The inside story on Harry Styles' debut solo gig

The inside story on Harry Styles' debut solo gig

Management at The Garage in Islington have given the inside story on Harry Styles' surprise debut solo show.

The One Direction man played the recently revamped 600-capacity London venue on Saturday (May 13), having only announced the gig via Twitter that morning.

"Harry's team got in touch with us, I assume, because they'd heard about what we've been doing at the venue over the last six months and they trusted that we'd be able to deal with it," DHP Family's head of venue programming Ed Lilo told Music Week.

"We had known [about the concert] for a few months, we didn't know who the artist was for a while though - it was on trust."

Tickets, which were available only from The Garage's box office, were priced just £10 and sold out in 78 minutes.

"They were all physical tickets bought from the venue from 8am on Saturday," said Lilo. "[The onsale] was less intense than you might imagine. I think people assumed it would have sold out really quickly and didn't make an effort if they couldn't get there pretty much straight away.

"It wasn't the carnage some people were concerned it might be, so it was a great plan. It made sense to not upset anyone."

As for the gig itself, Lilo revealed: "There were a few people externally who were worried about the potential impact on neighbours, but it went incredibly smoothly. There wasn't a single problem, it was effortless and professional - which you'd expect from any DHP venue!"

Styles, whose self-titled debut solo album is on course to top the charts on Friday, announced his first solo tour last month. The UK leg kicks off in London with two dates at Hammersmith's Eventim Apollo from October 29-30, moving on to O2 Apollo Manchester on November 1 and winding up at Glasgow's SEC Armadillo on November 2.

Since opening in 1993, The Garage has hosted artists such as The Killers, Radiohead and Red Hot Chilli Peppers. DHP, which acquired the building from Live Nation in 2016, relaunched it at a special industry event last month. 

"It shows we're capable of hosting the biggest artists in the world," added Lilo. "The Garage looks and feels like a new venue and I look forward to people revisiting it." 

Venue operator and promoter DHP launched its first London club, Oslo, in 2014 and has since taken over The Borderline in Soho. It also runs Rock City, Rescue Rooms, Stealth and Bodega in its native Nottingham, as well as Bristol’s Thekla.

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