A DIVERSE programme of live events is being planned at the Isle of Man’s Villa Marina (cap. 1,626) with the venue once again looking to the future with optimism.
The Isle of Man Government-owned venue, part of the Villa Gaiety complex, including Gaiety Theatre (900) and Villa Gardens (4,000), has had to cope with a number of staff departures in recent years.
It was also at the centre of a financial dispute between Lee O’Hanlon of promoter tinyCOW and the island’s Government relating to a show by The Jacksons in 2014, which O’Hanlon claims lost £100,000 (see LIVE UK issue 212)
“We’re now bring some stability to the venue and getting relationships back with promoters, as well as working directly with the agents and managers of some acts,” says interim general manager Andrew Stewart, who has been in the role since January.
Acts helping to put Villa Marina back on the map include Rebecca Ferguson, James Blunt, Jake Bugg and The Human League.
“We programme events that span a wide range of genres and we are conscious that is what the Isle of Man audience wants,” says Stewart.
“We are getting some momentum now and are starting to build on that. We are set up as a touring venue and it is pretty much ‘plug and play’, so acts don’t need to bring much equipment.”