CDC Quidam HorncastleArena3

A run of big name acts and events in Christchurch will see 2016 end as one of the busiest for entertainment in Canterbury.

Vbase, the Council's events management company, said Horncastle Arena was nearing capacity for the year, with more than 300,000 visitors expected to attend shows this year.

Vbase general manager Darren Burden said the year started off with a bang, with a record breaking 50,000 tickets sold to Cirque du Soleil over 13 performances.

“The Vbase business continues to go from strength to strength. In five years we have gone from one venue to five, with a vibrant mix of cricket, rugby, music, conferencing and entertainment all contributing to the economic, social and cultural wellbeing of the city," Mr Burden said.

"In 2016 we will see over 300,000 people come through the doors of Horncastle Arena and welcome tens of thousands to the four other venues we manage. The continued support of the local community and wider region of the events we host builds a compelling picture for promoters to choose Christchurch as a viable event city."

This week alone the Horncastle Arena will host the stage show Mrs Brown's Boys for four shows, while the Canterbury Wizards play Hagley Oval today, and the Crusaders take on the Kings at AMI Stadium on Saturday night.

Mr Burden said the biggest challenge was always staff resourcing, but Vbase had a casual pool of over 500 staff to call upon.

"This Saturday we will have over 350 staff deployed across our venues delivering events and running our cafes."

The growth for Horncastle Arena has been immense, going from holding around 30 events a year prior to the Feb 2011 earthquake, to 100 events this year.

Events to come for 2016 include Macklemore with Ryan Lewis on July 30 and Ellie Goulding on June 20.  The international opera sensation Andre Rieu will also play Christchurch on October 29 in what is likely to be a sold out show.

 

Anna Gilbert
Writer NEWSLINE
Public Information and Participation Unit