Sheffield super band Arctic Monkeys have sold out the biggest capacity show ever at the city’s Motorpoint Arena - with their homecoming gig selling in a ‘instant’, writes Graham Walker.
Multi-million pound work to increase seating and improve services allowed the venue to sell 13,600 tickets – including floor standing access.
The previous record was 13,300 to see fellow Sheffield band Pulp last December.
VIDEO: Watch our exclusive video report as we chatted to queuing fans and Sheffield Motorpoint Arena’s marketing manager Simon Bailey.
Arctic Monkeys fans – up to 10-deep outside the venue, as our photo shows – queued over 20 hours to get tickets for their return home on November 2, which will mark the end of an eight-date UK tour.
Sheffield’s indie rock superstars Alex Turner, Jamie Cook, Matt Helders and Nick O’Malley, who headlined the Glastonbury Festival, will be promoting forthcoming fifth album, AM, out September 9.
Simon Bailey, marketing manager at the venue, said: “This is the first show we’ve gone on sale with since we announced the refurbishment, which means this is the biggest capacity show we’ve had in the building in its 22 years, at around 13,600 people.
“There are additional seats, but the standing capacity increases with the improved toilet facilities, which is part of the licensing agreement – so it’s not all just about the number of seats.”
He said it was another “instant” sell-out, with the biggest task processing all the tickets at the box office for many who decided to buy in person.
“Around 400 people turned up, making it one of our biggest queues ever,” he said.
“Since we started selling tickets online, the queues have diminished. But there’s no guarantee of getting them, whichever method you try. What tends to happen these days, a lot of people use all three methods. They are on their phones and the internet while queuing.”
At the front of the queue was local girl Jessica Richardson, 17, who walked off with four standing area tickets.
She told The Star: “It’s been worth the wait. It’s for the Arctic Monkeys and I wouldn’t miss this for the world.”
Brad Russell, 16, said: “I was in the queue from about 6pm on Thursday. But it was a right laugh and definitely worth it.”
Simone Berry, 17, of Hoyland, Barnsley, like many in the queue, was also on her phone trying to buy tickets.
“I was trying to ring and couldn’t get through. It was stressing me out. We had been in the queue for four and a half hours before tickets went on sale. You can only try, can’t you? They are just amazing.”
James Fox, 22, was prepared – he brought a fold-away chair, so he was sat queuing, while on his phone trying websites to get tickets.
He said: “I was on my phone as well, trying to get them on the internet. I might be there.”