National Bowl (originally the
Milton Keynes Bowl) is an
entertainment venue located in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire,
England. The site was a former clay-pit (for brick-making), filled in
and raised to form an amphitheatre using sub-soil excavated by the
many new developments in the area and it has a current maximum
capacity of 65,000. The arena is open-air grassland, without seats.
1.1 Development plans
1.1.1 2006 development plans
1.1.2 2014 proposed plans
3 Elfield Park
Milton Keynes Motor Auctions
5 See also
7 External links
The venue opened in 1979, with gigs by
Desmond Dekker and Geno
Washington. In 1982, Genesis performed their reunion show Six of the
Best at the venue with
Steve Hackett and Peter Gabriel.
In 1983 on the 1,2, and 3 July David Bowie played three dates of the
Serious Moonlight tour at the bowl. He returned in 1990.[citation
On 21 and 22 June 1986 Simple Minds performed at the bowl. Also on
the bill were Doctor and the Medics, Lloyd Cole and the Commotions,
Big Audio Dynamite
Big Audio Dynamite and The Waterboys.
On 10 September 1988,
Michael Jackson performed at the bowl during his
Bad World Tour in front of 60,000 people.
In 1992, Sony/Pace bought the venue and re-branded it as the National
Bowl, building a permanent massive sound stage. They pulled out in
1996 citing profitability reasons.
English Partnerships, which merged with the Homes and Communities
Agency in 2008, bought the site in 2000. It is currently leased to a
Live Nation UK
Live Nation UK consortium. In 2012, the original
stage was demolished to make way for a new one in time for the Swedish
House Mafia concert in July.
2006 development plans
On 23 January 2006, Gaming International/Live Nation won a further
lease in a competitive tender. The consortium made proposals for major
developments in a a development summary leaflet (previously linked
from the 'Backstage' section of the
National Bowl website, now
Gaming International handed The Bowl back to
Milton Keynes Partnership
towards the end of 2010 – so it is unlikely that any of the plans
outlined in 2006 will ever be undertaken – apart from a temporary
structure built close to The Bowl in summer 2010 which has a temporary
three-year planning permission.
2014 proposed plans
In February 2014, the
BBC reported that an investment company had
proposed a new development at the site of
Milton Keynes Bowl. This was
planned to include the UK's largest water park, and a range of sports
facilities and enhancements to the arena. In July 2015, the
investment firm leading the proposal announced that it would not
proceed with the plan.
Queen have released a DVD and double CD of their 1982 appearance at
the Bowl entitled Queen on Fire - Live at the Bowl.
Status Quo had their End of the Road Concert filmed here in 1984, it
was released on 2 VHS tapes, End of the Road, and More from End of the
Road, the concert marked their end as a touring band, but later
revived in 1985 for the Live Aid Concert.
Erasure performed their last date of the Wild! Tour and called
Erasure Live at
Milton Keynes Bowl" on 1 September 1990 with more of
60,000 people in National Bowl. This spectacular show of
broadcast live on "Radio 1" and
BBC Television and it was presented by
BBC Radio 1, Gary Davies.
Metallica Performed their last leg of the Wherever I May Roam Tour and
called it Nowhere Left to Roam at the Bowl on 5 June 1993, This was
broadcast live on "Radio 1".
Green Day's album Bullet in a Bible, and the accompanying DVD, were
recorded at the
National Bowl in the summer of 2005. The band's
two-night stand was supported by Jimmy Eat World, Taking Back Sunday
and Hard-Fi. The bowl also appears in Green Day: Rock Band as one of
the playable venues.
Linkin Park released Road to Revolution: Live at Milton Keynes, a
CD/DVD set from their first ever UK
Projekt Revolution show, filmed on
29 June 2008.
Jay Z also headlined with supporting acts Pendulum,
N.E.R.D, Enter Shikari,
The Bravery & Innerpartysystem. This show
turned out to be the biggest capacity
Projekt Revolution to date, and
it was the first year in the tour's history to be featured outside
The Prodigy have released first live album and second DVD of their
2010 appearance at the Bowl entitled World's on Fire.
Swedish House Mafia
Swedish House Mafia held their final UK show on their farewell tour in
July 2012. Scenes from the performance were seen in the music video
for their final single, "Don't You Worry Child".
Gaming International already owns Elfield Park, a narrow strip of land
on the other side of the A5 from the Bowl, between the A5 and the West
Coast Main Line. They cleared a site for the new greyhound stadium
there, having recently (2005) purchased it from English Partnerships,
and evicted the speedway track and motocross club that had used it for
Greyhound racing in
Milton Keynes was previously at
Ashland (since 1966): Gaming International owned that too, but sold it
English Partnerships as a brownfield site for a 350 house
development. (The sale of the latter funded the
purchase of the former or vice versa). A section of the Elfield Park
site is designated as an educational nature reserve.
Milton Keynes Motor Auctions
Milton Keynes Stadium Car Auctions is housed on this strip of land.
Car auctions are held there on Wednesday and Friday.
National Bowl, on
Watling Street and Chaffron Way zoom in
The Bowl is in south central Milton Keynes, at the junction of Watling
Street with Chaffron Way, just north of Bletchley. Parking on site
(MK5 8AA) is very limited so fans are encouraged to arrive by public
transport. In addition to the shuttle buses from
Milton Keynes Central
railway station, it is also an easy walk (about 2 km
(1.2 mi)) from the station using
Sustrans National Cycle Route 51
from the south side of the station building.
List of contemporary amphitheatres
National Bowl official website
Simple Minds at The
National Bowl (Milton Keynes) on 22 Jun 1986
— Last.fm". www.last.fm. Retrieved 2016-07-30.
National Bowl plans £26m indoor water park - BBC
Beds, Hertz and Bucks, 27 February 2014
^ Setback for
National Bowl plans,
Milton Keynes Citizen, 14 July 2015
^ Elfield Nature Park – The Parks Trust
National Bowl official website
Coordinates: 52°01′07″N 0°45′38″W / 52.018606°N
0.760589°W / 52