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Out of this world review for the Usher Hall

Press Release   •   Jan 30, 2017 15:41 GMT

Chris Hadfield - centre - pictured next to Usher Hall manager Karl Chapman and venue staff

Its 100-year-career boasts sell out shows from the Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash and Ella Fitzgerald - but the real stars of the Usher Hall can be found off stage.

Staff at Edinburgh’s flagship music venue are celebrating a 5* review for the sixthyear in a row from Scotland’s national tourism body, VisitScotland. The grading cements the Usher Hall’s status as the only 5* concert hall in Scotland.

Astronaut Colonel Chris Hadfield, who hosted a lecture about life in space as part of the Usher Hall's Unique Lives lecture series (20 January), helped staff to celebrate and reach for the stars.

The prestigious review follows anonymous visits from VisitScotland inspectors, who praised the council-owned venue’s exceptional facilities, acoustics and the customer service provided by staff.

The Usher Hall sells 220,000 tickets a year and boasts another packed line up for 2017 featuring Kraftwerk, Nicola Benedetti, Seasick Steve, Anastacia, Elbow and Emeli Sandé. It will be a key venue for the Edinburgh International Festival’s celebrations this summer for the 70th anniversary of Edinburgh, The Festival City.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture Convener, said:

"Yet again, the Usher Hall is recognised as one of Scotland's leading arts venues. As the proud home of the first ever Edinburgh International Festival concert in 1947, we are gearing up for a sensational year marking the 70th anniversary of the Festival city this summer.

"With several sell-out events for the year ahead it is no surprise the venue continues to exceed expectations. This stellar achievement is very well deserved and is testament to the dedication of the entire culture team. They are the real stars of our Usher Hall stage.”

Karl Chapman, General Manager of the Usher Hall, added:

"We continue to welcome some of the world's greatest artists and we've been working hard to ensure our customer service matches the standard set on stage. This glowing review proves we're still giving our audiences a 5 Star Experience. I am very proud of the hard work put in by everyone backstage and front of house."

Manuela Calchini, Regional Director at VisitScotland, said:

"The Usher Hall's retention of its 5 star status is a fantastic achievement and not only a sign for visitors of an exceptional venue but an endorsement for staff of the high quality experience they deliver to customers.

"Developed and improved for over 30 years, VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance schemes are world-leading and provide a trusted, independent and impartial source of information for visitors. The Scottish capital is home to some fantastic venues and this Quality Assurance award marks out the Usher Hall as one of the very best."

Find out what's on at the Usher Hall in 2017 at

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