The O2. Led Zepplin rocked out in it. James Bond slid down it. And now I have walked over it.
I did the Up At The O2 climb with a bunch of other Yelpers who had also never done it before. Tickets are £33 for peak hours and weekends and £26 for the other times. You can do it throughout the day, but they do offer both "sunset" and "twilight climbs".
We went for a sunset climb and got there 10 minutes before. However, the winds were so insane, they didn't know if we would go up. They told us to wait about five minutes, we did, and they said it was clearing down and we'd climb. Boom!
You first watch a rather charming safety video that's more amusing than a safety video should be. Then you get suited up! All your stuff, including jackets, goes into a secure locker. You put on a blue jumpsuit that makes you feel like you're heading to outer space and then your harness for being attached to the safety rail.
The climb up is long and windy and a lot of fun, since you're on this trampoline like surface the entire way (no bouncing though!) It's a steep climb but you're safely attached to the rail by clamps that you need to hold the entire time (or you're not moving, since if you let go, it locks down.) You all ascend in a single file line until you reach the top.
Here's the view you've been looking for. Beautiful overview of Greenwich and beyond. By the time we got up there, we actually missed the sunset due to the delay but it was beautiful at night. We took our photos, read the panels that described London history and when it was finally too cold, we went back down.
It is freezing up at the top of the platform so I wish they would have given us gloves (or at least told us to bring our own). And there's honestly not a lot too it - you walk up, you stand at the top, you walk down. Not sure that it's worth £26 but it was a lot of fun and now I can say I've conquered the dome, so there is something to that.
When people first discussed what they could do with the Millennium Dome, a lot of suggestions were bandied around. A shelter for the homeless, a business park and an indoor city to name a few. But I am SO glad they decided to turn it into this.
I've been here many times for many reasons. The cinema here is huge, with squishy seats and nachos on offer. It can be a bit cold because of the air con so a jacket is definitely needed, but you'll be cold in style.
The bars and restaurants give you choice unmatched by most places, and makes the O2 the ideal venue to visit on a rainy day when you want to try something new or go on a pub crawl but don't fancy trekking through the high street soaked to the skin in heels and a miniskirt.
Occasionally it even has events like Roller Disco and ice skating so every visit offers something new.
It's extremely well connected transport-wise, with North Greenwich Station literally 30 seconds away and regular buses heading all over London so getting home will never be a problem.
But the biggest and best part of the O2 is its arena. I've seen comedians and bands in this place, sat on every level and from every angle and no matter where you end up, you're going to have an amazing time. The huge screens either side of the stage mean that wherever you are, you'll know what's going on and even on Level 4 where the screens appear no bigger than your iPhone screen, they've set up additional screens closer to combat it.
The light shows are insane. Lasers, screens, projectors and about a million lights - I dread to think what their electric bill is like but I don't ever want them to change. The sound is also well done. Loud enough to hear it wherever you are, but not so loud it ends up distorted or hurting your ears.
Everything about this venue is amazing and no, I'm not biased because I'm an O2 customer and get Priority booking for events... check it out if somehow you haven't already.
It's hard to write a review of this place, as it depends when you go there as to whether its any good.
Go there for a concert and its fantastic watching the gig but there are too many people so you end up queuing for all your food and what's available within the arena is pretty poor.
Go there at any other time and its a bit dead but all the restaurants are free and it's easy to do what you want.
It has a good Cineworld cinema, plenty of parking (which can be pricey) and is quite a pleasant place to be... But the biggest problem is it lacks decent independent restaurants and shops. The usual chains are there and there are some less well-known names but they all serve pretty rubbish fare...
So I've given the place a neutral 3 stars!
Once the Millennium Dome, this vast building now houses plenty of eateries, a Cineworld cinema and much more, including of course, the O2 Arena. It's worth noting that the eateries get long queues around 6.30PM (in my limited experience there) on concert nights. However, if you're going to the Arena for a concert, once inside the actual Arena there are a few places to eat (including a burrito stand, hot dog stand and a Chinese stir fry stand).
Also, you can walk across the O2 dome for around £30 per person. You get a safety guide and get tethered to a metal wire going across the O2. Once at the top, you're unhooked and get a 360 degree panoramic view of London - with helpful guides to point out landmarks. Worth every penny!
Still love the venue, easy to get to etc etc but please, please, please do something about the food prices inside the arena. They are way way overpriced for what amounts to very simple and average quality food. £6.50 for a hot dog is too much!
i just wanted to say, They totally let me loose in the nissan innovation station area of the o2. As in, Got to drive around the their mini electric car, on real roads.
Be very afraid.
I JUST WATCHED LOUIS CK PERFORM HERE!
It was a sold out show. He had mentioned there being 12,000 people, though wikipedia lists it as having a 20,000 person capacity.
I've also seen Walking with Dinosaurs here.
Arena is big, etc etc. What I think is important to know is that it does get hot inside. With so many people, it warms up fairly quickly. Both times I was there it felt quite warm. So, just be prepared for that.
I like the 02! I like seeing gigs here because the journey home is super quick and easy. I do find it strange that if you have standing tickets you have to go to a totally different entrance to seating tickets, but it's never put me off. It's just a bit of a walk half way around the dome to get to your entrance!
I also like meeting my boyfriend here in the evening for a meal because again, it is really easy to get to via transport. There are plenty of places to eat - some good, some not so. Parking is expensive though, so I always bus it here.
Theres also a cinema and coffee places such as Starbucks and regular exhibitions.
In an ideal world, I've discovered all my favorite acts well before they've become popular, and am therefore able to see them in tiny, intimate venues. Sadly, this isn't always the case, and enter the O2 which seems to be the preferred large venue for highly popular acts coming to London. And as large arenas go, the O2 is pretty tops!
I remember visiting London in 2000 when I believe it had just been finished as the Millennium Dome, and my cousins saying to me "that massive thing over there is the Millennium Dome" or something along those lines. Fast forward to 2012, when I visited the first time to see Muse. And again more recently to see Keane. The O2 is an amazing entertainment complex, filled with a zillion food/drink options (TGI Fridays, Nandos, Gaucho, etc., etc.) and a Cineworld. Bear in mind that when walking into the O2 complex, you're not actually "inside" so on cold nights, wandering around can be a bit frigid. If you intend to eat at the O2 on a concert night, I believe you can book ahead at some of the places.
As a concert venue, the sound is pretty decent as far as large arena concerts go. If you're seated in the upper levels, it can be quite steep and precarious to get to your seats, but if you're lucky enough to be in the lower bowl, well, then... you're quite lucky! My main gripe about the O2 would have to be that they have a very limited exit strategy. That being, ONE exit for all. So when a sold out concert is released, you may be stuck in a crowd for quite some time trying to make your way to said exit. Especially if your seats are all the way in the H or I seating area (which was the case for both my visits). Not exactly convenient or safety friendly in my mind!
I'm sure I'll be making my way to the O2 time and time and time again during my London tenure. And I'm quite okay with that!
It's a 23,000 seat arena venue - not much to say about it as it looks, feels and runs just like every other big arena I've been to. So instead this is just a completely logistical take of attending a concert.
Showing up and getting the hell out: About a two minute walk out of North Greenwich station (Jubilee Line), I don't think there's any where to go but in the direction of the venue. Leaving was relatively painless and they had actual people directing as well as roping set up to flow the foot traffic in a relatively smooth way. No major complaints.
Eating: Meh. Loads of options that are all mall-type chain and random offerings (Pizza Express, La Rouge, Armadillo, Water Margin, etc) and one "gourmet" option with Gaucho's. All are totally overpriced and had lines snaking out of them one hour before show time. Also, the outer ring is covered but not entirely enclosed, which meant it was FREEZING walking around in December and most places had "patio" seating right out on the (cold) main drag. The entire thing reminded me of Vegas hotel like New York New York. It's not worth the jacked up pricing or the atmosphere, in my opinion. Try to eat or drink before getting to the arena area.
The arena venue itself: Was functional enough - sound was decent, security was friendly, seating was typically cramped but not painful -- and made no lasting impression. You can get beer, wine and champagne by the bottle (a bit much but ok) and take drinks to your seat. It is in dire need of bigger / better placed large screens. It's a low blow to be paying for a live concert only to resign to watching them the show on a screen as it is --- so at least make these accessible to all the far away seats!
Other stuff: There isn't much to do besides eat or get a drink. They did have one small shop if you wanted water or gum or a packaged sandwich, but nowhere to sit and hang out. They have decided you are there to consume and have not made it easy to do much else ... including use the toilet. I walked around nearly the whole thing before finding a giant toilet sign that lead OUTSIDE to an upgraded porta-potty situation (toilets as expected once inside the arena itself). Hmmph.
Overall impression: I think it's meant to be a destination even if you aren't going to an event at the arena (there is a cinema here too) but why you would drag ass out there and overpay to eat, drink, etc is beyond me.
This review is for IndigO2, the smaller venue adjacent to The O2.
My favorite band, Wolfmother, performed an epic show at IndigO2 on 6 July 2012. Seeing as it was only 5 or so Pounds more than the standard ticket, we went for the Kings Row VIP seating and loved it. Kings Row includes a whole lounge area with a private bar and TV screens, comfortable lounge-style seating, and a separate VIP entrance. Worth every penny. I wish we had arrived a little earlier to enjoy the lounge more, but we never had to wait in line to order a drink and the prices were very reasonable for a concert venue in London (rum and coke and a double gin and tonic for approximately 12 Pounds).
The acoustics are excellent, no echo and a very balanced sound. The opening act, Turbowolf, was terrible but that's certainly not the fault of IndigO2. The only thing that could be improved was the lighting. The lighting effects seemed off-the-cuff and not well coordinated with the music, as if programmed by someone with absolutely no familiarity with Wolfmother's songs. So, down a star for that. The bouncers were even pretty cool, very flexible and enjoying themselves while doing their job effectively. We even caught them rocking to the music on occasion. Overall, a very relaxed venue.
In the end, the show as spectacular, the venue was great, and King's Row ended up being worth it. If you're looking for the mosh-pit experience, though, you will obviously want the standing area downstairs.
Of course I had a fabulous time here anyway because I was at the NKOTBSB concert, but this venue is really spectacular! Getting there is easy... Jubilee Line to North Greenwich and follow the crowds. If you are making a night of your concert/show, there are loads of restaurants and bars, both outside of the complex and inside. Obviously most of them are chain restaurants, but still reasonable prices. Some of the restaurants were busier than others... loads of queues spilling out into the walkway, but with a concert and the film festival, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
Work BFF and I chose the Thai restaurant that was decent. No wait, quick service, however, you did have to order off of one of their set menus. As we walked to the entrance to the arena, there was even a bar with a set up conveniently on the walkway for those wanting a drink as they walked around. Once you go in, there are various food/drink/souvenir vendors on each level. Everything from fish and chips to popcorn and candy.
The arena is massive, but we had pretty good seats... not to mention the guys were in the crowd... not just the seats on the floor, but up in the stands! On the display around the arena, it told everyone when the last tube would be departing for Central London! Getting out of the O2 took some doing and the obstacles on the walkway: the chairs and things from the restaurants really slowed the crowd down, but the crowd still moved at a good pace. Going into the tube station was a bit chaotic, but not once were we stood absolutely still... the crowd was still moving forward. Even on the platform and getting on the tube, it wasn't overly crowded. Really impressed with that many people!
Ahhh The O2, what a turn out. It was like watching your child turn from a spotty teenager into a dully fledged adult. The Millennium Dome... was, erm... Special. After a year we all sat there thinking, "what the frig are they going to turn this monstrosity into?" and finally there was a result.
I've been here a few times, for gigs, exhibitions, to go clubbing. It's like the shopping mall of life. Now you might all wonder why I am giving this dome of commercialism a full five stars, well here it is: All Under One Roof. Yup, it's that simple, everything is here in one place, the cinema, the BME, a selection of satisfactory food chains, a huge arena. Not only that but it's in the middle of nowhere but they have made transport as easy as possible. They even have fountains outside.
This place is still terrifying. It's huge and it's easy to get lost in but the facilitates are unbeatable. If there is something you want to see here, go, you will not be disappointed.
The last time that I was here, this place was called the Millenium Dome and was filled with a tacky exhibit that allowed people to get a microscopic view of the human body. Well gone are the animatronic bugs that live on the human arm.
Lo and behold someone finally turned this place into the music venue that it was sooo obviously built for in the first place. The arena is rather large. There are two entrances to get in. One is right in front of you when you enter the O2 from the pedestrian entrance. The other makes you weave through a boardwalk of restaurants, clubs, cinemas and yes inevitably crowds of people.
Inside is your standard concert arena. There are four tiers, two of which are sky boxes and of course the floor. I personally was struck by the lack of jumbo screens suspended from the ceiling. There are only two. One on each side of the stage and they are pretty small. Luckily I had floor seats for the show that I was going to but I do wonder if you'd be able to see much if you were in the top section directly in front of the stage. Hopefully I'll never have to find out!
Something that did strike me as odd was the lack of seats or security in the floor section. In my experience, the floor is usually filled with rows of seats and there are security guards keeping aisles clear along the sides and down the centre of the floor. There were no seats or aisles or security while at the Lady Gaga gig. In fact, the place was pretty much set up like a rock show and was a total free for all. Again this would have made sense if I was at a a rock show. But it was Lady Gaga. I doubt that her little monsters are the types to form a mosh pit. It'll mess up their hair!
Overall, it was an enjoyable experience. I'm glad to see the horror of the Millenium dome has been turned into a rather nice concert venue.
BTW - If you are looking for ticket louts - not that I'm encouraging such behaviour - you'll have a better chance for running into one at the parking lot. There are loads of undercover security all around the tube station and the walk to the O2 as well as the bus station. But with some persistent and a bit of luck, you can find some.
Well done Mr. O2 for turning a White (dome-shaped) Elephant into a top arena!
I must say, I hate the "village" aspect of the O2 with the silly, overpriced bars and restaurants. But the actual arena is wonderful.
One of the better barns for acoustics, the O2 Arena possesses a decent clarity, even when I have sat in areas that normally sound woolly and inarticulate in other large venues.
The rake and angle of seats are very conducive to having a decent view of the stage. My preference is having the stage set "in the round" as it was when Prince Nelson was hanging out there. Last night I went to see Norwegian-black-and-white-cartoon-characters, a-ha. It was a surprisingly good gig, especially as you get what you pay for. And I paid nothing.
The gig itself labored a little in the middle, due to the fact that 10,000 people and I did not know any of the songs between "The Nun Always Climbs on T.V.s" and "Cryyyyy Wooooooolf (Wooooo-oooooo)". They had me won back again, especially with "The Living Daylights", but that's because I like Timothy Dalton as Bond. He had the best Aston. But was Welsh. And had a dent in his chin.
Another treat last night was the corporate hospitality. Having a room to relax in before the gig is always nice, but having waitress service, free bar and full meal makes me begrudge having to resume watching gigs like a serf.
The only fly in the ointment is using the Jubilee line after a gig - you are herded like an animal to the station and cram onto a tube if you are lucky to get one. And woe betide you staying a little late and missing the last train. The last time that happened, my then-girlfriend and I were so pissed off with each other that it ended the relationship. Either that, or the Ann Widdecombe impersonator with the large glasses and Red Piano that we had watched perform that night had poisoned our young and impressionable minds.
Each explanation is plausible.
As the crow flies, I live just over a mile from the 02, and it has become a regular destination - mainly for the Vue cinema (which has several auditoria, including one reputed to be the biggest in London), and maybe to eat in one of the many restaurants built around the periphery of the Arena (Pizza Express, Thai Silk, etc). Be warned, though, there are no cheap places to eat.
There are a couple of large bars (including a Slug & Lettuce), coffee shops, an 02 shop (naturally), a news-agent, and - at busy times - a few free-standing stalls selling expensive nick-nacks.
When there's a big event in the Arena, it can get very crowded and queues for the restaurants quickly build up, so it pays to arrive early if you want to eat before going to the event. If you are planning a cinema trip, it might also be worth checking what's on in the 02 before you travel - I went once when Cliff Richard was on - couldn't move for grey-haired Cliff fans!
Be careful to check if you are driving as the carparks can be extortionately expensive (Vue cinema ticket holders, however, can get their parking for free). It may be better to park locally and get a bus up to North Greenwich (remember your Oystercards).
Along from the restaurants are a couple of large open areas that are used to house other more temporary visitor attractions. Over the past three years, there's been a skating rink (2007), a ski slope (2008) and Carter's Steam fun-fair in the winter (almost deserted on Christmas Eve 2009, but also expensive - and some of the operators.... well, let's just say they weren't full of the Christmas Spirit!). A roller disco and an indoor beach have livened up the past two summers.
One of the set pieces of London's fab skyline, you might have seen the O2 when it was still "The Millennium Dome" in the pre-title sequence of The World Is Not Enough where Pierce Brosnan lands on it after falling from a hot air balloon. It is located on the Greenwich Peninsula and is accessed easily from North Greenwich station on the Jubilee Line or from a Thames Clipper.
Nowadays, the O2 is an entertainment complex with a cinema, concert hall, restaurants and nightclubs. At the moment, it is home to the British Music Experience and the Titanic exhibition. The O2 Arena seats up to 20,000 and has been used for large stadium-sized concerts and sporting events. There is also a smaller club-style venue, the IndigO2. It's going to be hosting several of the Olympic games too.
It is the largest dome of its type in the world. There are 12 support towers (12 hours on a clock face), 365 meters in diameter (one for every day of the year) and 52 meters tall (one for every week of the year). The roof itself is apparently lighter than the weight of the air underneath. From the air, you simply can not miss it. Once inside, it's bigger than you would think.
The O2 is a real story of a phoenix rising from the ashes. I can't really comment first hand about this venue when it was born originally as the Millennium Dome. Fairly or unfairly, it got a bad press and its reputation never really recovered though I had friends who did make multiple visits there.
The site stayed in limbo after the millennium until it was gloriously transformed into the O2 Arena. It is now probably the leading music venue in the country.
I made my first visit here only recently for the Strictly Come Dancing roadshow and was mightily impressed. It is an enormous structure but has an impressive Tube station to cope with the crowds. There were a lot of stewards too to help marshall people into sensible streams of flow, which really helped.
The main auditorium was huge and we were lucky to have good seats. The higher seats are quite far away and apparently very steeply banked according to friends who have sat up there. However, the seats are a good size and I was quite comfortable for the 3 hour show.
The acoustics were great and this is attracting many artists to shift allegiances from other venues.
Besides the main performance area, there is a big cinema and multiple exhibitions going on. It's a complete entertainment venue. At peak times, the main walkways can get busy as people browse the restaurants but there is a good range of food options from Brazilian BBQs to Chinese buffets.
Sadly, although venues like Wembley Arena have nostalgia and history, the O2 Arena is the future. One last tip is that O2 customers get priority on bookings for events held here.
Not enough women's toilets.
Also, when you inevitably pop out in the middle of a gig for a quick pee due to your resolute stand against waiting in the queue before the gig -- once you locate the nearest restrooms, which are a two-minute sprint down the corridor -- you'll be dismayed to find possibly the most ineffective hand dryers known to man.
This being said, you better believe I'm coming back to the O2 in March to see Cesar Millan in motherfucking Dog Whisperer World Tour.
The o2 pretty much has everything the place is huge you could play hide and seek here and never be found, it has a great choice in place to eat drink and buy stuff .
I've been twice my first time was to do a boat trip along the Thames and I didn't get to stay and do much here so I came back again for a beer with pals, what a great night it's prices are pretty much what you pay in the city so it's not cheap but well worth a visit.
Its also pretty easy to get to but it does get busy when major events are on so give your self plenty of time to get there, Next time I come i must try the food and not just get drunk.
This place is pretty special. First of all the O2 is the best reincarnation we've yet seen for the beforehand ill-fated Millennium Dome. The O2 is fast becoming London's première music venue. The line ups for gig's can simply be described as the best you will ever see. It is the home for super club Matter, and some of the best exhibitions in the world have graced this architectural wonder. There is a cinema and a multitude of mid-range restaurants and eateries to keep you topped up before a gig.
Due to the sheer size, it is almost impossible for the place to hold a buzzy atmosphere. Yet once you enter one of the many attractions, there is certainly fun to be found.
From white elephant to funky elephant.
I really like what they've done to this big old tent of wonders. So many restaurants to choose from, bars for a tipple, a cinema and, oh, just one of the biggest concert arenas in the country for good measure.
Coming here for a show? Then be sure to spring for dinner here too and make a great evening of it. Transport links are good (assuming the pesky J-line is running) and it's actually rather impressive to look at too. Almost justifies the ridiculous amount of money the Government wasted in building the darn thing. Almost.
02 has come to save millennium dome! 02 is like a little town under one roof! They should put it on the global map as a city.
I would recommend this place for friends, family and you can even go by yourself
Wide range of restaurants and cafes to choose from. 02 has a concert venue, a mini concert venue, exhibition hall (I went to Michael Jackson Exhibition and I was so happy it was held at the 02), confectionery shop, a cinema, bar's and nightclubs!
Just by the train station, bus station and even Thames clipper.
O2 is conveniently located for us over on the East side and makes for an easy afternoon / evening out, whether you are planning to go to the Arena for a concert, the cinema or a bite to eat.
The cinema is reasonably priced and boasts one of the largest 3D screens (I forget whether that's in the UK or Europe... either way, I was impressed!). It also means that you can grab a bite to eat either before or after the show, and you're not short on choice - from Chinese (not tried it) through to pasta (Pizza Express is ok, Zizzi's is good) and now more recently TGI Fridays (love it!).
I also went to the British Music Experience recently - it was smaller than I imagined it would be, but still entertaining and informative. The rooms are organised into periods of time (roughly decades, as I recall) and there's a mixture of videos, memorabilia and interactive games. My favourite bits were the dance video room (if you ever fancied doing the Twist, this is your chance!) and the musical instrument room (you can try your hand at the guitar, bass guitar, drums, piano or singing!). It's all very high-tech, with tickets containing a barcode that saves all the information from your visit (e.g. your favourite band info, or that video of you doing the Twist...) and then you can view it on the internet when you get home. I'd say it's worth the money for a visit.
Definitely worth a visit if you're stuck on something to do one afternoon.
The o2 Centre is one of London's leading events centres. Everyone from Celine Dion to Kings of Leon have played the stage in the massive stadium situated in Greenwich. The last time I was here for the Kylie Minogue tour, and boy was it great. Thanks to some friends we had a box, fully catered for and with a prime spot to view the show.
The staff in the box were great - serving Grey Goose cocktails and even taking icecream orders at interval. The box itself was plush and lovely, with vases of flowers, couches and great seats on the balcony from which to watch the show. The centre itself is quite stunning, with the entrance to o2 under big light installations and neon lighting. A must-see to view any big-name concert!
That's the sound of my soul being sucked out of me!
This venue reeks of capitalist venture, the kind of place that looks good when it's a model on someones table but in real life is little more that an excessively large plastic nipple.
The food court reads like a who's who of the big chain (so called) restaurants, good god there's people queuing ACTUALLY queuing for pizza express!
It has fake trees, a fake street, fake smiles, fake air...
If this place were an actor it'd be Fake Gyllenhaal.
If this place were an Eagles song it's be Fake it to the limit.
The seats at the top are a little steep and can bring on vertigo which I don't mind so much, the view was good and, luckily for this reviewer, Stevie Wonder's love can be felt from quarter of a mile away!
Oh yeah he was sooo worth it, not sure I'll be getting tickets to Coldplay supported by Jay-Z (wtf!?) though, or the 15th round of strictly high school factor on ice!
If this place were a movie it's be Planet of the fakes.
millenium dome. O2. better. connected. big. great reception.
enough said. =)
BAD ASS!! The design, while unique is truly original and awesome...however, 25 yrs from now I might have a different opinion.
I was there for a private event so I can't objectively comment on the concert space. It seemed like all of the seats were good, but can't say.
I have thoroughly enjoyed every visit to the 02 and it's many many attractions.
I was lucky enough to attend several of the Prince concerts staged in the concert arena during 2007 and I have to say not one seat gave me a bad view. Every time I had a clear view of the action, plenty of room to move and there was no problems with the sound.
Having a central stage (in the round) is a big bonus and something that has been lacking from UK concert venues for too long.
The venue is very organised and even with all the cinema goers, clubbers and concert goers - it all seems to run like clock work.
The concert venue is very well located in the centre of the 02 and there are plenty of concessions and facilities available.
I cannot rate the 02 highly enough ( and that's without gushing about the after show party I attended at Indigo 2 ;0)
The O2 knocks Wembley into a cocked hat. The perfect venue for any performance. War of the Worlds was fantastic and, need I say it, The Moody Blues were, as always, superb.
Plenty of restaurants and bars around the venue. Plenty of car parking space, although expensive.
When I arrived in London in early 2001, the Millennium Dome was a huge joke: the worst failure of an over-hyped let's-kick-off-the-next-1000-years.
No one, at the time, thought it would become the most popular ticket-selling venue in the world.
I've been there five times, to see Prince, Bruce Springsteen, Roger waters, Duran Duran and Afrika! Afrika! I think that it's just about as amazing as a large venue can be.
Access is so simple. The Jubilee Line runs right to it, and your short walk to the front door is entirely under cover. Buses, taxis, and driving are all accommodated for as well, though I can't imagine why you'd bother with the hassle of the last option.
The building itself is gorgeous, I think, really interesting. Its only once you're inside that you realise how functional those exterior roof spikes are, because they remove any need for interior sightline-blocking supports.
The lobby area is huge and ornate. It's got shops galore. The interior arcade of bars, restaurants, shops, movie theatres, skating rinks seems endless. None of it's cheap, of course, but if you want to beat the crowds, get there early, and have a fancy meal or a few glasses of wine before a show, you're well catered for.
The performance area is great. Yes, it's huge, but it's round and very steep at the top, so even when up in the nosebleeds you're much closer than you would expect to be.
There are tons of concession stands and toilets on every level. There seem to be plenty of staff on hand at all times, and they're very helpful.
I've heard the nightclub-type venue inside the venue - the indigO2 - is quite cool, but I've not been in it yet.
They've got lots of fenced-in exterior space, too, which is where they put the Afrika! Afrika! tent.
The only painful part of a visit to the O2 is getting to the Tube afterwards. They throttle access into the Underground entrance after shows (to prevent crowds building up at the top of, and on, the descending escalators), which means you can often queue in the crowd for 10 or 15 minutes.
I hate the fact that there are acts I can only see at a venue as large as the O2, but if I've got to do it, I can't imagine a better layout for doing so.
I visited recently for the Tutankhamun exhibition. As such I haven't got to see the main arena space. However I did get to see the cinema and part of the 'street' that goes round the outside. It's an amazing building. There's loads of cafes of all types. It did seem a little short on loos (though I guess there are loads of them in the individual parts), and we only spotted one shop that wasn't a café. Still it's a great place to wander around among the artificial trees and 'street life'. There's 'installations' to look at, and a place where you can make your own dance video for free.
The open area outside on the way back to the tube station is also worth exploring. It doesn't look much, but look closer. There's a water wall, and the Greenwich Meridian cuts through, so you can get your piccy taken on that. At time of writing there was a display relating to the local area, which I didn't get time to look at, and a huge statue of Anubis for the Egyptian exhibition.
The O2 is a cool place to hang out if you enjoy the feeling of living in an Orwellian-esque land.
I find the place rather terryfying.
We went to see Chris Rock last night in the arena, at a record breaking (for attendance) comedy gig. Half the gig was quite good, the rest was essentially a list of offensive cliches about the differences between men and women, black people and white people, black women and white men and so on ad infinitem.
The venue itself felt to me like a sort of sociological experiment. 15,000 people in one room watching one person seems in practicality to be wrong to me. For a band, it might be less weird. We were on the 4th level, at the back. The view was completely unobstructed and we could see almost the entire venue. But again this just reinforced the panoptic 1984 feeling.
From the balconies on the 4th floor you can see the tops of all the restaurants on the ground floor (of which there weren't enough to accomodate all the people who were in the O2 last night). Being able to see the tops of the cafes, makes it look like a fake town. Like Sim City 2000.
Of course the Millenium Dome (as I will insist on calling it) is an impressive building, mostly in terms of its collosal size. It is quite exciting when you first enter it, but I couldn't shake the feeling of not really being in a 'real' place. Of course, the fact that there are seemingly only chain restaurants in the buidling doesn't help get rid of that corporate sense.
I think when the robots have taken over they will enjoy the Millenium Dome.
We came here to see Star Wars in Concert at the O2 Arena on Saturday - it was fantastic! I knew that there were loads of disruptions on the tube over the weekend so we caught the 188 bus at Waterloo which took us (the very long way round) here - it took about an hour. Had to get a replacement bus service to some station somewhere on the way back so that took a lot longer - bit confusing if you're not used to transport in London but we made it : )
Anyway, great venue - massive, spacious, staffed by helpful enough people. Plenty of toilets, although there were still long queues. What really got me mad were the drinks prices though. I know you expect to pay more somewhere like this, but £4.50 for a tiny bottle of cider? So I had to get 2 each time, in a pint glass, so between 2 of us we spent over £30 on drinks. For a 2 hour show. Which I think is ridiculous.
much more than just a music venue.
Nightclubs, restaurant, and an all round quality night.
Saw Basement Jaxx here in December.
I saw Bon Jovi here a little while ago (why must you mock me for this? Hmmmm?), and we got tickets in a swanky corporate booth. Hurrah!
Yes, hurrah indeed. But this mean that there wasn't really much singing along. The acoustics were great, but if you're away form the action, and can't sing along unless feeling like you're at karaoke, you'll feel pretty odd. Especially when Bon jovi is so singalongable to. Shush, that's a word.
The stage is amazing (unless you've got the seats behind the stage - really, what's the point?) and the sound is good. The whole place is shiny, well organised and I had a fab time. Even though I wish I'd been right in the old man rock action.
Still, it's only a 20 minute walk back home, and I can't say that about Wembley.
We went here for a Cliff Richard concert (the whole point and climax of me and my mom's trip to London!) and though it is outside the city of London, in Greenwich, it was super easy to get to via the Jubillee line. Best part is, the station is literally in front of the massive entertainment center, so no need to plan for extra travel.
The architecture is very futuristic, and it was a nice contrast to all the historical buildings we were touring in London. There are many smaller food vendors in one fantastic looking building outside the main stadium, and once you enter you are met in a rather large quarter of restaurants and shops and clubs. It looks like you can enjoy your time before a big show or event at one of these places.
For our show in particular, they had a large souvenir stand before you got into the arena. There were many people manning this station, so we didn't have to wait in line for my mom to get her hands on all her Cliff Richard goodies.
The arena itself, for the show, was very comfortable and clean. There were ample amounts of concessions and bathrooms for the most part. The staff was very nice and accommodating (there were many older people at this show! ) My only complaint is that before you enter the stadium for your event, the bathrooms are hard to find and there weren't many of them.
The O2 is just ace, definitely a turnaround for what used to be the dome and gloom and all the best artists are now performing here over other venues in town. It's more of an experience, rather than just going out to a gig in a sweaty flea pit. Definitely a must do if you're visiting London and live in London, great to explore a developing area of the city.
Loads of nice restaurants to choose from - everything from sushi to Gaucho's, and even an S&M cafe if you like your bangers and mash woohoo! (i'm veggie but they do great veggie sausages). Saw the Spice Girls and the lovely Kylie here recently and travelled to the gigs via ye olde river Thames - loved it! So cool that you can get somewhere in London without needing to get on a smelly tube, added something special to the evening. There's also an S&M cafe on the boat - bangers all round then! ;o)
I have been to the O2 Arena recently and have been absolutely amzed by the tranformation since Millenium Dome was first built. It has become such a lively place unbelievable packed with activities and great places to hang out. This year alone, I have been there for 3 events. Disney On Ice : Finding Nemo, Nick Evans talk show and Britain Got Talents
Even if you are not going for shows do go and have a look. it's has changed no longer a white elephant it is now a venue!
Maybe its because I've had the luxury of sitting in an executive box and taking in all the free food and beer that entails, but I like the o2 as a venue - a classic example of converting a white elephant into something useful. I have sat in the cheap seats as well - to see Prince - and that was good too - although the acoustics seemed to be better in the box as well.
Food outlets do generally seem a bit overpriced and underwhelming but that's no different to any other arena you could mention.
so yeah i like it.
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