ALL this week, starting today, the Evening Times is featuring the six candidates hoping to be voted Glasgow’s Favourite Business for 2019.

The award, sponsored by this paper, is part of the Glasgow Business Awards, organised by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and with Royal Bank of Scotland as the main sponsor.

The awards will be presented at a black-tie dinner at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel on October 3.

We’ll present the last of our six nominees on Saturday and let you know how you can cast your vote.

A NEW international poll confirms what the SSE Hydro has known for some years - that it is one of the world’s busiest arena venues.

The Pollstar survey puts the Hydro at number four, not far behind New York’s Madison Square Garden, at number two.

READ MORE: Meet the woman who brings the biggest stars to Glasgow's SSE Hydro

The six-year-old Glasgow arena sold 564,777 tickets, grossing in excess of $37 million from concerts staged between November 22 last year and May 22 this year.

Rod Stewart opened the Hydro in September 2013 and since then acts of the global status of U2, Celine Dion, Prince, Eric Clapton, Beyonce, Tina Turner, the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Paul McCartney, Kylie Minogue and Paul Simon, have followed.

The 2014 MTV Europe Music Awards, the Ryder Cup Gala Concert and the 2014 BBC Sports Personality of the Year were all put on at the Hydro, and it was also one of the indoor venues for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games five years ago.

Forthcoming attractions range from The Chemical Brothers and the Proclaimers to Ariana Grande, Little Mix, Liam Gallagher and Cher - to say nothing of the ‘final farewell’ of the hit TV show, Still Game.

Future events include Planet Earth II Live in Concert, on April 4, while Elton John’s huge farewell tour will bring him to the Hydro on November 24 and 25 next year.

“I can’t believe it has been six years since we opened,” said Julie McKinnon, business development manager at the Scottish Event Campus, which includes the Hydro, the SEC Centre and the Armadillo.

“We’ve consistently been voted in the top four or five venues in the world. We’ve been second a few times.

“The fact that we’ve been so high is testament not just to our venue but to the Glasgow people. They love a night out and they have taken the venue on as their own.

READ MORE: SSE Hydro unveils new £500K VIP lounge for gig-goers

“The fact that it lies within an hour’s drive of a large majority of Scotland has been another factor in its favour. We also get visitors from outwith the country.”

It also helps that there is no shortage of top-class acts on the road - for many of them, revenue from ticket sales makes up for the sharp drop in income from CD and download sales.

‘We now have this fantastic venue that is able to attract these acts,” said Julie. “In the past we were able to attract acts of a certain calibre to Hall 4 in the the SECC, but now, with the Hydro, we have artists who want to come here. they want to play our venue.

“In addition to the artists who’ve played here, we’ve also had lots of high-profile events. The MTV Europe awards wouldn’t have come to Glasgow if it hadn’t been for the Hydro.

“The Andy Murray Live tennis event was another special one, and it was unique to the venue. It’s taking a break at the moment but we’re hopeful we will have it back.”

The arena can also be reconfigured to accommodate one-off events - such as boxing matches and mixed martial arts. The WWE live wrestling event returns in November.

Comedy gigs are another of the venue’s strong suits. Russell Howard and Jack Whitehall are both Hydro-bound - though they’ll have to go some to beat the record set last year by Kevin Bridges, whose run of 19 sold-out shows led the venue to present him with its first official ‘Gie It Laldy’ award.

Bridges and another home-grown product, Still Game, are in fact the events that had sold most tickets for runs of shows at the Hydro.

For all your breaking Glasgow news, click here, or head to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages

“Generally, the feedback we get from people who have played here has been very positive,” says Julie. “There’s a real feeling of intimacy created here - that’s a word that we hear often.

“The venue is on such a large scale, and you’ve got a huge audience, yet it really feels intimate. I think that’s purely because of the shape of the arena, and obviously you have the warmth of the Glasgow people.”

The Hydro’s growing reputation makes it easy to sell to touring acts. Julie herself is now working on an event that does not take place until 2024.

“Generally, touring artists are planning out two years ahead now,” she says. “Our calendar for the end of next year, for example, is pretty much full.”