Queen + Adam Lambert Play Secret Gig At Future YTL Arena Bristol

Stage set 4
Queen + Adam Lambert set up shop at the future YTL Arena Bristol for the “Rhapsody Tour” production rehearsals.

The “Rhapsody Tour” by Queen + Adam Lambert is finally under way after being postponed twice due to the coronavirus crisis. The tour currently resides at The O2 in London, where it will remain until June 21, with two stops at Birmingham’s Utilita Arena, before moving on to mainland Europe (full list of dates below).

Before the tour kicked off at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland, May 27-28, the band gave an exclusive performance for an invited audience at the Brabazon Hangars in Bristol, which used to be home to aviation icon Concorde, and is currently being transformed into a live entertainment 17,000-capacity arena, the YTL Arena Bristol, scheduled to open in 2024.

Queen + Adam Lambert were using the space for production rehearsals, and allowed a selected audience to join them on May 23 – 45 years after Queen first performed at the Bristol Hippodrome.

YTL Arena will continue to offer rehearsal spaces for major touring acts even after it opens in 2024. Queen + Adam Lambert confirmed they would have been delighted to perform a Bristol show on the “Rhapsody Tour” had YTL Arena been fully operational.

The band commented, “We’ve been made to feel very welcome by YTL, and the ‘Rhapsody Tour’ would have loved the opportunity to include a Bristol show if this fantastic venue was open. Hopefully we can come back and play here again, to a packed house, when YTL Arena Bristol is ready to welcome the public.”

GettyImages 1401232745
Adam Lambert (left) and Brian May of Queen during the “Rhapsody Tour” at The O2 London, June 5. (Photo by Jim Dyson/Getty Images)

YTL Arena Bristol CEO, Andrew Billingham, said, “Over the past week we have accommodated one of the largest touring productions with ease. With 40 artic lorries parking on site and more than 200 production crew in attendance, everybody has said what a fantastic venue the new Arena will be and predicts it will become one of the busiest.”

Speaking about the band’s rehearsals, Billingham said, “It has been a privilege to host Queen + Adam Lambert as they chose Bristol to complete full production rehearsals in a five-day residency at the Brabazon Hangars. We are honoured that Brian, Roger and Adam wanted to play their part in our story.”

To mark the occasion, Queen + Adam Lambert placed personal items into a time capsule that will be built into a glazed Walk of Fame running 100 meters across the event floor, from stage to the Runway Bar at the opposite end of the building.

About YTL and YTL Arena Bristol:

YTL is a family business, founded in 1955 in Malaysia by Yeoh Tiong Lay. It owns a diverse portfolio of businesses, with U.K. assets of more than $3.7 billion including Wessex Water, The Gainsborough Bath Spa hotel and Thermae Bath Spa, as well as hotels in London and Edinburgh.

GettyImages 830573718
Historic picture of a the fuselage of the 110-ton ‘Brabazon’ airplane outside the hangar it is to be completed in. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)

In 2015, YTL purchased the former Filton Airfield in Bristol, which is being transformed into new a neighbourhood called Brabazon, featuring new homes, a new train station, new schools, a health centre and a library. On the site sits the Brabazon Hangars, birthplace of every British Concorde and the Brabazon aircraft.

YTL are repurposing the historic building to turn it into “the number one live entertainment destination for Bristol and the South West.” It will be a multi-purpose building suited for different event genres, including sports, and it will be configurable to host everything from a 4,000-capacity comedy show to a 17,000-cap rock concert.

The venue will be 100% electric, one of the first venues in the U.K. to operate without the use of fossil fuels. 10,000 square meters of solar panels will cover the roof will generate green energy. Repurposing the hangars, instead of tearing them down and construction a building from scratch, will save 18,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions, by YTL’s own admission.

Queen + Adam Lambert “Rhapsody Tour 2022”:

June 8 – London, UK – The O2
June 9 – London, UK – The O2
June 11 – Birmingham, UK – Utilita Arena
June 12 – Birmingham, UK – Utilita Arena
June 14 – London, UK – The O2
June 15 – London, UK – The O2
June 17 – London, UK – The O2
June 18 – London, UK – The O2
June 20 – London, UK – The O2
June 21 – London, UK – The O2
June 24 – Berlin, Germany – Mercedes-Benz Arena
June 26 – Cologne, Germany – Lanxess Arena
June 28 – Zurich, Switzerland – Hallenstadion
June 29 – Munich, Germany – Olympiahalle

July 1 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Ziggo Dome
July 2 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Ziggo Dome
July 6 – Madrid, Spain – Wizink Center
July 7 – Madrid, Spain – Wizink Center
July 10 – Bologna, Italy – Unipol Arena
July 11 – Bologna, Italy – Unipol Arena
July 13 – Paris, France – AccorHotels Arena
July 15 – Antwerp Belgium – Sportspalais
July 17 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Royal Arena
July 18 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Royal Arena
July 20 – Stockholm, Sweden – Avicii Arena
July 21 – Oslo, Norway – Telneor Arena
July 24 – Tampere, Finland – Nokia Arena
July 25 – Tampere, Finland – Nokia Arena

Subscribe to Pollstar HERE