EICC aims for high-profile rockstar gigs

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A VENUE will attempt to inject new life into Edinburgh’s entertainment scene – by wooing high-profile acts to perform at “boutique gigs”.

Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) bosses want to run more once-in-a-lifetime live music gigs in a step believed to be partially in response to Glasgow’s new SSE Hydro venue opening.

To kick-start their plan they are set to showcase their new live events venue – the Lennox Suite – at London’s prestigious LEVEL summit next month in a bid to turn the heads of music executives. Legendary music promoter Harvey Goldsmith, who has managed shows for some of the world’s biggest acts including Pink Floyd, Queen, Madonna and U2, is just one of the bigwigs attending the event as a keynote speaker.

They hope a plan to offer affluent gig-goers plush dinners accompanied by live music will differentiate them from the hype surrounding the Hydro’s launch.

The 13,000-capacity venue has the mass concert market cornered with names like Justin Timberlake and Michael Buble booked to play there in coming months.

EICC head of sales and marketing Louise Andrew said: “We know it’s an ideal space for more intimate, boutique type gigs and concerts and we wanted to share the experience of building a flexible venue in a small city with the industry. For artists where their fans would quite happily stand up in a field watching them in the pouring rain and mud during the ’70s, ’80s and even the early ’90s, those people have now got the money to spend on the golden ticket opportunity.”

Ticket prices for the exclusive events featuring a three-course dinner or drinks reception could cost around £150 each. VIP meet-and-greet sessions would be organised for premium tickets, with pricy dishes such as Buccleuch beef or guinea fowl on the menu.

The Lennox Suite boasts the world’s first hall-wide moving floor system. Venue organisers can set the space up to showcase major artists on a full performance stage with tiered banquet seating for 750 people.

Mercury Music Prize nominee Laura Mvula performed at the launch of the £30 million venue earlier this year.

EICC board chairman Gordon Munro said: “While the main focus continues to be conferences and exhibitions, getting big name artists to play intimate gigs in this space would certainly be another string in the bow of the EICC.”

‘We’re after David Bowie’

HIT bands and artists from decades past such as Ultravox and Simple Minds are the type of acts being targeted by the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC).

Louise Andrew, from the EICC, said: “We’re even after David Bowie – all of those people that fans have followed for years and years and feel that they’ve almost shared their career with them.”

New artists such as Nina Nesbitt, right, would also appeal. Soul singer Laura Mvula, who was shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice at the 2013 Brit Awards, has already performed at the venue.