Meet the Venue: SEC, Glasgow
Gallowglass crews work at a huge variety of venues all over the UK and across the globe. Each location presents its own set of charms and challenges, which need to be addressed safely and efficiently to create the infrastructure for each spectacular event. In the first of our ‘Meet the Venue’ series we shared our backstage view of the Royal Albert Hall; this month, we’re turning our focus on the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow.
Welcome to our next venue…
Name: Scottish Event Campus (SEC) – previously Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC).
Age: 32 years old
Location: Finnieston, Glasgow
Capacity: 16,496 (seated)
Formerly the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), Scotland’s largest exhibition centre, the SEC, brings together three iconic venues: the SEC Centre, the SEC Armadillo, and the SSE Hydro, which is regarded as one of the top arenas in the world! A plethora of events fill the hall and ballroom areas across these versatile venues, including live music events, professional conferences and a host of exhibitions.
Gallowglass at the Scottish Event Campus:
Our seven-year relationship with the venue has been a colourful one and in 2017 alone, our crews spent 179 days on-site. The knowledge our teams have of these venues is substantial, which is one of the primary reasons we’re called upon time and time again to contribute our expertise, ensuring that each build is seamless and on-schedule. Whether our event crews in Glasgow are installing the set for music legends such as Blondie, Queen, Metallica and Celine Dion, or preparing the stages for Cirque du Soleil, Strictly Come Dancing or WWE, we’ve experienced it all!
Roughly 90 per cent of crewmen working at the SEC are skilled forklift, cherry picker and scissor lift operators. These are essential roles to cater for the versatility of the venues. There are often very short turnaround times between events, and the flexibility of the three venues can pose a variety of challenges, all of which our crews are well-accustomed to.
Steve Reinders shared his thoughts on working at the SEC:
“The SEC is a fantastic group of venues that plays host to the world’s biggest acts from across the world. It provides our crew with invaluable experience and opportunities to work on some of Scotland’s largest events. As a result, some of our select crew have participated in additional training and are specifically certified to operate one of the UK’s largest cherry pickers, which extends to 150 feet and can reach the roof of the Hydro!”
Here are just some of the shows that Gallowglass has crewed at the SEC:
Mrs Brown’s Boys
Now ranked as one of the top 10 global arenas by Pollstar, building work for the then SECC first broke ground in 1983. Just two years and £24.5 million later the venue was ready to host its very first event, a UB40 concert. In the year following its opening, the centre welcomed more than 1.5 million people, making the SECC Scotland’s ‘most-visited’ attraction. Soon after, the SECC broke the record for Britain’s largest indoor, all standing concert, with over 12,000 fans congregating to watch Bryan Adams. At this time, locals knew the building as ‘The Big Red Shed’ due to its simplistic design and vibrant red outer shell; however, the building was repainted in 1997 to a more subtle shade of grey, forfeiting its popular nickname.
Fast-forward to 1995, when construction began on the latest addition to the SECC, the Clyde Auditorium, with a capacity of 3,000. This venue is otherwise known as the SEC Armadillo due to its distinctive shape and pattern. It has a fully flexible layout to cater for the diversity of events hosted within, including conferences, corporate events, grand banquets and live concerts. Designed by award-winning architect Sir Norman Foster, this stunning structure has become one of Glasgow’s key landmarks since its unveiling in 1997.
The final addition to the complex was the Hydro, completed in 2013, with a capacity of 12,000, seated. Inspired by ancient Greek and Roman amphitheatres and built to meet the exacting demands of live entertainment, with up-to-date technology, flexibility and space, it’s no surprise that this venue is held in such high regard.
In 2017, the venue was renamed the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) as it was found that the public was often unaware that the SECC encompassed all three buildings. According to SEC Chief Executive Peter Duthie, the new name aims to better represent the venue and to ‘reflect a vision for the future’.
The SEC offers a sizeable contribution to the Glasgow economy, which in 2006/2007 was estimated to be £347m , and provides thousands of jobs, including work for our event crews! It also contributes almost £100m to the UK economy, as well as providing entertainment to more than a million live viewers per year!
If you are looking for event crew in Glasgow (or anywhere else!) get in touch with us today. We’ll be happy to provide you with more information on our services and to tailor a quote to meet your needs, just as we have for the SEC!
Meet the Team: Interview with Steve Reinders
Meet the Venue: The Royal Albert Hall