Vector to debut more intimate setting
Demand from artists sparks changes at venueBRIDGET JONES
Country music icon Emmylou Harris will play a one-off New Zealand show at Auckland's Vector Arena this November.
But it will be a concert of firsts.
Not only will it be the Grammy Award-winner's first time playing at Auckland's largest indoor venue, but it will also mark the debut of a new seating format.
For what has been dubbed the Vector Arena theatre mode, the 12,000 seat venue will cleverly use curtains and stage placement to create a cozy reduced capacity experience, in an attempt to cope with a lack of intimate venues in Auckland.
The ballroom, theatrical feel will seat anywhere between 1500 and 3000 audience members, meaning no matter how many tickets have been sold, the venue will always feel full.
Rather than being a shrunken version of the arena, as is the case with some shows currently, the theatrical mode moves the stage closer to the seats, resulting in better sound quality and maintaining good sightlines.
Vector Arena director Stuart Clumpas says theatre mode was developed to address a dilemma recently facing overseas promoters considering Auckland shows.
"The Civic Theatre and ASB Theatre at the Edge have traditionally been the venue of choice for artists looking to play to about 2000 people. They're well suited to accommodate that size of an audience, and of course,Tthe Civic does it in a beautiful setting.
"But this year, with events such as Mary Poppins coming to The Civic for a seven-week run, it's been hard for overseas promoters to find dates at those two venues that suit their tour schedules."
Harris was one such artist. She had not secured any New Zealand dates on the back of her Australian tour because she could not find a venue that suited her performance.
Clumpas is confident the new format will fill a gap in the Auckland market.
"We're first and foremost music fans, and we hate the idea that New Zealanders might miss out on seeing truly world-class acts simply because of a lack of suitable venues."
Over Harris's 40-year career, she has written and produced more than 20 albums.
She has topped the charts with hits like Together Again, Sweet Dreams and To Know Him Is To Love Him and has worked alongside the likes of Gram Parsons, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Roy Orbison.
EMMYLOU HARRIS AND HER RED DIRT BOYS
With support from The Gunslingers
WHEN: November 18
WHERE: The Theatre at Vector Arena, Auckland
Tickets on sale from Ticketmaster.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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