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Ambassador Theatre Group’s (ATG) new Swansea Arena hosted its first live concert on 19 March – a just under full-capacity (3,500) show by Royal Blood – following its two test events last month.

Swansea Arena, part of the city’s £135m Copr Bay development, officially opened last week and has already hosted comedian John Bishop, before turning into an exhibition space to promote local businesses later in the week.

The multi-purpose arena is gold clad, with a wraparound LED screen, made up of 93,000 LED lights. The venue is set to host up to 200 live performances a year across comedy, theatre, music and gaming and is expected to bring an additional 260,000 visitors a year to the city and generate 467 full-time direct and indirect jobs in Swansea.

Swansea City Centre is one of the largest urban transformations currently being delivered in Europe; with more than £1bn being invested across the city. Delivered by Swansea Council, and advised by development managers RivingtonHark, phase one of the Copr Bay project is said to be worth £17.1m a year to the city’s economy.

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The arena also forms part of the Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District project which is being part-funded by the £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal.

The arena’s 2022 lineup includes Alan Carr, Jersey Boys, Jurassic Live, Katherine Ryan, Kevin Bridges, Rhod Gilbert, Rob Beckett, Rob Brydon, as well as debut Swansea shows from Alice Cooper and The Cult, Diversity, Johannes Radebe, Oti Mabuse, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK and Will Young.

Swansea Arena general manager Lisa Mart said, “Royal Blood were just the absolute perfect performers to launch the music aspect of our venue – they put on an astounding show that really tested the capabilities of our stage and auditorium. We are thrilled that so many people have commented on the quality of the sound and experience in the space – that has been so important to us while working on this project.”

Swansea Arena head of marketing and communications Joe Bayliss said, “We are completely delighted to be welcoming the world to Swansea Arena and of course our brilliant city, as it reaches its potential as a cultural destination.”

Pictures by Francesca Jones