The Cat and the Canadian - Summer at the Bowl

08 December 2017

Red Roses with no leaves and Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs are just a few of the unusual requests from artists who play at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands.

But these are small details in the years of planning that goes into bringing names like Elton John, Dire Straits, Paul Simon, Sting, R.E.M. and Fleetwood Mac to the Bowl. 

And this summer the Bowl will be alive with two international acts within weeks of each other, starting next Saturday night with Yusuf/Cat Stevens and, Canadian rocker Bryan Adams on 4 January with support from Dave Dobbyn and the Jordan Luck Band. 

Bringing major concerts to the Bowl can be a long undertaking, sometimes taking years but it’s worth the effort, New Plymouth District Council’s Manager Venues and Events, Ron Murray says.

“It’s a very complicated process. We have to fit in with the international touring schedule and it can be tricky,” Mr Murray says. “We started looking at bringing Cat Stevens here about three years ago but it will be fantastic to have such an iconic star at our Bowl next Saturday.”

The work the NPDC Venues team does involves liaising with Australian promoters usually about 18 months before the concerts. There’s a huge amount of work behind the scenes as they negotiate with promoters to find which artist would be the ‘best fit’ for the Bowl.

It’s also a massive job to convert the public park into a world-class concert venue. At least 100 crew work on setting up seats, installing the stage and sound system and bringing in catering, toilets and other infrastructure to make the venue work.

“We have a number of first class venues in New Plymouth and we do very well in attracting top acts. There’s an expectation that we’ll get huge acts coming each year and that doesn’t always happen. 

“But one thing that does happen is bands love playing the Bowl and the audiences are fantastic. I remember when Sting said ‘Whose back garden is this?’ and the audience all shouted back ‘Ours’.

“A beautiful summer’s evening, with a top act and a wonderful audience, is what the Bowl is all about,” adds Mr Murray.

Summer at the Bowl kicks off this Sunday with Christmas at the Bowl.
There are tickets still available for Yusuf/Cat Stevens and Bryan Adams. However NPDC is warning people not to buy from Viagogo as the ticket may have been sold more than once and they will not gain entry to the event. 

Yusuf/Cat Stevens concert advice:
No bags larger than A4 (21cm x 29cm) can be brought into the venue. 
All bags will be checked and as part of international security standards we will be operating hand-held metal detectors at points of entry. 
No glass, BYO alcohol or commercial food (takeaways).
Sealed water bottles are allowed.
Full Conditions of Entry can be found on