Scarborough Open Air Theatre: Venue set to hit 100,000 ticket sales for first time in record-breaking year

Scarborough's Open Air Theatre is set for a record-breaking summer with ticket sales set to hit the 100,000 threshold for the first time.

By George Buksmann
Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 10:50 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 10:53 am

BRIT Award winner Sam Fender will launch Scarborough OAT's 2022 summer season with a sell-out show on Friday May 27.

The Hypersonic Missiles singer will kick off a programme of headline concerts which includes shows from Bryan Adams, George Ezra, Christina Aguilera, and The Script.

More than 97,000 tickets have already been sold for this summer's 17 shows, as the venue marks the 90th anniversary of the first-ever concert at Scarborough OAT – breaking a sales record of 91,431 set in 2018.

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More than 460,000 people have attended a live show at Scarborough OAT since 2010.

Peter Taylor, Scarborough OAT venue programmer, said: said: "We pride ourselves on bringing music's biggest stars to Scarborough and delivering a diverse programme that has something for everyone. This is reflected in the fact almost 100,000 music fans already have their tickets ahead of our first show of the year.

"These shows are really important, not only for music fans and the venue – which is a jewel in the Yorkshire Coast's crown – but for the local economy and the many thousands of people who work in visitor-related industries."

Scarborough OAT has come a long way since it staged its first ever show – the comic opera Merrie England, on Thursday July 28th 1932.

More than 460,000 people have attended a live show at the Scarborough Council-owned venue since it was refurbished and re-opened to the public in 2010, creating a tourism boost of almost £30m for the local economy. The previous box office record year of 2018 created an estimated tourism benefit of £6.9m.

It is estimated the venue has created a tourism boost of almost £30m for the local economy

It is estimated this summer's Scarborough OAT shows will deliver an estimated £7m-plus boost for the local economy.

The economic benefit figures, produced using the industry-standard Cambridge Research Model for Tourism, take into account such factors as whether customers stay overnight and their estimated spending while in the resort.

Research shows, on average, 60 per cent of visitors who attend shows at Scarborough OAT travel from outside the borough, with many staying overnight.

Following the 2019 season, 30 accommodation providers in the surrounding area were interviewed to assess the impact of the entertainment venue. A total of 70 per cent said the OAT made a "big difference" to their business.

It is estimated this summer's Scarborough OAT shows will deliver an estimated £7m-plus boost for the local economy.

Cllr Jim Grieve, Scarborough Council's cabinet member for Quality of Life, said: "We were already extremely proud of what we and Cuffe and Taylor have achieved at Scarborough OAT, so for 2022 to be a record-breaking year has surpassed our expectations – especially in light of the challenges of the last couple of years.

"The big-name acts and big crowds keep on coming – both the music industry and audiences showing how much they love our venue and its stunning location.

"We look forward to a brilliant season ahead and the important contribution Scarborough OAT will make to the area's ongoing economic recovery."

In September last year, the entertainment venue celebrated its centenary show when Manchester heavyweights Courteeners took to the stage.

The venue is set to hit 100,000 ticket sales for the first time, with more than 97,000 already sold.

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