Hala Tivoli (Tivoli Hall) is a legendary multi-purpose venue, set in the Tivoli city park of Ljubljana. Opening its doors in 1965, its first event was a gig by Louis Armstrong, soon followed by the World Cup in table tennis. Such mixed-use has been its hallmark feature up until today, when recreational ice-skating and championships like the Eurobasket happen alongside concerts by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Motörhead and the Chippendales striptease show.
The hall is made up of two main arenas, one with ice and the other with a parquet floor. The first one can accommodate up to 7,000 spectators, and the other around 5,000, though both can be modified to fit for smaller events as well. It also has two bars, television and radio studios, ample storage rooms and so on.
Built between the years 1963 and 1965 on the already existing open-air basketball court, the Tivoli Hall was designed by Marjan Božič and the engineer Stanko Bloudek, of Planica fame. At that time, it was the biggest covered sports complex in Yugoslavia and was used to host a number of important international sporting events of the time.
It hosted the early editions of the Ljubljana Jazz Festival, was the main venue for the Slovenska popevka Festival, the site of the first Yugoslav rock festival Boom Festival and many other cultural happenings. During the 1970s and 1980s, the venue hosted many of the biggest rock stars of that time at the height of their careers – Jethro Tull, Ike & Tina Turner, Frank Zappa, Queen, Iron Maiden and Dire Straits are just a few of them.
Sports-wise, the Tivoli Hall was synonymous with some of the biggest Yugoslav (and later Slovene) sports achievements and most prominent clubs in hockey, volleyball, handball, basketball and gymnastics. A record in terms of straining its capacities was achieved during the 1970 World Championship, when the Yugoslav win over the USA basketball team was seen by over 10,000 spectators. A similar number was supposedly present only at a Boney M gig in 1978.
Other musical guests
Since the 1990s, the hall was used to stage concerts by Siouxsie and the Banshees (1991), Faith No More (1993, 1997), The Ramones (1994), Nirvana (their second-to-last fully realised gig, 1994), The Beastie Boys (1995), David Bowie (1996), The Prodigy (1997), Bob Dylan (1999, 2010), Blondie (1999), Joe Cocker (1999, 2005), Rage Against the Machine (2000), Sting (2000), REM (2005), Lou Reed (2005, 2006), Eros Ramazzotti (2009), Simply Red (2009), Jean Michel Jarre (2008), Armin van Buuren (2009), 50 Cent (2010), Dream Theatre (2014) and Alice Copper (2016).