20,000 fans bringing Monkey business to city

Nick O'Malley and Alex Turner
Nick O'Malley and Alex Turner

A HUGE marquee has been erected in the east end of Sheffield in preparation for two hometown performances this weekend by the Arctic Monkeys.

Twenty thousand fans who snapped up tickets on the day they went on sale will see the concerts on the Don Valley Bowl in Attercliffe tomorrow and Saturday.

“It’s something special – a homecoming – and it’s putting Sheffield on the map,” said Dominic Stokes, general manager of events for Sheffield International Venues.

“The band wanted to do something different, and there will be a festival-type feel. The bowl looks very impressive.”

Many fans will not have far to travel as they welcome the band from High Green, who have scooped a series of glowing reviews for their latest album, Suck It And See. Others are coming from across the country and further afield to the advantage of the local economy through spending in hotels, restaurants, shops and other businesses.

Tickets have been sold to enthusiasts in Australia, Russia, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, France and Portugal.

It’s a high-profile event that SIV says will help highlight the city as a location for all types of concerts and other events – one that is generating interest throughout the music industry.

There is also a logistical challenge as bars and toilets are imported into the green space between the Arena, English Institute of Sport and iceSheffield, with the site being fenced off.

The Don Valley Bowl has been used for music festivals in the past but not a concert on this scale.

The Arctic Monkeys could have opted for a bigger, more traditional, arena venue but chose a relatively unusual setting. They have been rehearsing in the neighbouring Arena.

Mr Stokes said: “The band is treating this as a thank you for their friends and fans.”

After Sheffield, festival dates are lined up across Europe.