Stars celebrate opening of Swansea Arena as it hosts first live music show

Michael Sheen and Cerys Matthews are among the performers contributing to the From Swansea, With Love project.

Swansea Arena is to host its first live music show with Royal Blood. (Johan B. Skre, @photomanjohan)
Swansea Arena is to host its first live music show with Royal Blood. (Johan B. Skre, @photomanjohan)

Swansea Arena is to host its first live music show at the weekend featuring English rock duo Royal Blood.

The band will take to the stage of the brand new 3,500-seater venue on Saturday.

Up to 200 live performances a year are to take place in the gold-clad stadium, attracting millions more visitors to the city over the next decade.

To celebrate its opening, world-renowned actors and musicians such as Michael Sheen and Cerys Matthews have taken part in the visual art project From Swansea, With Love.

Welcoming concert-goers will now be the words of the Good Omens star, former Catatonia lead singer and others such as Nine Perfect Strangers actor Luke Evans, BBC radio presenter Huw Stephens, Kingsman actor Keith Allen and singer-songwriter Rachel K Collier.

Rock duo Royal Blood set to headline the new Swansea Arena.

Phrases contributed by the stars will appear as illustrations and animations on posters and digital screens across the city, with the sayings of Sheen and Matthews being turned into hand-painted murals.

Sheen’s reading says: “As the sun rises from the sea, so shall Abertawe sing.”

Joe Bayliss, from Swansea Arena, said: “The arena is a vital piece of the puzzle that has been missing from the South Wales cultural scene until now, and I have no doubt it will help Swansea reach its potential as a cultural destination.

“It’s an exciting time for the city and region, and the arena is just the first part of it. In terms of the arts, we also have the redevelopment of the Albert Hall and Princess Theatre.”

Star of TV and film Michael Sheen’s words about Swansea to celebrate the opening of a new arena in the city. (Johan B. Skre, @photomanjohan)

He added: “The proof will be in the pudding though, and I think we already have it with the amazing line-up for 2022.

“We’re already pencilling in more big shows and me and the team are so thrilled, we can’t wait to share the news with everyone.”

The arena, operated by Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), is at the centre of the city’s new Copr Bay district, one of the largest urban regeneration projects under way in Europe with more than £1 billion investment.

It includes a landmark public bridge, an acre-wide coastal park, plus a new hotel, apartments and independent restaurants.

Murals painted on hoardings around Swansea are to welcome concertgoers. (Johan B. Skre, @photomanjohan)

Around 467 full-time direct and indirect jobs in Swansea are expected to be generated from the arena alone.

Upcoming gigs include comedians Alan Carr, Katherine Ryan, Kevin Bridges, Rhod Gilbert, Rob Beckett and Rob Brydon.

Performances from Jersey Boys, Jurassic Live, Alice Cooper and The Cult, Diversity, Johannes Radebe, Oti Mabuse, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK and Will Young are also planned.

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