‘Designed To Create Synergy Between Performers And Audience’: Q’s With Al Dana Amphitheatre CEO Shane Chalmers

Fireworks during Backstreet Boys’ performance at Al Dana Amphitheatre in May. (Picture courtesy of Al Dana Amphitheatre)

For our annual Middle East Focus, Pollstar reached out to Shane Chalmers, CEO of Al Dana Amphitheater in Bahrain, one of the next big live events markets in the Middle Eastern region. The list of names the 10,000-capacity venues has attracted over the past year is impressive, and proof that it is the next piece in the puzzle of creating a circuit in the region.

Pollstar: How has the Al Dana Amphitheatre changed the game for live entertainment in Bahrain and the surrounding area?
Shane Chalmers: The diversity in events, concerts and performances brought to Bahrain by Al Dana Amphitheatre offer a unique entertainment proposition to local and regional audience. We have been adamant in curating a world-class entertainment offering to cater to a wide demographic, which is facilitating regional tourism and driving Bahrain’s increasingly vibrant cultural scene.

The versatility of the amphitheatre places it as one of the most exclusive arenas in the region, and a must-visit attraction to the Bahrain tourist map. The venue has been designed to create synergy between performer and audience and has been a magnet for many of the world’s most celebrated performers and musicians including Andre Rieu, Kevin Hart, Bruno Mars, Eric Clapton, Post Malone and most recently, the Backstreet Boys.

In a very short space of time Al Dana Amphitheatre has enjoyed incredible success and we anticipate that its appeal will continue to grow as we continue to bring in an all-year mix of distinctive acts and eclectic performances that both complement and elevate Bahrain’s and the region’s entertainment industry. The venue also adds value to the local community through opportunity-creation; we provide commercial opportunities with every performance and support the entrepreneurial ecosystem through creating a venue for small businesses to thrive.

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Fans enjoying Imagine Dragons at Al Dana Amphitheatre. The bans stopped inBahrain in January. (Picture by Julien Duval)

How does this year compare to last?
The most recent season has been our most successful, in terms of tickets sold and the calibre of artist that we have been able to attract. Over the past seven months [up until June 1] we have hosted 18 shows and sold around 130,000 tickets, which is a proud accomplishment considering that Al Dana Amphitheatre is a relatively new venue.
The international names we have hosted over the past season include comedians Kevin Hart, Mo Amer, Maz Jobrani and Michael McIntyre; bands Imagine Dragons, Greta Van Fleet and the Backstreet Boys; world-famous and local DJs including Tiesto, Martin Garrix, Julian Jordan, Justin Mylo and DJ Jackson; orchestras including Andre Rieu; international superstars including Bruno Mars, Post Malone and Jack Harlow; and A-list regional artists such as Abdulmajeed Abdullah, Mohamed Abdo, Mutref Al Mutref, Nabeel Shuail, Abdallah Al Rowaished, Nawal and Rabeh Saqer.

What are some recent shows/concerts you’d like to highlight? And what are upcoming shows/concerts you’d like to highlight?
Every show we put on is unique and brings something different to Al Dana Amphitheatre, and the diversity of our acts and musical genres is something that we are very proud of.

I would like to reiterate the success and popularity of all the international concerts and shows that have taken place at the venue to date and we are delighted that we are attracting some of the biggest names in show business to perform at the amphitheatre. Halsey kicked off our summer events calendar at Exhibition World Bahrain, June 16. We are also very pleased to announce renowned singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi who will perform at the amphitheatre on October 6.

What’s the audience capacity of Al Dana Amphitheatre?
Al Dana Amphitheatre can accommodate approximately 10,000 spectators in the Theatre area. But we also utilise other venues across Bahrain with varying capacities, depending on the occasion and the requirements of the performer(s).

What’s next?
We have very ambitious plans to continue setting benchmarks in quality entertainment. We will keep bringing unique experiences to Bahrain and the region through the very best international and regional performers. From this summer, we will be maintaining a year-long events calendar and we will not be limited to just using the amphitheatre but creating memories by hosting events at different venues across Bahrain such as the new Exhibition World Bahrain, among others.

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