Ed Sheeran ‘heavily booked’ as UK summer season kicks off

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Ed Sheeran at Stonehenge, anyone? No, it’s not part of a dream world TV show. In fact, the ultimate get-together just played out this month in real life, with Sheeran headlining the closing night of four nights at the iconic site near Salisbury Cathedral, alongside the previously announced Christine and the Queens and David Gray.

Hermine Nielsen, the manager of the historic Wiltshire landmark, told The Guardian that ticket demand “took us by surprise.” Not just because of the genre-defying pop star headlining the closing night but, more than that, because audiences were even more diverse than expected.

“We didn’t expect to sell out this quickly,” she said. “We sold out for opening night because people wanted to hear two different artists with different styles. Then by the third and fourth nights we had sold out an even bigger part of the site because we sold out not just to pubs and restaurants but to amateur music festivals and celebrity events. We couldn’t say no.”

Ed Sheeran, centre, onstage in the arena in Salisbury, England. Credit: LNP/REX/Shutterstock

If you didn’t manage to secure a ticket to watch Sheeran at Stonehenge you can also catch him, among other places, in his BBC special “Ed Sheeran — Live at BBC Studios,” on BBC One in the UK on Thursday, August 2.

“Ed Sheeran — Live at BBC Studios” aired Sunday, July 29, on BBC One in the UK. Credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images via Getty Images

New music, returns of old

Then there’s “Celebrity Soccer Aid”, which consists of lots of football played in Old Trafford, Manchester, by celebrities for charitable causes (and also a massive pop-up bar to entertain guests like Robbie Williams, Lady Victoria Hervey and Sam Smith). Part of its success has been because it has recently been sponsored by one of the night’s sponsors, Budweiser.

Robbie Williams scores some penalties during the soccer game at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester. Credit: Rob Edwards/PA Wire/PA Images via Getty Images

According to Bob Teal, of ad agency DDB, the important thing about reaching this goal was the agility of the soccer star lineup.

“Not only does Robbie have the style, but he also takes it so seriously. I’d argue that his last show was how big Manchester United are, and Budweiser wanted to do something that embodied that,” Teal said.

“Budweiser has got its own brand of authenticity and Nick Grimshaw’s character has huge appeal to everyone.”

Nick Grimshaw, pop star of the 21st century, advertising beer. Credit: Julien Behal/Redferns via Getty Images

Worlds collide at ‘Selling Sunset’

Another intriguing show this month saw long-standing U.K. hit ‘Selling Sunset’ make a return to television in a sort of reality-TV format — while building up an entire new online community of its fans, playing out on the TV show’s website for five days prior to the broadcast date.

Each episode of “Selling Sunset” follows a “dream team” of heart-string-tugging stories — a sibling, a stranger you’ve never met, a stranger you’ve heard of. In the case of the previous two episodes, it was protagonist real estate agent Ryan Gallagher’s (played by actor James Rolleston) quest to be part of a minute-long graphic novel.

Fans of ‘Selling Sunset’ spend a lot of time on the online platform. Credit: Ian West/PA Wire/PA Images via Getty Images

In her time in the fictional world of “Selling Sunset,” Anna Eldridge gives up her job to pursue the comic.

When production company Control Room spotted the interest in the franchise from a loyal fan base, they created the online platform “where viewers could either keep up with the backstory of a fictitious hero or give up all their earnings to get ahead on their next move,” said McFarland.

As for whether the 14 million viewers tuning in to the live broadcast would have liked to see the online series be a part of the program, McFarland said it might have been there but the business of airing live might have made that harder.

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