LGT Smashes Arena Record

The attendance and box office records for Budapest Arena have been smashed by a Hungarian prog rock band that’s been around for more than 40 years.

LGT, or Locomotiv Gran Turismo, which was founded in 1971, shifted 36,000 tickets across three shows Feb. 15-17, with a gross box office of euro 1.75 million ($2.3 million).

In fact, the previous record was held by fellow Hungarian act HOBO Blues Band, which sold out two nights in February 2011.
Top international acts visiting Budapest tend to play larger venues.

The run that led up to LGT’s record-breaking arena shows began with two months of rehearsal, followed by six warm-ups in a 300-capacity theatre, another warm-up in a 2,000-capacity sports hall, and a main rehearsal at the arena itself, which was attended by about 8,000 people.

The band hadn’t done much since 1992, when what was thought to be its farewell concert involved the band beginning its set on the back of a steam locomotive as it pulled into Nyugati Pályaudvar (Budapest West railway station).

Show Time Budapest, which promoted the record-breaking shows, says the total attendance for the whole 11-date run was nearly 50,000. Show Time also promoted the HOBO Blues Band shows in 2011.