By Denis Sheehan, Publisher, H&C News: Following storm damage, The O2 announces it is reopening tomorrow.
The O2 has announced today that following rigorous safety checks that have deemed the venue safe, secure and structurally sound, it will be reopening its doors to visitors on Friday 25 February – a week to the day since Storm Eunice damaged the iconic roof of the world’s most popular music, leisure and entertainment venue.
The heart of the venue, The O2 arena, will also reopen on Friday, as UB40 featuring Ali Campbell take to the stage, and all future scheduled events will go ahead as planned. Furthermore, indigo at The O2 will reopen for live events from Saturday 26 February.
The Entertainment District, which is home to some of the very best dining and entertainment – from interactive experiences at TOCA Social, to immersive dining with Mamma Mia! The Party along with Cineworld, London’s largest cinema and over 30 bars and restaurants with a wide variety of cuisines will reopen on the same day. The venue also confirmed today that the award winning visitor attraction, Up at The O2, will be reopening on Friday.
Fans will be excited to hear that Dave’s two headline shows at The O2, as part of his ‘We’re All Alone in This Together’ UK Tour, have been rescheduled to Monday 28th February and Tuesday 1st March 2022. Tickets remain valid for the new dates and further details will be sent directly to ticketholders.
To ensure the safety of all staff and visitors at The O2, a monumental effort has been made to secure the site over the past few days, and works will continue into the coming weeks. The O2 has engaged a team of experts including the structural engineers who originally worked on the building design to address the required repairs. To allow guests who are visiting the arena to enter and exit the venue safely, protected from the elements, a new entrance tunnel has now been constructed by Entrance H.
Steve Sayer, VP & General Manager of The O2 said: “Confirming our reopening after such a short closure is a huge testament to everyone who is working so hard to get us open again. Safety will always be our number one priority and as a venue, we have always been proud of the standards we hold and delivering a best in class fan and artist experience. On behalf of The O2, I would like to thank our partners, the industry, our staff and all the fans for their support and patience. We’re back, we’re safe and we can’t wait to see you soon.”
Although the hole in the fabric caused by Storm Eunice will remain visible for some time whilst a permanent solution is put into place, the damage is in fact limited to an isolated area within The O2’s premium outlet shopping experience Icon Outlet. For the time being this section of the destination will remain closed while essential works continue. Further communication on the re-opening of these over 60 shops and venues within Icon Outlet, including brands such as Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Levis plus restaurants such as Hai di Lao will be forthcoming in the following weeks.
Janine Constantin-Russell, Managing Director of the Entertainment District and Icon Outlet said: “We are delighted to be reopening the doors at The O2 and can’t wait to get back to doing what we do best, which is providing a world class experience for our visitors. Whilst Icon Outlet will sadly be remaining closed for the time being, we’re incredibly proud to be opening the rest of the venue after such a short closure and are grateful to all of our brand partners and customers who have supported us during this time.”
The O2 is the world’s most popular music, entertainment and leisure venue and has been visited by over 100 million people since opening in 2007. Playing host to over 400 events a year, The O2 is home to The O2 arena which is globally recognised as one of the world’s most iconic venues to play and in 2019, was crowned ‘Venue of The Decade’ by Billboard magazine, after a record-breaking year that saw 219 arena shows, six residencies, over 10 first time performances, a record number of boxing events and its 25 millionth ticket being sold.
2022 is set to be a huge year for the venue with new openings in the Entertainment District and an arena calendar full with headline shows and events including; Country to Country, UFC London, Stormzy, Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish, Celine Dion, Queen & Adam Lambert, Laver Cup and many more.