Uncertainty around withdrawal of Sheffield park concerts application thought to be Arctic Monkeys gigs

Arctic Monkeys
Arctic Monkeys

Uncertainty surrounds the withdrawal of a bid to stage up to four major live music events in Hillsborough Park later this year that fuelled speculation Arctic Monkeys were poised to announce a string of homecoming gigs.

SJM Concerts - a major promoter that has put on past tours by the Sheffield quartet - lodged a licensing application with the city council to stage events in the park 'for a maximum of four dates during the month of September, during the hours 4pm and 10.30pm'.

Signs saying SJM wanted to put on 'live and recorded music', and to sell alcohol, were spotted at the site last weekend.

But now the council has confirmed the application has been withdrawn by the promoter, and the notices have been taken down by officers. However, it is unclear whether the move is permanent - extensive publicity having spoiled the element of surprise - or if SJM has simply gone back to the drawing board to amend its request.

The prospect of the concerts prompted a feverish reaction from Arctic Monkeys fans. Some claimed on social media that they were already booking hotel rooms in anticipation of tickets going on sale.

The application stated the live music would be 'indoors', suggesting the rock band might be planning to appear under a marquee, as they did at the Don Valley Bowl in 2011 when they played in front of 20,000 people over two nights. The group's last Sheffield gig was at the arena in 2013.

A precedent for holding large-scale concerts in Hillsborough Park will be set this summer when the Tramlines festival relocates there for its 10th edition in July, doubling its capacity to 40,000 people. It is understood Arctic Monkeys had been sounded out to top the bill before headliners Noel Gallagher, Stereophonics and Craig David were settled uon.

Arctic Monkeys, who formed in High Green, have named several dates for 2018 including the TRNSMT festival in Glasgow and Primavera Sound in Spain, and are understood to be preparing a new studio album, their sixth, for release soon. The group has been on hiatus since 2014.

SJM Concerts has been approached for comment.