NEC Group Arenas is to host The Specials in the external space at the NEC in Birmingham next May for what will be its first ever outdoor concert at the site.
The band, who will be joined by special guests Toots and The Maytals, will debut the space the evening prior to the Slam Dunk Festival, with an expected attendance of 6,000.
The idea to use the space was conceived after organisers of the Slam Dunk Festival wanted to add an additional standalone concert ahead of the Bank Holiday’s revelries across the Genting Arena and NEC site.
“The NEC Group Arenas are yet again pushing the boundaries of what can be done at our venues, in conjunction with the Slam Dunk Festival and NEC teams," said NEC Group Arenas sales executive Charlotte Smith. "This will be the first time ever that we have held a full outdoor concert on the lakeside adjacent to the Genting Arena and NEC, and we are pleased that such iconic British bands will be the first to try it.
"If successful, we hope to add many more outdoor events of this nature to the NEC Group Arenas’ growing event portfolio.”
The Genting Arena hosted its first Midlands dates of the multi-stage music festival earlier this year. The move from Wolverhampton for the festival’s 10th anniversary, increased capacity by 50%.
Slam Dunk Festival director Ben Ray, who is promoting The Specials' gig, said: “After the massive success of this year’s festival I knew I could trust the NEC team to deliver another first-of-its-kind event. With its great transport links and excellent facilities, it certainly was the easiest location ever to put a festival on. Now with one of the festival’s stages on a beautiful grass lakeside location it seemed a shame to only use it for one day.”