Open Air Theatre to have 30 shows per year

The capacity could also increase to 8,500
The capacity could also increase to 8,500
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Scarborough Council has voted to allow 30 shows per year to take place at the Open Air Theatre.


The Council sought permission from its planning committee to increase the number of shows at the 6,000-seat theatre which for decades staged big musicals on its giant stage - the biggest of its kind in Europe.

It was also granted permission to fully deck the lake area in front of the stage for the months that concerts are running, which would increase its capacity to 8,500.

It will be limited to a maximum 20 shows between May to September, with up to 10 more outside these dates.

In recent years it has presented shows starring some of the biggest names in the entertainment world, among them Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Katherine Jenkins, Elton John, UB40, Olly Murs, Spandau Ballet. This year’s line-up includes Sir Cliff Richard, Michael Ball, Alfie Boe, The Beach Boys, Jess Glynne, Midge Ure, George Benson and The Charlatans.

Objectors told the planning committee: “On many occasions the acts begin rehearsals as early as 9.30 am with sound checks continuing throughout the day.

“It cannot be acceptable that residents can hear music in their homes with the windows closed. It is unacceptable that the bass beat can be felt through floors, and televisions cannot be heard at normal levels.”

They add: “Residents cannot enjoy their gardens or have windows open in the summer months.

“They are disturbed at night by the public leaving the venue, especially those who have had too much to drink.”
However, supporters of the plan say: “Scarborough is a seaside town and needs to generate as much income as possible from tourism to keep the town alive.”

One said: “A maximum of 30 major events over a five-month season appears to be a reasonable compromise between inconvenience to local residents versus the financial benefits to the whole of Scarborough.”