Stadium bosses are hoping to stage more big-name concerts at the John Smith’s Stadium – but there’s only time available at the busy stadium for one big event each summer.
As global girlband Little Mix prepare for this Sunday’s sell-out gig – the first concert at the John Smith’s in over 11 years – stadium chief Gareth Davies spoke about future plans.
Mr Davies, of stadium company KSDL, said: “We are really excited to be getting back into concerts – several years have gone by since we have had successful concerts.
“We have been waiting for the right opportunity to come along and are very pleased with this (Little Mix) which is being organised by a very professional company, SJM.”
Mr Davies said SJM were experts in staging concerts and great care was being taken to look after the all-important pitch at the John Smith’s.
He said logistics work to prepare the stadium for Little Mix and their 28,000 fans started on Friday evening.
“As the rugby crowds left last night (Huddersfield Giants played Wigan) we were in action, although we have to work to tight environmental controls regarding light and noise and the local community.
“There was some brief activity yesterday evening and we picked it up early this morning, so it has been non-stop.
“Today and tomorrow we plan to have the whole stage set up and the pitch will be covered by the end of Saturday,” he added.
A purpose-built stage will stand in front of the Fantastic Media Stand which will be closed and used as a ‘back stage’ area. The stage itself will sit on special purpose-built matting to protect the pitch.
“This is the importance of working with professionals at SJM who do these concerts at sports venues all the time. Last weekend they organised the Little Mix concert at the Liberty Stadium (home of Swansea City).
“They use specialised equipment including plastic floors which go beneath the stage and matting (to cover the pitch surface).”
So, can music fans expect to see more concerts at the John Smith’s Stadium.
“Yes, we are very much seeking to target this,” says Mr Davies.
“But, because of football and rugby, we only have time for one concert per summer. We only have one weekend timeslot. There is a very restricted window of time.
“Next year we are seeking to agree something (concert-wise).”
It has yet to be decided what kind of concert will be staged, he said.
“That’s not my specialised subject. That’s where the professional promoters come in. They will match the venue with the local demand.
“There are very few gaps (in time availability of the stadium), so targeting concerts is not just about working with the right promoter but also the narrow window of time that we have.”