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“Fantastic venue”
Review of First Direct Arena

First Direct Arena
Ranked #10 of 153 things to do in Leeds
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Fantastic venue”
Reviewed January 1, 2014 via mobile

Just been reading some other reviews of the arena and would like to begin mine by pointing out that it's a review of the venue not of any individual show or performance. I have been to many concert venues and as a Leeds resident I am delighted that we finally have such a venue in the city. I have been several times already and although there have been events or artistes that didn't interest me I am impressed by the diversity of entertainment offered in the few short months since the arena opened. In these times of austerity it's great to see the "arena quarter" packed on week nights!
The arena itself is well designed offering good views and excellent acoustics. It is centrally located which means that there are lots of places close by for a drink bite to eat or overnight stay. There is a car park nearby but personally to avoid queuing I use public transport. The arena is ideally situated being within the city centre itself.
Facilities within the arena are much the same as other venues. There are several bars - a minor gripe would be that service can be slow - and also drinks are expensive. However the staff are friendly and helpful.
The arena is not the biggest with a capacity of 13,000 but it is an asset to the city and I look forward to seeing other acts there.

Visited December 2013
2 Thank CatherineD270
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Level Contributor
113 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“Marvellous venue very poor staff refreshment rip off”
Reviewed December 31, 2013

A visit to my home citys most recent attraction although so long overdue. The marvellous arena not being supported by the amateur under trained staff. How can you work behind a bar and not know the basic drinks then I had to refuse an ordered drink when the barman put a slice of lemon in my drink using his fingers. I am not surprised that the staff were not wearing identity name badges. The bar prices also being over the top, two halves of lager is £5 yet a pint is £4.30. How is it that the nearest car park is closed during the major events.

Visited December 2013
2 Thank Alan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Leeds arena needs a PA system.”
Reviewed December 29, 2013

Leeds arena needs a world class PA system in order to maintain quality. It's bit true that arenas don't supply a PA the O2 has a fantastic JBL 600, 000 watt system. QUO sounded great but used their own PA but Leeds will suffer in terms of sound quality until it proved a world class PA. A great PA I'd far more important than pretty exterior light s

Visited December 2013
1 Thank Kwarior
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, January 2, 2014
Hello and thanks for feeding back. We are glad you enjoyed the sound at the Status Quo.

Unfortunately you're conception is incorrect. Arenas do not provide a "PA system". Due to the volume and range of the performers they receive, from classical to rock, the requirements of the touring shows are different on each occasion. In your comment you refer to being World Class. You cannot provide a single PA system in an arena to meet all the needs of all the artists. Doing what you suggest would automatically limit the ability of an artist to develop a soundscape for their own show.

All the artists we have visiting arrange their own sound system to match their tour or show. This is the industry norm for arenas. We have had three dozen shows now and have had compliments on our acoustics from the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart, Andrea Bocelli and the Stereophonics. We continue to work with touring artists and their sound engineers to continue what we have become know for - amazing sound and light.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
109 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“Great venue but very poor parking facilities!”
Reviewed December 29, 2013 via mobile

Leeds city council have done it again by failing to consider the paying customer They've created this fabulous arena in the heart of Leeds which we have been crying out for and needed such a venue for many years.
If you live in and around Leeds, it will be far more convenient to go and see a concert in Leeds than have to travel to Manchester, Sheffield or even London etc.
Unlfortunately, Leeds City council have not matched the parking availability with the seating capacity of the new arena.
The Merrion street multi-storey car park is advertised as the official car park to the Leeds Arena,. It was built in the sixties and clearly can not cope with the volume of traffic and is certainly not fit for this purpose. It advertises that the parking tariff for the arena is....£5. We took the kids to see Peter Pan on Friday afternoon 20/12/13 and were charged £7, when questioned, we were told that during the day, t's a shoppers car park and normal rates apply, needless to say that it is certainly not a dedicated car park for the Leeds arena.
This contributes to spoiling what should be and what could be a great experience.

Visited December 2013
Thank Stephen J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
112 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2013

Went to see Status Quo and 10CC at the Arena and must admit the venue is one of the best I've been in, not only for the layout but the acoustics too. I know it's brand new and so it should be good but it is far better than I expected. Never thought I'd say it, but well done Leeds!
Unlike the reviewer who had to queue to get in we had absolutely no problems in either getting in or finding our seats.
We stayed overnight at the Premier Inn which is just across the road from the Arena and this was superb too.

Visited December 2013
Thank Tigerman579
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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