Meet the New Black Sea Arena Director


Black Sea Arena, the largest concert arena in Georgia, located on Black Sea Coast, in the Guria region, and launched in 2016, has since seen Christina Aguilera, Vanesa Mae, as well as legendary Ennio Morricone among the performers. It recently welcomed a new Director, Tato Kharchilava.

GEORGIA TODAY sat down with the young and energetic leader to find out more about him and his future plans.

“Black Sea Arena was handed over to me nearly two months ago, with three years’ experience of communicating with artists,” he tells us. “The Black Sea Arena management had built up a great reputation by hosting a number of world-renowned stars. Yet, after joining the Black Sea Arena management, my team and I, having organized many different events, were faced with a challenge: despite the relatively short but brilliant past, the Black Sea Arena was handed to us without any specific plans for the future.”

Kharchilava strongly accentuated the significance of choosing artists with care. “Even though investment in the right equipment and maintenance of the venue is of crucial importance, without a correctly chosen performers, this alone will fail to attract an audience. It was on the top of our agenda to negotiate only with those artists who would catch the eye of big audiences and bring success.”

We asked Tato about the upcoming summer season.

“Due to time limits, we were unable to open the season in May, so we are opening on June 16 with the concert of prominent American hip-hop group The Black-Eyed Peas, guaranteed to be an unforgettable performance. I’m sure it will also prove to be one of the most successful evenings, as 50% of tickets were sold in the first couple of weeks, which makes nearly 5,000 individuals planning to attend so far,” Kharchilava told us.

“August is to boast a great variety of diverse local, as well as international, performances; among them, Jessie J, one of the most popular British stars, and the American band Thirty Seconds to Mars will take to the stage of Black Sea Arena. Negotiations are ongoing with other foreign and Georgian artists, because, along with our aim to host famous artists and in this way boost the tourism of the region, popularizing Georgian performers is also of crucial importance for us.”

We asked the Black Sea Arena Director about the criteria used when choosing potential performers.

“It is vital that the artist be famous and popular, as this serves as a guarantee that we’ll attract more listeners. However, we also have the tastes of Georgians and the residents of neighboring countries very much in mind when choosing singers.”

Corporate Social Responsibility is of great importance today and a number of companies actively engage in various initiatives. We asked Kharchilava what his plans were in this regard.

“Black Sea Arena puts a lot of effort into supporting Georgian artists and helping them financially to hold concerts. We also look out for the socially vulnerable members of society, and those living in villages, by offering discounted tickets. It’s a project which serves to promote the culture of attending performances and aims to expand the global outlook,” said Kharchilava, adding that performances at Black Sea Arena are to cover all age groups.

We asked if the Arena will be adapted to be a year-round venue, but he noted it is as yet not technically equipped to host performers beyond the summer season.

We then asked about the role of the Arena in terms of boosting tourism and increasing the popularity of Georgia on a global scale.

“Black Sea Arena bears a vital role for the country. With the number of great projects, we ensure this venue remains a symbol for the recognition of Georgia worldwide. It is also vital for the development of tourism, as attending a concert is not only limited to the cost of a ticket but encompasses transport, food and accommodation expenditures. So, taking into account the number of attendees, the benefit to Georgia and the country’s economy can certainly be impressive,” he stated.

At the end of the interview, we asked Kharchilava to share some news about upcoming projects.

“Black Sea Arena is to be a multifunctional venue, where we will host not only hip-hop and rock bands, but opera singers and musical plays as well,” he said.

By Ketevan Kvaratskheliya

20 May 2019 17:26