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

The new 3,500-seater venue will host its first live music show this weekend. Credit: PA

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

The band will take to the stage of the brand new 3,500-seater venue on Saturday, March 19.

Up to 200 live performances a year will 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 a visual art project called 'From Swansea, With Love'.

Royal Blood rock duo Credit: PA

Concert-goers will be welcomed by 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.

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.”

Michael Sheen is involved in the celebration of the arena opening. Credit: PA

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.”

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, 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.

Copr Bay bridge Credit: Swansea Council

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.