Spotlight on: Central Hall Events

When thinking about the events held in our Central Hall most people would think of conferences and exhibitions and we have held some fantastic ones over the years from Political Party Conferences to the Northern Restaurant and Bar Show. However, the uninterrupted and column-free space is perfect for a whole range of event set ups.

Here is a look at some of the more unique events that our Central Hall has been home to…

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Sporting Events

One of the events held in the first year that the venue was open, saw our Central Hall turned into a six-a-side artificial football pitch for the Soccer Six tournament. The tournament, featuring first division footballers, ran over three days and was covered by the BBC.

In 2002, Manchester hosted the Commonwealth Games and our venue played a major part, hosting a number of different sports. Central Hall was home to the team and individual gymnastic events, seeing England collect one gold and three silver medals!

The first World Taekwondo Grand Prix event also took place in Central Hall and saw over 200 athletes from around the world, compete across eight different categories.

For the last couple of years, we have also been home to Future Cheer which combines the UK University Cheerleading Nationals and the Heart of England Cheer and Dance competition. As well as two performance stages and tiered seating for the spectators the set up in Central Hall also includes warm up and practice areas. In addition, the event features food options, a shop and a photography area in other spaces within the venue.

Proving sport and fitness isn’t just about competing, the Les Mills Live event we held in 2016 saw tickets sell out within just 24 hours! Throughout the day, 3,000 fitness enthusiasts took part in a full day of Les Mills classes including, Spin Cycling, Body Combat and Step Fitness. A stage was set up for the instructors with lighting and music helping to create an exhilarating atmosphere.

Highlights for 2022 included the sold-out Rugby League World Cup wheelchair final, which was watched by a combined peak audience of 1.3 million people on TV, with over 4,500 people watching live at the venue; the largest ever live audience for the sport, setting a new world record in the process.

Entertainment & TV Shows

It is well known that in the early 90’s we hosted concerts in Central Hall with the likes of Oasis, The Smiths, Take That and even Backstreet Boys gracing the stage. In more recent years it has provided the setting for the X-Factor Live Final which saw James Arthur crowned the winner in front of a crowd of 11,000 people.

Sticking with ITV, Central Hall was also home to Ninja Warrior UK. The show saw contestants take on ‘the toughest obstacle course ever seen on British television’ which was constructed in the centre of the hall, allowing for seating to surround it and giving the audience the perfect view of the many failed attempts! In 2019 Tim Champion became the first, and only person, to complete the final stage of the game show - a 22-metre rope climb known as Mount Midoriyama.

Family Fun

For the slightly less extreme amongst us, The Monster, the world's largest inflatable obstacle course, has also appeared in the hall. Although only 300 meters long, the ultimate bouncy castle experience was harder to complete than many would imagine…

Whilst a number of our gala dinners have featured funfair rides, in 2019 the funfair took over and the hall was filled with all of the childhood classics including carousels, the dodgems and the big wheel. There were also a few bigger thrill-seekers that certainly provided riders with a different perspective of Central Hall!

Gala Dinners

Whilst Central Hall may seem too big for a dinner, for some clients, space and height is exactly what they are looking for.

The Eddie Stobart Summer Ball converted the hall into a big top circus, complete with aerialists, jugglers and clowns - however the most unique element has to be the double decker Eddie Stobart trailer. VIP tables were positioned on the trailer which was raised up and down throughout the dinner!

Another gala dinner that has made use of Central Hall’s height is the Vivid Christmas Parties. These events have taken place with us for several years and have featured impressive aerial artists, two-story log cabins and even a waterfall.


Interested in learning more about our spaces?

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If you’d like to discuss holding an event, please get in touch with one of the team who will be happy to help! 

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