Will Rihanna play in Scarborough?
Pop megastar Rihanna could be one of the next acts to play at Scarborough's Open Air Theatre.
The suggestion comes following a record-breaking season – which included a sold-out performance by Britney Spears.
One of the 8,500 fans who packed in to the venue to watch Britney was Guy Hewitt, High Commissioner for Barbados to the UK, who was in town on what he calls his ‘Scarbados Project’.
Mr Hewitt said: “Some young Scarborians were intrigued that I met and worked with Rihanna and suggested we get this Bajan icon to the Open Air Theatre.
“To their idea, to Scarbados and to my many, new, old friends in Scarborough, borrowing from an early Rihanna hit, ‘I drink to that’.”
The Scarborough News put the idea to Peter Taylor, director of Cuffe and Taylor who are the venue promoters.
He said: “Of course we would love to have Rihanna at the venue – there’s no doubt about it.
“Whether the timing could work, we would have to see. But if he [Mr Hewitt] could make that happen, then he’d be a very good friend of ours.”
Mr Taylor added that there is already a link in place as Rihanna works with promoter Live Nation – and Cuffe and Taylor is part of that company.
He continued: “We get lots of suggestions about who people would like to see in Scarborough.
“Britney was one of the suggestions we got and she came. You only have to look at our Facebook page to see how the bar has been raised. “The reaction has been incredible – we’ve never had publicity like it.”
Mr Taylor explained that thanks to this year’s “best ever” line-up, which also featured Lionel Richie, Bastille and Gary Barlow, many people had visited the venue for the first time.
He said: “This has paved the way for the future. It’s also testament to how much Scarborough Council has supported us.
“I know they’ve come under fire in the past, but without them we’d have struggled to achieve what we have done.”
One of the top achievements, Mr Taylor says, has been building the concrete area in front of the stage, instead of having the original lake.
He said: “Acts over the years have felt disconnected from the audience. They prefer the new set-up.”
And the feedback from Britney and her people was overwhelmingly positive.
Mr Taylor said: “They absolutely loved it. There was lots of great feedback from them.
“There was a lot for us to do and we were very accommodating. We brought in extra dressing rooms and power. She had a very positive experience.
“The door is always open for Britney to come back to Scarborough!”
He added that some acts have already been confirmed for next year and that announcements will be made as soon as possible.
Figures show that this year’s acts were watched by more than 90,000 people – and Cuffe and Taylor wish to thank every single fan who bought a ticket.
It’s now a case of watching this space for Rihanna. The only problem might be if she wants to bring her ‘Umbrella’ – they are banned from the venue.