SCARBOROUGH’S Open Air Theatre has smashed its attendance record for the third year running.

More than 82,000 people have already bought tickets for this summer’s planned gigs at Europe’s largest open-air arena, up from 75,000 in the previous year.

The news comes just days before soul legend Lionel Richie kicks off the summer season on June 19.

Also set to perform this year are The Script, Gary Barlow, Nile Rodgers and Chic, Steps, Alfie Boe, Emeli Sandé, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Stereophonics, Pete Tong, Il Divo, James Arthur, Bastille, Texas, Britney Spears and James.

It is hoped that this will bring a huge boost to the local tourist economy with fans coming to Scarborough from all over the UK and abroad.

Janet Deacon of Welcome to Yorkshire said: “This is absolutely fantastic news. The acts booked every year have been phenomenal and are having a huge impact on the visitor economy.

“Many tourism accommodation businesses have reported that as soon as a show is announced their bedrooms are booked and not only that, those visitors are becoming regular repeat visitors.

“The Open Air Theatre is definitely showcasing Scarborough to not only a UK but an international audience.”

For details of all shows see or ring the box office on 01723 818 111.