After 2 amazing sold out show in London, England at the O2 Arena, the Guns N’ Roses nightrain rolls into Birmingham tomorrow night. If you didn’t see the footage from the 2 shows in London, the whole 1st show is on my blog, and a lot of footage from the 2nd one is on my last blog post.
Wasn’t it amazing to see Duff play with Axl again? He said it couple of months back that he wouldn’t mind playing once in a while with ex members, but ONLY one at a time. We got Izzy in 2006, now we have Duff in 2010. But PLEASE, don’t start any reunion rumours. A reunion with the ex-members will NEVER happen. NEVER! And of course, don’t wait for Slash any time soon on a stage with Axl…lol
The NEC was originally going to be built adjacent to the M1 junction 21 near Leicester but it was turned down by Leicestershire County Council with claims that “The big shows won’t move away from London”.
In November 1971, the Secretary of State for the Environment granted outline planning approval for the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. The NEC, originally comprising 89,000 m2 of exhibition space, was opened by the Queen on 2 February 1976. The building was designed by Edward Mills.
In 1989, the Queen opened three further halls, increasing the space to 125,000 m2. Four more halls were added in 1993, the total exhibition space increasing to 158,000 m2. Another four new halls, opened in September 1998 by Neil Kinnock, European Commissioner for Transport, took the total space to 190,000 m2 (2,045,142 square feet). These buildings were designed by Seymour Harris.
As of 2009, The NEC is nearing completion of a five-year, £40 million venue improvement programme which has seen improvements made to everything from the car parking to signage, seating and catering. The most obvious result of this development has been the redesign of the Piazza – the central space around Halls 1 to 5, which has received a contemporary update.
The NEC was home to the British International Motorshow from 1978 to 2004. In addition, it also hosted the Classic Motor Show.
Since 1991, the NEC has been the venue for the international dog show Crufts. Held over four days and using five halls and the LG Arena, Crufts attracts an estimated 160,000 visitors annually. The 1991 show was also Crufts centenary year and as part of the celebrations to mark the occasion, the Guinness Book of Records gave official recognition of the events status as the worlds largest dog show, with 22,973 dogs being exhibited that year.
|Former names||The NEC Arena|
National Exhibition Centre
|Owner||The NEC Group|
|Construction cost||£29,000,000 (Refurbishment)|
|Field dimensions||94.8m x 51.4m|
The LG Arena, host to large music concerts, is part of the complex. The 16,000 capacity LG Arena was the largest multi-purpose arena in the UK when opening in the mid-1980s as “The NEC Arena” and is still a major popular venue for touring acts. Together, the NEC and the LG Arena host over 3 million visitors each year.
This includes international acts such as Lady GaGa,Rihanna,The Black Eyed Peas,Whitney Houston and Mary J Blige. However it does host multiple local music events with the BRMB Live event being hosted at the venue on November 23.
From 1 September 2008, the NEC Arena was officially renamed as the LG Arena, following a naming-rights sponsorship deal with global electronics company LG. The arena is currently undergoing a £29 million overhaul of its facilities, paid for by loans from Birmingham City Council and regional development agency Advantage West Midlands.
Work on the LG Arena was finished mid October 2009 and the arena hosted its first concert with Tom Jones. Included in the installation were around 1,000 new seats, bringing the capacity to 16,000 to compete with venues such as London‘s O2 Arena and Manchester‘s MEN Arena which are amongst the busiest music venues in the world. Also constructed were new hospitality areas and a forum containing new bars, restaurants and other customer facilities. Prior to its first concert, the arena hosted the 2009 Horse of the Year show.
Being able to host large and intimate shows the LG Arena Birmingham does offer a wide range of comedian’s that are nationally and internationally known with acts such as Lenny Henry, John Bishop and Russell Howard bringing their shows to the Arena.
Major music events
Since the 1980s, The NEC has hosted performances by many international musicians and music groups, several of which have played at The NEC Arena on more than one occasion.
- Sir Cliff Richard has performed numerous concerts at the venue and is the artist to have played the most shows at the arena.
- The Corrs performed at this venue 7 times during their In Blue Tour in 2000/01.
- Canadian rock band Rush filmed their VHS and DVD release entitled A Show of Hands at The NEC Arena in 1988. Some of this recording featured in the audio album of the same name.
- Queen have performed at the Centre several times over the years while on tour, from their Crazy Tour in 1979, to The Game Tour in 1980 & to The Works Tour in 1984.
- David Bowie performed, on two consecutive nights, at the centre during his Serious Moonlight Tour on June 5–6, 1983, began the first European leg of his Sound+Vision Tour, on two consecutive nights, on March 19–20, 1990, performed on two consecutive nights, during his Outside Tour on November 20–21, 1995 & performed on two consecutive nights during his A Reality Tour on November 19–20, 2003.
- Christina Aguilera performed at the Centre during her Stripped World Tour on October 25 & November 7, 2003.
- Beyoncé performed at the Centre during her Dangerously in Love Tour on November 13, 2003 & during The Beyoncé Experience Tour on June 1, 2007.
- Status Quo recorded the Live at the N.E.C. album (CD) there.
- The Genesis The Mama Tour video was filmed there.
- Tina Turner recorded the VHS for her 1985 Private Dancer Tour there. She is also the female artist with the most shows at the N.E.C., with 18 shows.
- Iron Maiden recorded Maiden England at the NEC, during their Seventh Tour Of A Seventh Tour in 1988.
- Phil Collins Performed here on several occasions during his Both Sides Of The World Tour in 1994 & 1995.
- The video for AC/DC song, That’s the Way I Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll was also recorded there, during their Blow up your video tour in 1988.
- Also in 1988, the band Erasure played six nights at the NEC and one concert was filmed there, the November 15, 1988, and released in 1989 with the title The Innocents Live. Twenty years later, it was re-issued on DVD as a bonus of the 2009 remastered deluxe edition of Erasure’s The Innocents album.
- The original Black Sabbath officially reunited at the NEC to record their live Reunion album on December 4–5, 1997.
- Kiss performed at the LG Arena on May 5, 2010, as part of their Sonic Boom Over Europe Tour, the date was originally set for Tuesday May 11, but was changed to May 5 due to more UK dates being added to the tour.
- Rihanna performed at the LG Arena on May 7, 2010 as part of her Last Girl on Earth Tour
- Lady Gaga brought her Monster Ball Tour to a sold out LG Arena on March 5, 2010 and returned on May 28, 2010 due to an overwhelming demand for tickets.
- Pop-punk rocker Avril Lavigne performed at the venue as part of the European leg for her world tour, The Best Damn Tour
- The X Factor (UK) holds the Audition stages and tour at the LG Arena.
- Mary J Blige brings her Music Saved My Life Tour to the Arena in November 2010 with special guest Lemar, this will be 1 of the 3 exclusive shows that she will play in the United Kingdom with stopping of at London 02 Arena before and then making her way to M.E.N Arena.
- Linkin Park bring there A Thousand Suns World Tour to the arena in November 2010 with support from Does It Offend You, Yeah?
- BRMB will host the multiple artist concert Live 2010 at the Arena on 27 November this will include acts like James Blunt, The Saturdays, The Hoosiers and McFly.
- The Script bring their first UK tour to the Arena on the 17th March for an exclusive St. Patrick’s day concert
The NEC has 29,000 car parking spaces spread around the site, with a shuttle bus service operating to and from the car parks.
In 2008 the all-day parking fee for public exhibitions was £8.00, which supposedly contributes directly to the upkeep of the car parks, running of the shuttle bus service, maintenance of road surfaces and lighting, and manning of the areas with traffic stewards.