On March 8, I paid my first visit to a Live Darts competition. The Premier League match was being held at the First Direct Arena in Leeds. Sitting on the Table seats, I took part in the jumping up with my sign every time someone scored 180. However, I also had the freedom to go to the front and watch the interviews and the walk-ons. At the venue, the familiarity of the setup seen each week on television was complemented by the live experience.
The show business element that Sky has brought to darts, has made both the Live experience as exciting as the TV experience. The crowd are very much part of the show, and there are certain expectations. As well, as holding up your 180 sign every time the referee shouts 180, then there’s the singing and clapping to the walk-ons. Darrel Gurney leading the crowd in singing ‘Sweet Caroline’ is probably the best. Then the crowd look for the camera and perform as it draws close. Many people still mistaking seeing themselves on the screen for actually catching the camera on the boom as it sweeps across the crowd and sits at the side of the oche to record the shots.
The event was all very male-dominated, with a few women in the crowd. Indeed, the queue for the Male toilets was much longer than the Women’s which made a change. It was fun and entertaining.