‘Roll Up and Shine’: A case study of Stereophonics at Glasgow’s SECC arena

Emma Webster

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


‘You have to put as much effort into putting somebody on to 120 people as to putting them on to 2,000 people, almost. It’s a bigger gamble, financially, but probably less work ... The bigger the act, it’s probably less work’ (S. Basford, pers. comm., 6 July 2009). So Sheffield-based promoter, Stuart Basford, concluded when considering his role within large-scale live music events, and whose somewhat surprising analysis will form the basis of this chapter. While promoters stand to lose or gain more at large shows than for smaller shows, both in terms of financial and reputational gain, their involvement at large shows such as arena concerts is often far from being anywhere like as hands-on. Hence the seemingly paradoxical statement that as the size and scale of the show increases, so too the promoter’s active role decreases. Drawing on ethnographic research from a Stereophonics concert at the SECC arena in Glasgow in March 2010, this chapter will examine the multi-layered operation of an arena concert show such as the Stereophonics from the promoter’s perspective. It will set out the role of the promoter, offer particular insights relating to the ‘behind the scenes’ activities at the Stereophonics show and finally consider what this means for the UK arena concert sector.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Arena Concert
Subtitle of host publicationMusic, Media and Mass Entertainment
EditorsBenjamin Halligan, Kirsty Fairclough-Isaacs, Robert Edgar, Nicola Spelman
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Number of pages125
ISBN (Print)9781628925562
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2015

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