Scarborough set for multi-million pound tourism boost as live shows return to Open Air Theatre
Not only is live music back at Scarborough Open Air Theatre, the return of concerts is set to deliver a £5m boost to the town's tourism economy.
The UK’s biggest outdoor theatre opens its doors today when it welcomes indie music legends Stereophonics for a sold-out headline show, the first gig at the venue since the summer of 2019.
Venue programmer Peter Taylor, of live music promoters Cuffe and Taylor, said: “We have been counting down the days to our first show of the year with the incredible Stereophonics.
"It has been a long time coming but we have a brilliant series of shows over the summer featuring some of the biggest names in music.
“The message is loud and clear – live music is back… and Scarborough Open Air Theatre is very much back in business!”
More than 65,000 tickets have been sold for this summer’s shows which will create a massive boost for the local economy.
This year’s sales have already eclipsed the 63,000 tickets sold for shows at Scarborough OAT in 2019, which brought an estimated economic benefit to the local economy of £5.2m.
Peter Taylor added: “Cuffe and Taylor is proud to have programmed live music at this wonderful venue since 2016. It is a special and unique place which draws music lovers from around the UK and overseas.
“We know how important shows here are for the local economy, and the 9,000 people who work in visitor-related industries in the borough. We feel this year’s events, which have been programmed during difficult and unprecedented times, deliver something for everyone.”
More than 400,000 people have attended a concert at Scarborough OAT, since it re-opened to the public in 2010 – creating an estimated benefit to the borough of more than £23m since 2013.
The economic benefit figures, produced using the industry standard Cambridge Research Model for Tourism, take into account such factors as where customers travel from – more than 60% of people who attend shows at Scarborough OAT travel from outside the borough – whether they stay overnight and their estimated spend while in resort.
Cllr Steve Siddons, Leader of Scarborough Borough Council, said: “Scarborough's Open Air Theatre is a jewel in the crown of the Yorkshire coast and it's fantastic that the venue is able to open once again as Covid-19 restrictions are eased.
“The theatre welcomes some of the biggest names in music which attracts people from across the country. This provides a significant boost to our tourist economy, supports jobs across the borough and provides income for many local businesses.”
Following the 2019 summer season, 30 accommodation providers located in and around Scarborough were interviewed to get their views on Scarborough OAT to assess the impact that it
had on their business.
All respondents thought the OAT had a positive impact on Scarborough’s visitor economy. Most felt that it brought more visitors into the town – including from abroad – and improved the town’s profile and image, while 70% stated shows at the venue made a ‘big difference’ to their business.
Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive James Mason said: “It’s fantastic news that live entertainment is back and Scarborough Open Air Theatre is the perfect, picturesque place to host
some of the world’s biggest acts and bands, in a spectacular seaside setting.
“The wonderful weather and the lifting of lockdown has seen a real surge in tourism businesses reopening, recovering and rebuilding, something Welcome to Yorkshire is supporting, in a sector that pre-pandemic was worth £9bn to the county’s economy and employed almost 225,000 people.
“I’m looking forward to seeing Stereophonics, and the roll call of internationally renowned rock and pop artists heading to Scarborough during the coming months is as impressive this year as ever. A great excuse to get your Handbags and Gladrags on and Have A Nice Day!”
Tickets for all shows are on sale via www.scarboroughopenairtheatre.com or in person from Scarborough Open Air Theatre Box Office (01723 818111).