The Info List - National Bowl

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The National Bowl
National Bowl
(originally the Milton Keynes
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.[1] The arena is open-air grassland, without seats.


1 History

1.1 Development plans

1.1.1 2006 development plans 1.1.2 2014 proposed plans

2 Recordings 3 Elfield Park

3.1 Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes
Motor Auctions

4 Location 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

History[edit] The venue opened in 1979, with gigs by Desmond Dekker
Desmond Dekker
and Geno Washington. In 1982, Genesis performed their reunion show Six of the Best at the venue with Steve Hackett
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 needed] On 21 and 22 June 1986 Simple Minds[2] 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
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 Gaming International/ 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.[citation needed] Development plans[edit] 2006 development plans[edit] 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
National Bowl
website, now removed). Gaming International handed The Bowl back to Milton Keynes
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[edit] In February 2014, the BBC
reported that an investment company had proposed a new development at the site of Milton Keynes
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.[3] In July 2015, the investment firm leading the proposal announced that it would not proceed with the plan.[4] Recordings[edit]

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
Milton Keynes
Bowl" on 1 September 1990 with more of 60,000 people in National Bowl. This spectacular show of Erasure
was broadcast live on "Radio 1" and BBC Television
BBC Television
and it was presented by journalist of 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
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
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
Jay Z
also headlined with supporting acts Pendulum, N.E.R.D, Enter Shikari, The Bravery
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 North America. The Prodigy
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".

Elfield Park[edit] 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 20 years. Greyhound
racing in Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes
was previously at Ashland (since 1966): Gaming International owned that too, but sold it to English Partnerships as a brownfield site for a 350 house development.[citation needed] (The sale of the latter funded the purchase of the former or vice versa). A section of the Elfield Park site is designated[5] as an educational nature reserve. Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes
Motor Auctions[edit] Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes
Stadium Car Auctions is housed on this strip of land. Car auctions are held there on Wednesday and Friday. Location[edit]

National Bowl, on Watling Street
Watling Street
and Chaffron Way zoom in Mapping © OpenStreetMap

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
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. See also[edit]

List of contemporary amphitheatres Hollywood Bowl


^ National Bowl
National Bowl
official website ^ " Simple Minds
Simple Minds
at The National Bowl
National Bowl
(Milton Keynes) on 22 Jun 1986 — Last.fm". www.last.fm. Retrieved 2016-07-30.  ^ Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes
National Bowl
National Bowl
plans £26m indoor water park - BBC Beds, Hertz and Bucks, 27 February 2014 ^ Setback for National Bowl
National Bowl
plans, Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes
Citizen, 14 July 2015 ^ Elfield Nature Park – The Parks Trust

External links[edit]

National Bowl
National Bowl
official website

Coordinates: 52°01′07″N 0°45′38″W / 52.018606°N 0.760589°W / 52