Arena plans trialled with huge Massive Attack gigs

Wed 13 March 2019, 3:12 pm

Thousands of music fans descended on the former Filton Airfield during the first weekend of March to watch iconic local trip-hop band Massive Attack, bolstering the case for a permanent arena in this part of Bristol.

Filton Arena projections

 Malaysian developer and utilities provider YTL recently revealed plans for a 16,000-capacity arena in the Filton area of the city, which would be the third largest in the UK. 

If plans are approved, the arena would be part of a wider, multimillion pound privately funded development, including 2,600 homes and a new railway station by the venue.

Massive Attack performed over two nights, celebrating 21 years since their internationally renowned Mezzanine album was released, as they returned to their hometown for shows at pop-up venue Steel Yard. 

Although originally just booked for one night, a second date was added last November due to extremely high demand for the one-off show.

The custom-built venue where they performed, which has a capacity of around 14,000, was taken down after the weekend shows.

YTL bought the Filton Airfield in 2015, with plans to build a new city district around the two-mile runway, where both Concorde and the giant 1950s airliner, the Bristol Brabazon, were developed.

With an area of 10ha, the three interlinked hangars are one of the largest continuous footprints in Europe, and could fit London’s O2 Arena inside.

The firm is currently appointing a design team for the project, and once the design is created, the scheme will be presented as a detailed planning application in summer 2019. If successful, YTL is committed to building an arena in the city by autumn 2022. 

Plans for the central Temple Island site were set to one side in September 2018, following the ‘value for money’ report requested by Mayor Marvin Rees, in the face of spiralling costs. 

The two-hectare site will instead be home to a mixed-use development of a 345-room hotel, 550 new homes – including 220 classed as affordable – and two ‘grade A’ office buildings.