert by Sir Rod Stewart, quickly went on to become the second busiest entertainment venue in the world, after Madison Square Garden in New York.

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The nominees for the International Venue of the Decade category at the forthcoming Pollstar Awards have been recognised for how they have “showcased superior talent booking, effective promotion, quality production values and staff, an exemplary experience for fans and artists, and consistent box office success over the last decade.”

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Other contenders include the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland, the AccorHotels Arena in Paris, the Antwerps Sportpaleis in Belgium, the AO Arena in Manchester, the Eventim Apollo in London, the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, the Royal Albert Hall and 02 in London and the UnimedHall in Sao Paulo.

Acts in the running to be name touring artist of the decade include Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, The Rolling Stones and U2.

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Nominees for non-music tours of the decade include The Lion King, which was running at the Edinburgh Playhouse before the venue was shut down by Covid, The Book Of Mormon, Cirque du Soleil, Disney On Ice and Wicked.

The SSE Hydro, which is part of the Scottish Event Campus on the banks of the River Clyde, has played hosted to the MTV Europe Music Awards, BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony and the Commonwealth Games.

The SSE Hydro arena in Glasgow was named the second busiest live entertainment venue in the world in 2019 - behind Madison Square Garden in New York. Picture: Luke Dyson

The SSE Hydro normally hosts more than 140 events and more than a million attendees throughout the year, but was closed last March in the face of the pandemic. It is being used temporarily at the moment as a Covid vaccination centre.

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Director of live entertainment Debbie McWilliams said: “Being nominated for this award helps us remember just how significant the SSE Hydro is on a global level for events.

“I’m incredibly proud that Glasgow has a venue that is up there with some of the biggest names on the planet.

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"Despite being closed for over a year it’s recognition like this that makes me confident for the future and returning when the time is right.”

A spokesperson for the awards said: “With COVID-19 bringing a halt to traditional live events, resulting in a dearth of major tours, festivals, venue activity and touring-based artist development, Pollstar is dedicating its 32nd annual awards to celebrating the most commercially and artistically successful artists, venues and events over the last decade, as determined by Pollstar’s box office data and prior awards voting history.

“We will also be recognizing artists, venues, and individuals who rose to the occasion during the shutdown through streaming of live events, alternative delivery of live performances, philanthropy, and innovation.

"These nominees, as determined by Pollstar's research and editorial staff, represent the resiliency and fighting spirit of the live community.”

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