Bieber-fever hit Aberdeen when the global superstar announced he will play P&J Live – with many people taking to social media to say they couldn’t believe he was coming to the Granite City.
But attracting world-class acts like Justin Bieber was exactly why the state-of-the-art venue was built in the first place, said Louise Stewart, head of entertainment, exhibitions and marketing at P&J Live – and there are more to come.
“In this case it was definitely a case of build it and they will come,” she said. “A show like this is absolutely what we are here for – it’s why we were built.”
Proof of that is in attracting Justin to the P&J Live with his Justice World Tour – one of only six UK arenas to host the award-winning singer who has fans across the globe – said Louise.
But what does it take to get a global superstar like Justin Bieber to the arena stage of the complex, which opened in September 2019 at a cost of £333 million? A lot of knocking on doors is the answer.
‘Putting up our hands and saying pick us’
“We don’t choose them, they choose us,” said Louise, explaining that at arena tour level, whether national or international, it is up to artists’ management and promoters to decide where they want to play and how many cities.
“So for us, it is about putting our hands up and saying ‘please pick us’ and it is absolutely about them picking us.
“We spend a lot of time meeting with promoters, going down to meet them in London or Glasgow or Manchester or wherever they are based, keeping up relationships and keeping in touch. They are aware of Aberdeen, we’re on the map.”
However, it’s not just down to Louise’s team to make sure P&J Live – which replaced the AECC – is a “must-play” venue for major touring acts. The people of the north-east are equally important in bringing the names they want to see.
“A huge part of it is about the people of Aberdeen and the wider region committing and buying tickets. At the end of the day, we have to demonstrate this is a really strong market for selling out shows.”
Louise is confident they will rise to the occasion when tickets for Justin’s gig go on sale to the general public this Friday at 10 am, with the clamour expected to match that for Michael Buble’s P&J Live concert, which crashed the website when tickets went on sale.
I cannot believe Justin Bieber is coming to Aberdeen
— mairi🦋 (@Mairi_Falls) November 15, 2021
Who else is on the way to play P&J Live?
“We know there’s a great appetite for that level of artist – and we’ve upped the ante on our website, just to make sure it all goes well on Friday,” said Louise.
There is already a raft of great acts lined up to play P&J Live in the coming weeks and months – and there are plenty more exciting announcements to come, said Louise, adding to both Bieber and Status Quo, also announced this week.
“We have shows going on sale over the next couple of weeks with some national A-listers coming, some people you will have a wee giggle at and then we have some artists from yesteryear as well, which is always fun.”
But will there be any to match the jaw-dropping impact of bringing Justin Bieber here?
“We will be wowed again, no doubt about it,” said Louise.