Sunderland AFC have hailed last night's Beyoncé gig as one of their most spectacular shows ever.
More than 51,000 fans saw Beyoncé kick off the European leg of her Formation world tour at the Stadium of Light last night.
Though she arrived on stage 45 minutes after her approximate arrival time, she put on a two hour extravaganza which showcased tracks from her latest album Lemonade, alongside crowd favourites such as Crazy in Love, Run the World and the Destiny’s Child classic, Survivor.
Sunderland AFC’s commercial director Gary Hutchinson, said: “I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has played their part in making this spectacular show happen. There is a huge amount of planning and preparation that goes into delivering successful concerts, both from club staff, who have worked tirelessly in recent weeks, and our external partners and agencies, such as Sunderland City Council and Northumbria Police, without whom we could not stage the shows.
“To host the opening night of such a high profile tour is a clear demonstration of how the Stadium of Light is a major player on the concert circuit. Add to this the England game we recently hosted here and you can see that, through hard work, effective partnerships and innovative thinking, we have built a first-class reputation for delivering successful major events in a leading venue.”
Sunderland AFC’s head of safety, Paul Weir added: “Concerts present us with a different dynamic to football, but through effective partnerships working with our safety advisory group, we managed a safe and successful event.”
Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, Councillor John Kelly said: “I hope everyone enjoyed what was a fantastic concert, showcasing not only Beyoncé’s amazing talent but Sunderland and the Stadium of Light as one of the best live music venues in the world.
“Staging such an event requires months of hard work and planning, and the proven ability of our city to meet the transport, accommodation and pre-event needs of the tens of thousands of visitors who attend.”
The show was the 19th concert to be staged at the Stadium of Light and the largest stage production to date. The home of Sunderland AFC hosted its first ever concert in 2009, when Take That graced the Wearside stage. Since then, international artists including Bruce Springsteen, Rihanna, Coldplay and Bon Jovi, have helped to boost the North East economy by an estimated £65 million through the live shows. Bars, restaurants and hotels across the city and wider region have all benefited from the introduction of concerts to Sunderland, with almost a million attendees enjoying the events over the last eight years.