First gig for Town Hall booked
Christchurch band Shapeshifter is scheduled to be the first act to grace the stage at the reopening of Christchurch’s Town Hall.
The highly anticipated reopening weekend, hosted by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and city council-owned events company Vbase, is set for March 1, 2019.
The concert will be the first time the Kiwi drum and bass act have performed at the city’s town hall since 2007.
A Shapeshifter spokesman said the band’s 2007 show with the CSO at the town hall was one of its most memorable performances.
‘‘We are fortunate to have played some epic gigs all over the world during our career. The show with the CSO at the Town Hall in our hometown of Christchurch a decade ago remains one of the most memorable of all,’’ he said.
‘‘Many of our fans mention it as one of their favourite nights out and so it is with great pleasure that we are returning, with the CSO, to open the new Christchurch Town Hall.’’
Vbase acting general manager Chris Wallace said he was excited about hosting events in the town hall again.
‘‘We are seeing considerable interest in bookings from both previous and former clients of the venue,’’ he said.
CSO chief executive Gretchen La Roche said she was proud to be a part of the celebrations around the reopening of the Town Hall.
‘‘We had such a great time performing with them [Shapeshifter] in 2007 and knew straight away that they were the band we most wanted to perform with on this special occasion.’’
Shapeshifter’s opening performance would be followed up with a concert from acclaimed pianists Michael Houston, Tony Chen Lin and the Woolston Brass band.
‘‘We really wanted to offer two different concerts that each celebrated Christchurch artists, the fantastic acoustic of the Christchurch Town Hall and the versatility of a symphony orchestra.’’
La Roche said she was looking forward to performing in a purpose built concert hall once again.
‘‘Venues like this mean that you can hear an orchestra at its very best, in all its colourful glory.’’
The Town Hall restoration was originally expected to be finished in mid-2018 and cost $127.5 million, three years after the council decided to fix it. The work will now be finished in March and cost a total of $152.2m.
Council major capital delivery manager Alistair Pearson earlier told The Press the budget rose $24.7m because more features were added as the project developed.
The improvements include new backstage facilities, a better stage with areas that can be raised and lowered, new services, retractable seats, a fly tower, and electronic acoustics in the new James Hay Theatre.
The main auditorium, the James Hay Theatre, the foyer and the former Limes room are expected to be completed and handed over to Vbase in December.
The CSO’s new office and rehearsal space, being built on a part of the Town Hall formerly occupied by the Cambridge Room, will be completed in March.
Tickets for Shapeshifter’s March 1 show are available on the CSO’s website.
‘‘We are seeing considerable interest in bookings from both previous and former clients of the venue.’’
Chris Wallace, Vbase acting general manager
The rebuild of the Christchurch Town Hall is well under way.
Shapeshifter is scheduled to be the first act at the reopening of Christchurch’s Town Hall.