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“Great venue” 5 of 5 stars
Review of First Direct Arena

First Direct Arena
Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 8BY, England
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Ranked #37 of 260 things to do in Leeds
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The first direct arena is a 13,000 capacity super-theatre that opened in the summer of 2013.
Leeds UK
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Great venue”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2014

Place is easy to find. The greeters make you feel welcome. Seating is well signposted and easy to negotiate. Exiting afterwards is also very easy and well organised.

Visited January 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tony W, Director of Sales at First Direct Arena, responded to this review, March 14, 2014
Adam - we're delighted you had such a good experience and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.
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Leeds
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Dont let the bar and seating confusions spoil your night”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2014

Friday 28 Feb was our first visit to the arena, to see Australian Pink Floyd. First impressions were quite good, staff were all pleasant and the seating blocks were clearly labelled (or so we thought).

Sadly we then visited the bar, it was quite busy as expected so we stood patiently in line, only to discover after around 5 or 10 mins that the till where we were waiting was not open and it was apparently impossible to be served in this area even though we had waited our turn. The bar staff just didnt want to know. So we had to join another queue - a sign on the bar would have prevented any frustration!!!

Eventually drinks in hand we set off for our seats, block 216. 2 doors to enter for this block but not indication which seat numbers can be accessed by which door, so our first attempt to sit was thwarted because there was someone in our seats - except that this was block 215 not 216.

A very helpful attendant did show us to our seats though. It was apparent for quite some time that we were not the only people confused by the seating, several groups of people were wandering around looking for their seats.

The act started but sadly there were still lots of people wandering around, lots of late arrivals and lots of people get up and down, toilet, bar, in wrong seat having to move. At one point a group of around 6 people thought it would be a good idea to stand in aisle at the side of our seats to watch the show, after several minutes and no visit from an attendant to move them on we had to ask them to move as they were blocking our view - where were the staff ????

The first half of the show was spoilt a little bit by all the comings and goings and it was very frustrating.

Two 'gentlemen' behind us were also quite disruptive during the first half of the show and someone did complain about them - they were very effectively and efficiently removed at half time and attendants came to apologise which was very good of them.

Second half of the show was much better - everyone seemed to be sorted and we really enjoyed ourselves.

Sounds like this is a lot of complaining but it isn't we had a really really good night

To sum up, great venue, great staff (on the whole), but chaotic first half due to confusion over seating, which could have been avoided by checking tickets on the way in to the seating arena and directing people to their seats. Also stricter rules on comings and goings during the show would be helpful. A bit of fine tuning required.

Leeds has waiting a long time for this venue - lets show the rest of the country how to do it!!! :)

I'm sure we will be going again soon.

Visited February 2014
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Tony W, Director of Sales at First Direct Arena, responded to this review, March 13, 2014
Thanks for your feedback Ally. We've shared it with our security team and our bars department to help us learn and make every experience a better one. We share your ambition for being the best in the country and look forward to welcoming you in the future.
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Salisbury, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
“First Direct Arena, Leeds”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2014

The First Direct Arena in Leeds is massive, and a good location for such performances as the recent André Rieu concert.

We were seated only three rows back ... maybe a little more to the side that I might have wished. But, of course, the huge TV screens ensured we saw more than the back of the drummer's head ... indeed, they were so good I was able to see the time on an orchestra member's wristwatch.

There was plenty of room to walk about … or even dance, as a lot of people do at an André Rieu concert.. And, I managed to get close enough for a reasonable photograph of André himself … you can’t do that at many venues.

A few days later, we were at the Arena again, this time, to see a performance of ‘Peter Pan’ ‘in the round’. Not a pantomime, we were told (Oh, yes, it is!) … the stage, this time, had been erected where we had been sitting at the concert, and we were looking down on it.

We had recently been to an Ice Show in another theatre, performed on a conventional raised stage. And, good as it was, I couldn’t help thinking how much better it would have been performed at the Arena, with the audience looking down, rather than up.

Visited December 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tony W, Director of Sales at First Direct Arena, responded to this review, March 13, 2014
Thanks for the feedback Keith. We're delighted that you enjoyed your visits to the arena and we look forward to welcoming you back here in the future.
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middlesbrough
Top Contributor
272 reviews 272 reviews
113 attraction reviews
Reviews in 120 cities Reviews in 120 cities
238 helpful votes 238 helpful votes
“Not sure”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2014

This was my first visit here. I liked it as a venue and the staff were certainly very pleasant and helpful and some of them seemed to really enjoy the job. although there was a skirmish with one of the security in our section I was not sure what it was about.
Two of the things made me question this venue. One was the sound quality but I am not sure it may not have bee the band I was watching (they seemed very lack lustre and this was not an issued when backing tracks were being played.
The other was a source of great irritation in that during the first half it seems that unlike many venues the bar did not close so we were constantly having to either stand up or have our view interrupted by people going to the bar. This was not the case in second half when the bar seemed to close. There were long queues for the toilets and the bar but not all were open. the bar downstairs was quirky and nice and unlike some venues there was some limited seating.

Visited February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tony W, Director of Sales at First Direct Arena, responded to this review, March 3, 2014
Thanks for your feedback. Our venue has the best natural acoustics of any large venue our size however we've passed your feedback to the touring productions who install the PA equipment on the day of each show.

Your feedback relating to bars and queues has been noted and fed to our teams.

We are pleased you enjoyed your visit to the funky first direct bar and hope to welcome you in the future.
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Ripon
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Best Venue”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2014

Could not have been any closer to all amenities. Car park Wetherspoons Premier inn all together how wonderful.

Visited March 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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