Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds land in unlikely venues to create new audiences

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds land in unlikely venues to create new audiences

The lure of creating new audiences helped tempt Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds to venues “off the beaten track” this summer, according to promoter Cuffe & Taylor.

The Preston-based promotion, production and event management firm, which opened a London office last year, staged Gallagher’s shows at Lytham Festival and Scarborough Open Air Theatre earlier this month.

“I think his management and agent liked the idea that we created new audiences for the artist,” said Cuffe & Taylor director Peter Taylor, who suggested that those who only went to watch Gallagher because he was playing “on their doorstep” would then be more likely to want to see him again on his next arena tour.

“It’s about audience creation,” Taylor told Music Week. “If you take these artists around the secondary markets, off the beaten track, you kind of create your own [new] audience."

Gallagher has toured almost non-stop since the February 2015 release of his second solo LP, Chasing Yesterday, which has sold a respectable 279,371 copies in the UK to date, but has fallen some way short of his self-titled double-platinum debut, which has shifted 815,297 units since 2011. The 49-year-old recently admitted to NME: “Tours get longer as the record industry dwindles. No one is going to give up their lifestyle because no one buys records, so you just tour for longer.”

The Oasis legend is represented by Ignition Management and booked by Ben Winchester of Primary Talent, International. Gallagher was a special guest at last year’s AIM Awards and has performed at a number of independent festivals this year including Kendal Calling and Y Not Festival. His 18-month touring cycle, which has included two UK arena tours, culminates with a one-off show at O2 Academy Brixton on September 6.

Cuffe & Taylor has experienced similar success this year with Bryan Adams, who also played shows in Lytham and Scarborough, as well as Betley Concerts in Cheshire. “Bryan Adams has had record sales doing the regions with us this year, it’s been absolutely incredible,” added Taylor.

It has been a milestone year for the firm, which sold more than 160,000 tickets for Rod Stewart’s June stadium tour. In 2015 the promoter, whose other projects include the Greenwich Music Time festival, signed a five-year agreement with the local council to run 12 shows a year at Scarborough Open Air Theatre, and has revived the venue’s fortunes, in part, by installing a 2,000-capacity standing area, bringing its overall capacity to almost 8,000. Other acts to play the outdoor site in 2016 have included Busted, Simply Red, Wet Wet Wet, Status Quo, Will Young and James Bay.

“[The extra capacity] allowed us to be able to put offers in for larger acts. With some of the acts we had at Lytham, we then doubled up and brought them to Scarborough, which made our proposition more attractive,” explained Taylor. “Our audiences are up 40% on what the council did last year, so we’re very much making it work.”

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