Brazil superstars Neymar and Hulk will be made to feel at home when Teesside’s very own samba band entertains supporters in between the two Team GB Olympic warm-up games on Friday.
Supporters are reminded that it will not be possible to leave and re-enter the stadium after initial admission, but full catering facilities and a varied entertainment programme are being laid on.
Samba band Groove Inc.’s exciting blend of traditional samba grooves with a modern twist will help crank up the atmosphere as the Riverside stages the unique double-header.
Around 25 musicians aged from around 14 to 25 will turn up the heat in the interval between the Team GB Women’s game against Sweden (kick-off 4pm) and the Men’s game against Brazil (kick-off 7.45pm).
Other entertainment planned includes a dance group whose previous credits include playing at the Royal Albert Hall, as well as cheerleaders.
Groove Inc. are no strangers to the Riverside, having played at last summer’s Juninho farewell game against PSV Eindhoven, while they also closed the ceremony after the Olympic torch relay in Middlesbrough.
Run by Paul Walker and Danny Allinson, of Apollo Arts, the band features trumpets, trombones, tubas and saxophones, as well as plenty of carnival drums.
“We’re all excited to take part in such a huge occasion not only for the North-East but for the whole of Great Britain,” said Paul. “We’ve had a great response from the band members and we’re all really looking forward to it.”
Members of the Bradley School of Dance and Musical Theatre, based in Great Ayton, are more used to performing in pantomimes, musicals and competitions but teacher Margaret Connelly says this experience will top the lot.
She said: “We’ve performed at some wonderful places, including the Royal Albert Hall, Her Majesty's Theatre in London and Disneyland Paris, but to be involved in the Team GB games and be part of the Olympics in our home area is the chance of a lifetime.”
Up to 50 girls and boys aged from eight to 16 will dance to music including the theme from Chariots Of Fire, Spandau Ballet’s Gold and Hot, Hot, Hot, the pop song Boro fans adapted in tribute to their very own samba superstar, Juninho.
“The children and their parents are all very excited and we’ve been rehearsing every night for the last week,” added Margaret.
Face-painters will be on hand to add more colour to the event and cannons will be firing Team GB goodies into the crowd.
Tickets are available at £30 and £40 for adults and £15 for under-16s and £20 for over-65s in the £30 seating areas. They are on sale at the Riverside Stadium ticket office, MFC Official in Captain Cook Square, online at www.mfc.co.uk or by calling 0844 499 1234.
Tickets sold via the phone and internet will be subject to a £1.50 per ticket booking fee.
Hospitality packages are also available from £79 +VAT per person by calling 01642 757657 or emailing email@example.com
MFC ticket offices are open from 9.30am to 5pm.