Maureen Copland (Box Office Team Leader) shares her experiences of working in the Music Hall. Maureen has been with Aberdeen Box Office (ABO) since 16th April 1986. She started with Aberdeen City Council as a Cashier/Telephonist and her first Manager was Pauline Brown followed by many others over the years. She has also seen the last Music Hall refurbishment in the 1980s and remembers her family going to see Little and Large in May of that year which she thinks was the official opening night.
I’m in the box office, yeh, started off part-time back in the day, erm, and then I’ve been full-time now, I think, about 15 years. I’m not exactly sure on my dates, but I’ve been a - I was a supervisor, and then, but now team leaders – yeh - but I love it here.
Well it was just newly refurbished when I started here. I’m sure the first event that I remember going to with my family was Little and Large. I think that was the opening concert, if I - if I remember rightly. I might be wrong, I might be a couple of days out, but that would have been in May, 1986.
At that time everything was all shiny, bright and new. And then the murals, erm, in the hall, they were gonna originally, erm, clean them all, but I think they ran out of money, so there’s some of them still covered up.
We work shifts, we can cover three shifts, so it could be half past eight to quarter past four; quarter past ten to quarter past six; or half past twelve to quarter past eight. Depending if there’s a late shift, sometimes nine o'clock, sometimes ten o’clock, if it’s pop concerts.
So we do work varied shifts, but there’s, erm, three full-time team leaders, and one part-time.
The box office stays open ‘til the act goes on stage. So if it’s a pop concert, and there’s two support bands, the box office has to stay open ‘til the main act goes on stage, which could be maybe nine o’clock, quarter past nine, something like that.
Box office tend to deal with ticket sales mainly, though of course now the internet’s sort of taken over booking. A lot of people book on the internet now.
We’ve more administration work now than actual selling tickets, I would say. We’re in the sort of admin side of it, you know, people having problems booking online come to the box office, or collecting tickets they come to the box office.
For a while there was all these hypnotists used to come, you know, do their biting onions and things like that! [chuckles] They’ve died out now, so… ooh yeah we had that, erm, what’s his name at the theatre, Derren Brown. He was here for a week, mhmm.
You used to have wrestling as well! Yeh, wrestling in the music hall. I remember, Big Daddy and giant haystacks! A lot of old ladies [chuckles] used to go into wrestling.
And we get the - some of the schools, as well, have their end-of-term concerts, and we get, erm, the highland dancing festivals and things like that as well. It’s a well used building.