Once the venue of choice for acts like the Beatles, Elton John and David Bowie, the Balmoral arena has been playing something of second fiddle to the Odyssey and Waterfront Hall in recent years.
But now New Jersey legend Springsteen has confirmed he will play the 32-acre venue at an outdoor concert in front of 25,000 fans in July next year.
With a history of hosting iconic acts, the King’s Hall has been sidelined as Belfast’s go-to venue since the opening of the Waterfront in 1997 and the Odyssey Arena in 2000.
Headline performers such as Beyonce, Justin Timberlake and Eric Clapton have all chosen to perform at the 14,000-seater Odyssey in recent years.
In a coup for the venue, the King’s Hall has scooped Springsteen’s last scheduled performance on his ‘Wrecking Ball’ tour on July 20, with its unique outdoor space the deciding factor.
The two other shows in next summer’s Irish tour will be at Thomond Park, Limerick’s rugby ground, and Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Cork’s GAA stadium on July 16 and 18.
Springsteen last played the King’s Hall in 1996 and hasn’t performed in Northern Ireland in five years.
A King’s Hall spokesman said: “We ran the Pink concert two years ago in a similar outside space, which was very successful so there is a precedent there. When you’re looking for somewhere to accommodate a big act like Bruce Springsteen, we are a great fit.“
Entertainment journalist Eddie McIlwaine said: “It was such an important venue in the ’70s and ’80s so it would be great to see it back to its former glory.”
Aiken Promotions, the firm behind Springsteen’s visit, said The Boss was clear on where he wanted to play. “The choice of venue was in part directed by the artist himself,” said an Aiken spokeswoman.
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