After 47 years, and a £28m restoration, Stockton Globe is officially open!

This week, Stockton Globe held its official opening, after 47 years closed and a £28 million restoration, welcoming legendary former Northern Echo photographer Ian Wright as guest of honour.

Having been part of the iconic venue’s journey over the past four years, and, through necessity, holding many of the venue’s milestones online, this is a moment in history we have been looking forward to greatly.

The official opening saw His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester meet Ian, along with representatives from the Globe’s operators Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) and Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, which led the restoration project, before unveiling a commemorative plaque.

Hours later, Ian hosted an intimate ‘audience with’ event, in which he talked through the moments in history he experienced in his time shooting at the Globe from the age of 15, led by the exclusive images that kick-started his illustrious career.

At the event, Ian shared a wealth of stories and showed some never before published images of the likes of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Cliff Richard, Cilla Black, Frank Sinatra Jr, Tom Jones, The Kinks, Chubby Checker, Shirley Bassey, Ben E. King, Dave Clark and more, some of which are now part of a permanent exhibition on the walls of the newly restored Globe.

Ian captured some monumental moments while at Stockton Globe; his collection takes in the reactions of The Beatles when they were told JFK had been assassinated in Dallas, and Ian also had a camera in his hand when Mick Jagger was cut above the eye by a coin whizzed at the stage by a frenetic crowd, capturing both Mick on stage and the crowd itself.

Throughout the Swinging ‘60s, Ian photographed a who’s who of emerging icons at Stockton Globe before going on to work at The Sunday Times in London. His incredible photography then led to him working in The Times’ New York office, as well as with BBC Radio Times.

We managed the press and social media for the event and needless to say, Ian’s visit, his incredible story and his vault of work attracted much attention from the press with interviews in national outlets such as BBC News and the Daily Express, as well as in regional broadcast outlets BBC Look North and BBC Radio Tees. There was also a wealth of support from Yahoo UK, Yahoo Australia, MSN, Teesside Live, NE Volume, Darlington & Stockton Times, Stockton & Billingham Life, the Northern Echo and the Evening Gazette.

The official opening came hot on the heels of the venue’s first live event, and we were on the ground managing journalist attendance and live socials, as Stockton Globe welcomed McFly a special one off show on its newly restored iconic stage. Legendary Observer photographer Gary Calton’s reportage shoot of this historic moment will join Ian’s collection on the walls of the Globe.

The support for this moment from the national and regional media was also vast, with pieces appearing in the Daily Telegraph, The Stage,, Stereoboard, Access All Areas, Total Production International, Teesside Live, the Evening Gazette, Stockton & Billingham Life, Insider, NE Volume, BBC Look North and TFM, while we also placed interviews with the band with BBC Radio Tees and the Northern Echo.

Excitement was at fever pitch for followers of the social channels we’ve spent the last year building a community with, and we were delighted with the overwhelmingly positive reaction from fans and local residents to news of McFly playing the opening show.

Right in the thick of the action, we provided live coverage of the phenomenal show on Instagram Stories, filming exclusive behind-the-scenes content with the band and support act, Chinchilla. With so much brilliant content, over the following week we were able to roll out several videos and photos looking back on the night, which were a huge hit with fans new and old.

This historic venue has been a huge part of our lives for the last four years and we are proud to celebrate its glittering history, and to be a part of its bright future.


Photos by Gary Calton


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