“ , now officially known as The O2, is a large dome shaped building on the Greenwich peninsula in south east London, the United Kingdom. The name was officially changed when O2 plc purchased the naming rights from the developers, Anschutz Entertainment Group. The dome was constructed in order to hold a major exhibition celebrating the beginning of the third millennium. This exhibition opened to the public on January 1, 2000 and ran until December 31, 2000; however the project and exhibition was the subject of considerable political controversy and did not attract the number of visitors anticipated in its planning and costing. Since the closure of the original exhibition, several possible ways of reusing the building have been proposed and then rejected. The renaming of the dome on May 31, 2005 gave publicity to the Dome's transition into an indoor sporting arena. In this role the plan is to host the 2009 World Gymnastics Championships and the artistic gymnastics and trampolining events of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The sports area will be complemented by a proposed substantial entertainments complex, the contents of which are still the subject of political decision (and some major controversy). „
My review is about the O2 as it is now and not the Millennium Dome.
I've been to the O2 twice now both for concerts, I never visited it when it was known as the the Millennium Dome and so I can't compare how it used to be to how it is now.
The first time I went to the O2 it was the first time I've ever travelled to and around London without anyone who knows the city like the back of their hand. Thankfully I took to the tube very well and getting to the O2 was well signed on the tube map. I didn't realise that North Greenwich tube station was located slap bang next to the O2 so it was a relief when I got out of the station and saw this big white dome shining in the sunshine!
The dome looked fantastic and pretty big from where I was standing, I was a little nervous I wouldn't be able to find my way around it.
My friend and I walked up the the O2 and outside where a few restaurants and then closer to the dome was a merchandise stand for the concert we were seeing.
To the left of the main entrance doors were the Pre-Booked ticket window where you collect your tickets if you've pre-booked a different way. The first time I went to the O2 I didn't use this as I got tickets from Ticketmaster and so they get sent to you.
We walked into the O2 and there were some security gates and a few security men, we asked if they wanted us to walk through them and they said no, so we carried on walking. They seemed to select people at random.
Inside the O2 are a few shops and many restaurants! The first shop we saw was the O2 shop (mobiles) and the Sky TV place. Straight in front of us were the doors to the O2 Arena. As we were going to be sat up on level 4 we looked up and it didn't seem that high (thank goodness.)
To the left of the Arena doors was another bigger merchandise counter and to the right was a walk way taking you to the many restaurants and to the Cinema.
A few of the restaurants are: Nandos, TGI Friday's, Zizzi, GBK, Pizza Express and many more.. so a restaurant to suit anyone and they are all located in Entertainment Avenue.
I didn't eat in any of these restaurants we just brought some snacks from one of the little food shops. This food shop was located opposite the restaurants also in Entertainment Avenue and it had a good range of sandwiches, drinks, crisps, chocolate etc but it was very expensive! I brought a bottle of Orange Juice and a Tuna sandwich and I didn't have much change out of a £5!
Inside the O2 is also a Cineword's multiplex cinema with 11 screens. The main auditorium sits 770 people and has the biggest screen in London. I didn't go the cinema while I was there but it sounds impressive.
Next to the big Arena is the Indigo O2 which is a smaller venue which holds 2,400 people and they have live music, comedy, a night club here. The X-Factor have filmed boot-camp in the Indigo.
Now onto the O2 Arena which holds up to 20,000 people!
There are a couple of different entrances into the Arena and ours was the entrance located straight in front of you when you walk into the actual dome.
Before you go into the arena you have to have your bag searched and your not allowed to take drinks with a lid on. It looks pretty daunting when you walk in and there are all these security people but, they are actually very nice. The arena has a few levels- Floor, Level 1, Private Boxes and level 4. These are all sign posted (except floor, for floor you follow level 1) and there are a few security people to help you find your way.
Getting up to Level 4 is quite a ride on the escalator, it's a long way up! As you get to level 4 there are places to buy more food and drink to take into the concert and the odd person with merchandise will walk around, again the prices are expensive!
Before you can go into the arena you have to go to the right gate, so if your sat in block 401 you will go to gate 401 and so on. My gate was 409 and it was easy to find.
Before I went to the O2 I was told level 4 were the worst seats and I wouldn't be able to see anything so I was worried. Looking up from the floor didn't seem high but looking down over the O2 from level 4 seemed high!!
We walked in and straight away we saw the stage. We had to walk down steps to get to our seats as we were Row A, I'm glad we had to walk down steps and not up! (If you were Row C or above you walked up the steps.) When we sat ourselves down we turned around and looked at everyone behind us... Any row after about D or E looked scary!
Level 4 is extremely steep and high!
From our seats we could see better than we thought we would be able too, yes anyone on the stage looked small and it was hard to see their face clearly but, we could see and we had a great time! I'd definitely sit Level 4 again but, I would only sit in Rows A,B or C. No higher than that or the view really would be rubbish and just the general steepness would scare me silly.
The seats were very comfortable and they had a place to hold your drinks. Being on level 4 means your not going to stand up and dance because otherwise there is a high chance you will fall and probably injure yourself badly. So it's a good job the seats were comfy and roomy. Leg space was decent, I have no reason to complain about leg room I was able to place my handbag and my shopping bag down with space for my feet to dance away.
To give some idea of how steep it is the people behind us in Row B, just above their ankles was where my head was. Imagine that steepness all the way up to Row Z!
The sound system was also good. The speakers were up around the roof of the arena and so we were close to them and everything sounded clear. There wasn't to much 'boom boom boom' only what you'd expect. I'd previously been told sitting on level 4 means the sound is horrible. This isn't true... Yes it's loud but it's clear and I could hear everything perfectly.
Overall my first experience of the O2 had been good. The only exception being toilets. We searched for quite a while to find a toilet when we were outside the arena and just in the dome part, when we found one located near to the cinema it was tiny! It had about 5 toilets in so after a big event which was sold out the queue is huge!
I assume they only had this toilet because all of the restaurants have their own toilets and there are toilets inside the arena.
The second time I went to the O2 was just as good. Again this was for a concert but this time I had to use the Ticket Window for Pre-Booked tickets I didn't have to queue and I just walked straight up and got my tickets from the man.
The only difference this time was at the arena I was sat on the Floor (it was a seated concert) and our entrance gate was the other side of the O2!! I think our entrance gate was H and it look a good 10-15 minute walk to get there... This is when I realised how big the O2 was.
Walking to Gate H we walked through the whole of Entertainment Avenue and by the O2 Bubble where they hold exhibitions.
Again getting into the arena you have the whole security process. Once we got in we followed the signs for Level 1 even though we were sat in the floor.
You walk into a large room selling food, drinks etc just like level 4 but it seemed bigger.
If your sat on level 1 then you have to find your gate e.g if your sat in Block 111 you go to gate 111, for people sat on the floor section you go to any gate that says entrance to floor seating so you can choose which gate you go into.
You walk down the steps of Level 1 until you reach the floor and then floor seats are in sections. Bock A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3 and C1 and C3 when I went (this changes depending on the event.)
I was sat in Block A2 a few rows from the front this time and it was a huge difference to being sat up on level 4!
The seats are just temporary seats and I think they were basic plastic chairs so they aren't that comfy. But fine for sitting on them for about an hour before the concert starts and then your stood up, well 95% of people stand up.
The leg room was okay, I had just my bag on the floor and for anyone walking past I'd have to completely stand up or move out the way completely. It was fine for me but anyone really tall would find it cramped.
The view this time was incredible I could see everything! But there are alot of security on the floor so no standing on chairs! And be careful if you have a camera they can be strict, especially if you video!
Toilets this time were better on the floor, they were located at the back of the floor to the left and they were massive. I used them straight after the concert finished and didn't have to queue which makes a first!
That's pretty much my experience of the O2 the main thing is the arena.
The O2 isn't a place I'd go out my way of to visit. If I was in London for the day I wouldn't go to the O2, I'd only go there for a concert or if there was an event I wanted to go to on otherwise I don't think it's worth a general look around visit.
If I lived close by I'd use the cinema but it would have to be my closest cinema for me to go there. I just think it's pointless to go to unless your going for a certain event.
But it's a great place to hold concerts as the transport link is fantastic! North Greenwich Tube Station is next to it, they have a taxi rank, Themes Clippers and you can drive. Parking is available with Pay as you arrive or you can Pre-Book. If your going to a big event it's recommended you pre-book, this is about £17.50 plus a £2.50 booking fee.
-A few tips would be to take your own food. The second time I went I popped into a Sainsburys and grabbed some food before I got on the Tube, I ate it before I went into the arena. Outside the O2 are a few places to sit or inside many people will sit down on the floor near the Arena entrance, so you don't look odd if you sit down and eat. Nobody looked at me anyway.
-If you need the loo try and hold it in and go when you get into the arena. Unless eating in a restaurant.
-Different outlets open and close at different times.
Overall a great place and the atmosphere is quite excitable if your going to a concert. Huge range of restaurants to choose from and when you walk through the row of restaurants it feels like your walking down a street, the only difference is there is a roof over your head!
I will continue going back for concerts. The only thing I would say would make it better would be more toilets in the dome part!!
Sunday the third of October, 2010 was a special day as it was the day that the O2 in London was holding the 25th Anniversary Concert of 'Les Miserables .' The novel, Les Miserables, was written by Victor Hugo in 1862. This novel was, much later of course, made into a musical by Frenchmen, Alain Bloublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg. It was first shown at the Barbican, London, in October, 1985.
I have seen Les Miserables, at London's Queen's theatre and thought it truly wonderful. My seventeen year old daughter is obsessed with, 'Les Miz' and has performed on stage, singing songs from it such as, and 'I dreamed a dream 'and,' On My Own ' Because of her attachment to this show I believed her when she said that it was an event not to be missed and knew she would love to go. Also, Lea Salonga, renowned singer/actress of musicals, 'Miss Saigon' and, Les Miserables' and many others, who she greatly admires, was to appear, singing the songs of Fantine and she certainly wanted to take up the opportunity of seeing and hearing her live on stage. I thought I would have to budget for this event or I would regret it. Originally only an evening performance was planned but, owing to the popularity of this musical, a matinee was then added.
The tickets at the O2 arena for this event were priced at £30, £50, £100 and £150 pounds. I decided that I could go no higher than fifty bearing in mind booking fees and extra costs such as travelling and refreshments.
The O2 is a large dome like entertainment centre, in Greenwich, London. It houses a large concert venue, cinema complex (11 screen multiplex), entertainment and restaurant centre, exhibition space, bars and more. It started life as the Millennium dome, an exhibition centre built to celebrate the millennium. There was much controversy surrounding the dome and it seemed to be headed for being known as a mistake then was taken on by the company, AEG who have turned this centre into a world renowned entertainment complex. Top class bands, and entertainers from many countries choose to perform at this venue.
I had intended to contact the O2 to enquire about parking. Unfortunately the day before the concert my area had a power cut, lasting for many hours, therefore we couldn't use our telephone or computer/internet. On the following morning I attempted to see if I needed to pre book parking, but the line was closed until midday and, by then we would be well on our way. I read that, as there was a planned underground railway strike starting in the early evening of Sunday the third of October, continuing on Monday, I felt that driving was our only real option. This was a shame as we live near to an underground station and this would have been, under normal circumstances, the most sensible option. I would recommend if you are planning on visiting the O2 that if you live within reasonable distance from North Greenwich, either London or the surrounding area, then public transport is worth considering as it is quite accessible and, taking into account possible parking difficulties plus resulting costs it could be the best choice. Of course that being if no public transport strike is planned! When looking up details concerning parking I was horrified to see the costs. I understand that parking could cost up to £25 and even pre booking a disabled space would cost £10 plus £1.90 service charge. I don't know if that is the case with all O2 events.
On the morning of the concert, we readied ourselves for the journey. The weather was awful. Although mild, it was gloomy and wet. Rain, rain and more rain was forecast. Unfortunately, this time the weather forecasters got it right! The bad conditions and I suppose the planned tube strike meant there was more traffic on the road and the weather slowed things down. As we neared the Black wall tunnel things were almost at a standstill. This journey should have taken, according to AA route planner, forty-one minutes but from door to door it took about one and a half hours. Much of this time was spent in queuing to enter an O2 car park, finding there were no spaces so again queuing to exit and enter another. We only managed to park by a fluke. Others weren't so lucky. It was chaotic. So much for these extra parking spaces.
We reached the entrance to the dome at about 1.15 p.m. and by now were feeling extremely stressed. My daughter was getting upset as we had read that the concert began at one-thirty prompt and anyone not seated by the start wouldn't be allowed in until the interval. It was annoying that had we been able to park in a reasonable amount of time then we would have had ample time to spare.
The queues inside were lengthy. There were queues for the escalators, merchandise and, worst of all, the toilets. My dilemma now was do we use the toilets and risk missing the first half of the concert, or wait for a long time for the lavatory? As we had been driving for so long and it would be about one and a half hours until the interval, I felt this would be an uncomfortable wait. I crossed my fingers as I told my daughter I was sure that the concert start would be delayed owing to the long queues for the toilets and car parks. If they refused entry to so many ticket holders there would surely be a riot. We waited about fifteen minutes for the toilets.
At last we entered the arena and were pointed in the right direction by a friendly usher. We ascended to our seats. I felt as if I was climbing a mountain. Our seats were numbers, 526 to 528 in row S, block 404. There was only one row higher. I was pleased that our outermost seat was on the aisle so I didn't have to squeeze past strangers to reach my seat. It was so high. I had been warned before booking my tickets that these seats weren't recommended for those with a fear of heights. I don't really have a fear of heights, but I do have poor balance and the loftiness and steepness of this position was very disorientating.
As people were still finding their seats I looked around and began to adjust. The stage seemed miles away and I realised that I would not be able to identify the cast from sight but would have to rely on the screens behind and above the stage. However, these looked to be obscured by equipment and it proved that the main screen was obstructed by lighting rigs and the side screen which was less obstructed (three) was angled and did not fully show all of the stage action.
The show began about fifteen minutes late. The orchestra tuned up and the 25th Anniversary of Les Miz at London's O2 was underway.
One great thing about this venue is the sound quality. Throughout the performance strong voices sung out clearly and beautifully. After the concert proper ended the original London cast made their appearance, which included Colm Wilkinson, and Michael Ball. This was truly amazing and songs from this classical musical were sung and speeches made by producer, Cameron Mackintosh and Bloublil and Schonberg. People stood, applauding, cheering and even crying. And the sound again was great. The words were clear and resonant. (Even announcements made over the P.A. system were clear.)
What I would say though is that although I had a fantastic time and would repeat this day if I could, I still think that even if buying the cheapest seats, £30 is no small amount, and one should be able to at the very least, see clearly what is happening on the screen, if not the stage. I would think things could be better arranged, so that the screen would be unhindered by equipment. Also, if seats at such a distance are to be utilised then opera glasses should be available, as is the case at Her Majesty's Theatre and at, The Palladium. This would have enhanced the experience for me. I think the £50 each that I paid (£55 with booking fees) was worth it to see a concert as special as this, but I don't really think the organisers (or the O2) are fair in charging so much when the view is so distant. It is too much to charge for a seat of this quality and position. I have tickets arranged to see, Roger Waters, 'The Wall' next May and I am paying £60 for this event plus booking fees. My seat will be almost as far away as at this event. I cannot pay over one hundred pound for a ticket nor do I feel one should have to to obtain a reasonable view.
And when the music had completely faded we descended the stairs, very carefully. I was thankful that the crowd seemed polite with no pushing or barging. We came out onto level four and saw that there were masses of people again queuing for escalators, stairs, merchandise and toilets. It entered my mind that if there was an emergency here there would be pandemonium as there really just seemed to be too many people. I don't think that politeness would have been shown if people felt endangered.
We were on the end of the line for merchandise. When served we were pleased with the politeness of the assistant. We bought a programme (£10) and a 'Le Miz' Tee shirt (£15) I thought these expensive but had expected that.
I found all staff that we came across polite at the O2. I may have been lucky but perhaps this is generally true. It's nice, and quite unusual, to find all assistants helpful.
On arriving at the complexes entertainment avenue on the ground floor we were planning to have a meal. We found all restaurants and bars had long queues, putting me in mind of, Disneyland, Paris at its busiest time. Indeed it was so busy that we abandoned this idea and decided to find somewhere to eat on our journey home.
As we left the O2 again there was chaos. The situation was probably worse than usual, owing to more cars because of the tube strike. But driver's seemed to have forgotten all road safety, taking little heed of right of ways etc. Sirens and car horns competed and the roads leading away from the Greenwich peninsula and towards the Blackwall tunnel were almost gridlocked. We were relieved to come out of the Blackwal tunnel north of the Thames where traffic seemed of a more reasonable flow.
To summarise this visit to the O2 I would say that the O2 are trying. I have received an email asking my opinion on the O2 which counts for something, I would think. As far as I'm concerned it was an unforgettable event, and for the amount of people who bought tickets it had to be held in a large venue but, I really think that parking and tickets are too expensive and it's not fair to charge upwards of thirty pounds and not get a decent view. Obviously I know now but I'm sure many expected a much better, closer view than they got.
If you have a mobility condition the O2 will give advice and assistance for ease of access. Lifts are available and disabled seating, I understand. It's good to find a venue that's accessible to all.
For Further details of The O2 and future events please see the website, www.theo2.co.uk/
I thought this information, taken from, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_O2_(London)
From the closure of the original "Millennium Experience" exhibition occupying the site, several possible ways of reusing the Millennium Dome's shell were proposed and then rejected. The official renaming of the Dome on 31 May 2008 gave publicity to its transition into an entertainment district. The Dome's shell itself remained in situ but its interior and the area around North Greenwich Station, the QE2 pier and the main entrance area was completely redeveloped.
The area is served by North Greenwich tube station, which was opened just before the millennium exhibition, on the Jubilee Line, and by bus routes. Thames Clippers operate a river boat service for London River Services; the present tenants, AEG, purchased Thames Clippers in order to provide river links between Central London and The O2. As well as a commuter service, Thames Clippers also operates The O2 Express service
The O2 sat tantalisingly within sight across the river as the sun started to set, the former Millennium Dome spiking up into the Summer evening. We stood, looking at the reflection in the water and wondering what it was like inside. I never got round to visiting the original Dome, by all accounts it was something along the lines of an expensive educational museum funded by the tax payer.
Being one tube stop away at Canary Wharf was a little frustrating as the cheapest return ticket was £5.10 per person for just that single stop and unless you can walk on water, there's no easy way to get to the Greenwich Peninsula. That said, the ridiculous ticket prices are London Underground's problem, not the O2's and regular Jubilee line trains and the Docklands Light Railway serve the area. There's car parking, but at £15 this far outstrips a travelcard and the Thames Clipper (see my review on these if you like) can get you there in a civilised fashion for around £6 from Canary Wharf or £12 for the 'O2 Express' boats from Waterloo.
We took the tube and from the station, it's only a very short stroll along pedestrianised block paving to the main doors and an outside bar. This was doing quite a bit of trade, but we were looking for food before our night out, so we carried on through to check out the selection. Immediately inside is the cheesily named Entertainment Avenue, a covered street with a pavement café feel and an impressive range of chain restaurants.
We passed the American Bar & Grill, where I had to drag The Boyfriend away from the distractions of big screen football and turned down a Garfunkels, Slug and Lettuce, Zizzi, Nando's, Las Iguanas, Pizza Express, Frankie and Benny's and so on. There were posher and less beer and takeaway orientated restaurants such as Thai Silk and The Loft - no idea what they were serving behind the tinted windows, but it looked expensive. Hurried and hungry, we looked for somewhere that was quiet. Tucked away by escalators leading to the Vue Cinema, I was delighted to spot a Sausage & Mash café. This has to be one of my favourite chains; British food with reasonable portion sizes and prices. We sat in there for a relaxing butty and chips, then fearful of missing the start, paid our bill and made a move.
There's no smoking in the O2 and no readmission, so we paused briefly for The Boyfriend to dash outside before we were at the point of no return. On re-entry, we had to go through metal detectors and bag searches, eventually having our event tickets scanned.
You can identify the entrance you need from the letter on your ticket, then the floor level (we headed up escalators) and finally the door to take for your seats. We'd purposely waited a little late, not wanting to queue or be squashed and thankfully this had paid off. The Arena seats 20,000 people and when you enter in dim light with the dizzying drop from the top levels, it's really something. Struck by a terrible fear of plummeting over the edge, I was relieved to find our seats were on the aisle end.
The tiers are extremely narrow and in order for someone sat in the middle to get up for the toilet mid performance, the entire row has to stand. However, the view from the seats up here is amazing and despite the occasional beer spillage from the rows above, these are a far better arrangement than the flat seats in the centre of the arena. These created organised standing, as you'd have no choice but to stand to see over those in front of you.
Toilets for the arena were plentiful, clean and located near the doors. The same goes for numerous small bars and backpack beer sellers who milled around to ensure a good supply. The stewards seemed friendly enough and patient in stopping any dancing in walkways or on stairs.
Our tickets were one of my birthday presents and we were there to see the Bon Jovi Cirle Tour, which was an amazing performance in itself - I've waited sixteen years to see them live and it was worth it to see them here. The light show, the moving screens and the view were all brilliant and it was a really enjoyable evening. JBJ yelled his way through an exhausting set, turning round to address even the seats behind the stage from time to time and making us speculate as to how many drugs a man of his age needs to get through a night. Despite the size of the arena, it was pretty atmospheric.
The only problems with the O2 emerged when we tried to leave. The first was that the crowd wasn't well managed and the surge for the exit got out of hand. Things could have been improved at this point if staff had made some effort to control the crowd a bit or opened fire exits to relieve the pressure. As it was, the only way out was through the single main entrance. This had handy LED screens above, informing us that there were delays on the tube and influencing our decision to avoid another massive crush at the station by getting the Thames Clipper.
The second hassle was getting off the Greenwich Peninsula. We were lucky that our destination was served on the normal commuter route, that we were among the first out and that it was a warm dry night. In total we took an hour and a half to get back to Canary Wharf and our hotel, from which we could see the O2.
Overall the O2 is not a particularly accessible or well located arena, compared to, for example, the Astoria or Wembley and I must admit I felt a slight pang for the murky, smoky music venues of the 1990's with their sawdust floors and cans of Hooch. Part of me fears that one day this will be the only kind of place where you can watch live music and that the fun of pushing and shoving to get to the front or dancing on the spot with strangers and beer will be forgotten. But this is beautifully modern inside, has everything you could want for a top night out and makes good use of the former Dome. Add to this that it's slap bang in the middle of the regenerated and sanitised Docklands with their impressive high rise towers and fashionable restaurants and you're unlikely to be mugged by the odd hedge fund manager.
For a full list of bars and restaurants, venue information and maps, go to http://www.theo2.co.uk/index.php
The O2 was once the Millennium Dome, and it is situation on the Greenwich Peninsula in the south east of London, next to the river Thames.
Inside the O2 is many, many things. There is most famously, the O2 Arena. There is also a Vue Cinema, IndigO2, some bars and restuarants, the O2 Bubble and more!
The O2 Arena, as I said before is the the most famous part of the O2, where many musical concerts, comedian acts and wrestling shows have taken place. I had the pleasure of seeing WWE Smackdown there this week, thanks to an awesome friend for buying me the tickets for christmas! The arena is amazingly huge, with 4 levels of teired seating, and a floor level too. The height of the 4th level is insane, talk about the nosebleed sections!! There is plenty of seating, and the seats are actually very comfortable with a decent amount of room.
The O2 itself, is actually massive, although I don't remember it being that big when I went there when it was the Millennium Dome!! The fact that the O2 arena itself is so big, yet it is only a small part of the whole place amazes me! Unfortunatley I didn't get to see much of the rest of the O2 itself, although I did get to peer inside the American Grill bar and resturant, and it looks very nice in there, and I plan to visit it next time I go to the O2.
The toilets in the O2 were very clean, and even though there was thousands upon thousands of people there when I went, there was no queues for the toilets. I did find the food to be immensly expensive, and because of this I bought none in the O2 itself. In one place, it was £7.50 for cheeseburger and chips! I nearly choked on air when I read that!!
I found most of the staff were very helpful, even when I had to ask to change my seat as the ones I was allocated were not wheelchair accessable, nor was there enough room for me to stretch out my majorlly repaired knee. A couple of members of staff were a bit slow on the uptake, but all in all a good experience was had with the staff. I was impressed with the speed of service I got from customer services regarding the seat problem.
I found no litter or dirt in the O2, and the place was nicely decorated in some places, but a bit bare and boring in others. Travelling to the O2 itself was quite simple. I was staying in a hotel near Canning Town Station, and from there it was one tube stop away to North Greenwich, which brings you right outside the O2. This took all of 2 minutes and even travelling back to the hotel from the O2 was quick and easy, with tubes running every 5 minutes in both directions on the Jubilee Line, late into the night, so no matter what time you come out, and where ever you need to go, its simple and hassle free.
The O2 is a great place for entertainment, but it is not cheap, so be prepared to pay a lot for a night or day out here, but I really enjoyed the whole O2 experience, and I am sure many others will too, no matter what purpose you are visiting for.
The O2 is a massive entertainment complex which sits on the Greenwich Peninsula in South East London and has transformed from the previous inhabitant the strange and rather confused Millennium Dome - what was all that about and what a waste of money?
The main attraction at the O2 is probably the O2 arena, an enormous 23,000 capacity arena right at the centre of the O2. I had the pleasure of going there recently last Friday for the Lady Gaga concert. The concert itself was superb and so too was the arena. If your seats are quite high up like ours you have the option of either taking the stairs or riding a very modern looking escalator - escalator every time then! It's when you're on the way up that you realise the scale of the place; it's huge. The seats had plenty of legroom and were very comfortable and the view of the stage was great (although the pitch of the seating is quite steep so if you don't like heights it could be a little difficult), completely unobstructed and the sound system was amazing. The only downside for me was the lack of male toilets, I had to walk a fair way to get to them and therefore missed a bit of the concert; this could be improved. The drinks and food was quite reasonably priced I feel, although some people would think it was expensive. They kiosks were selling pints of Becks Vier for £4.30 and bottles of wine for around £20.00. This is expensive I suppose, but for an ultra modern music venue right in the heart of London I don't think we can grumble too much. We are planning to return to the O2 arena soon for the Black Eyed Peas concert; this time we will be standing.
The arena itself is mainly used for concerts and many of the big names have played there already. Capital FM also use the O2 arena as the venue for their Jingle Bell Ball and Summertime Balls. I think I'm correct in saying that it is often used for other things though; WWE Wrestling has taken place there as well as the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.
But, there is plenty more to the O2 than just the arena. Situated around it is a plethora of bars and restaurants, most of the big chains have outlets there so there is a huge selection of places to choose from and it's open late into the night. There is also a Vue Cinema (Vue @ The O2), I have never been here, but one of my friends goes all the time and says it's great. Plus there is a large nightclub called IndigO2 - I believe it can hold over 2000 clubbers, but I'm not sure on the pricing, music, entry fees or drinks available.
The O2 is certainly a great place to hang out because there is just so much to do, you could never get bored although a night there could potentially be quite damaging to the wallet. Getting there would be quite difficult you would think, but it's very hassle free. Even after the concert tubes were frequent to Greenwich North Station and moved the crowd away in a timely and orderly fashion helped by the crowd control strategy they put in place. Greenwich North is on the updated Jubilee Line. If you don't fancy the tube and this would be a better option in the summer you can catch the London River Services boats which take you up to the O2 along the River Thames. There are also many bus routes which run to the O2.
Overall, I think the O2 is a superb entertainment complex and after my first visit feel I'll be back a lot more in the future. Those of you who have never been, if you're in London you should give it a go. There is just so much to do and if you can catch a concert you won't be disappointed. Well recommended.
Thanks for reading, feel free to comment.
The O2 is a wonderful thing. Born out of the astronomical economic failure that was the Milennium Dome, it has made the best of a bad thing, and turned it into a rather excellent entertainment center, that boasts more restaurants and food outlets than you can literally shake a stick at or even think of off the top of your head, as well as a huge Vue cinema and also a 23,000-seater arena!
The easiest way to visit is via the Tube, as there's a stop that leaves you right at the foot of the O2. The walk up to it is quite magnificent if you've not seen it before, and once you get inside it is similarly quite breathtaking, and I was amazed at how much they were able to cram in there. I have not used it for a gig, but I have had a good visit round, having both eaten there and seen a film there.
Let me begin by saying that the cinema there is AWESOME. While it's not the IMAX or anything, the screen is a lot bigger than any screen you're used to, and when I saw This Is It there, it really did look fantastic. However, I was a bit disappointed to see that the picture did not fill the screen, and I wondered why they didn't just enlarge it to fill the rest of the space. There are tonnes of seats, and I imagine you could get about 1000 people in the biggest screen.
Food-wise, there's everything from basic food outlets to Pizza Express and even snazzier steak joints. Although it's not the cheapest, given that it's London and you're kind of help captive by them, the service is very robust and I have no complaints whatsoever.
Given how poorly the Dome flopped, they've turned it into something beneficial, which is now host to the world's biggest musical acts.
The O2 Arena is an entertainment/sports venue situated in what was the Millennium Dome, in Greenwich, South-East London.
The venue is situated in Greenwich, South-East London and can be reached easily by car, bus, tube, DLR and boat!
To arrive by tube, take the Jubilee line to North Greenwich and the venue is less than two minutes walk away from the station. The station can get very busy, especially after shows, but the station managers are good at maintaining the flow of people into the station to ensure the platforms don't get too crowded, which in my opinion I'd prefer than people ramming themselves into the station. The DLR also stops at North Greenwich.
There are eight bus routes that pass the o2, and some are 24 hours so there's no worries about how late the show finishes. There is also an o2 shuttle via Charing Cross that links with the London night-bus network. This can also be very busy after shows finish.
There is a large car park at the o2, however I am informed that it is very expensive to park there, and that it takes a huge amount of time to get out of the car park following shows (it can take well over an hour), so it's not recommended. The best route to the o2 is by far the Thames clipper service, which is reasonably cheap if you have a travelcard and is an impressive way to arrive in style! The boats leave from Waterloo pier and arrive right outside the o2!
The o2 is a 20,000 capacity venue for concerts, comedy events and sports events. There is a huge amount of seating, and a large space for general admission standing for music concerts. When seated there is a great view, but I should imagine the highest up seats aren't great for those with vertigo, and you might need binoculars if you're the furthest back and high up! The standing area is huge and while there's no pillars to block your view, the sheer volume of people means you can't guarantee a great view.
The sound in the o2 is significantly better than many other large music venues. It's definitely worthy of its award winning status in this respect. The size also allows for a number of different stage set ups for concerts, including the stage in the middle of the audience as seen in numerous pop concerts (i.e. Take That's recent tour).
The o2 has a number of facilities, including restaurants and cafes, bars, a nightclub and a VUE cinema. The prices of these are quite high due to being in a venue, and I do recommend eating before you arrive, but if this isn't an option at least there are some decent options for food once you arrive.
Overall, the o2 is a great venue in a great location. It is exceedingly large, and quite soulless, there is nothing quirky about the venue and it does lack character. However, compared to many venues its size it's definitely much better when it comes to the viewing options and the sound quality.
I had never been to the millenium dome so when me and my girlfriend went there to see Green Day last month it was our first visit to one of the worst business ventures of all times. The o2 arena is a place where many many music and comedy gigs are played inside, the arena itself is the biggest and most centered part of the place, also the most important but it is surrounded by numerous food outlets and a conema which apparently boasts the largest screen in London...we never got to check that out unfortunatly.
We found it very easy to get to, the tube wasn't too busy and our hotel was very close to the arena so didn't spend long on it, although the arena is quite into the east end of London. I'm not sure how we got a little lost and ended up going into the parking area but the walk into the arena from the tube station is probably about a minute, if even that. Once you walk in the veiled structure there's a large amount of open space where band merchendise, tickets and queues start. We got into the arena a good 2/3 hours early before the gig started so had plenty of time to walk around checking the place out.
Unfortunatly, and without checking prior to arriving, we turned up to find that all but 1 of the venues there were in fact, restaurants or cafes, the other was a cinema. We were a bit dissapointed with this expecting much more to do in the arena before entering the o2 itself, but perhaps we should have checked before we turned up. We ended up eating at an American bar and grill place to enjoty some steak before the gig. The food was nice and the watiers very pleasant so at least the meal was very enjoyable. However once we had finished and with about an hour and a half till open doors we were left with not an awful lot to do so just wondered around aimlessley trying to kill some time.
Once into the arena itself I was surprised at the Americanism of everything, the electronic board signs showing around the place, people coming around asking whether we wanted drinks, all the fast food stalls around the entrances, all the assistants may as well have been speaking with deep Texan accents, it would have suited it better. We were sat in block 112 for the gig which ended up being right beside the stage, although we were in block U we got a near perfect view of the entire gig so can't complain about that...having said we weren't sat down for any of the gig.
The exit from the arena itself was perfectly fine until all entrances forged into one half way around the perimeter of the o2, this is when things got bad and once outside the huge queue for the tube began, we waited a good half an hour in the cold waiting to be let into the tube station before getting onto a completley rammed tube and hopping the 2 stops before we managed to somehow get off. Perhaps this isn't the o2's fault but it being so close to the tube station with little other option just escalates the problems.
Overall I was slightly disspointed with it, it's built up to be this huge venue and the best in Britain but there isn't an awful lot to it, I'd have rather been out in the cold watching them at the MK bowl again (not that it was cold last time I was there). The Americanisism of British culture of becoming too obvious and would much rather it be left as it was. There's were far too many different restaurants there which leads to an image of a large and well thought out space but insteadon restaurant, maybe a cafe and then you're bored for a few hours. Not to mention everything seemed slightly overpriced, whether this was the o2 or the band I'm not sure but at the MK bowl in 2005 stuff was alot cheaper.
The o2 is by far my favourite venue to go to in London. The parking facilities are great and the train station is close by so it is really convenient. You have everything you want all under one roof, there is a great range of resturants, bars and even a Vue cinema. If you go to the cinema you get your parking for free when you show your cinema ticket!
The o2 is very clean and is always a pleasure to go to. The staff are pleasant and the layout is very well thought out. I have seen a number of music artists and comedy acts in the arena and the shows have always been enjoyable, run smoothly and a really good night out. If you don't like heights try and avoid the seats in the upper tier as they are very high up. Those that like to go clubbing, there is Matter - one of the best night clubs I have ever been to! The club has two rooms mainly playing dance and drum n bass.
The Arena itself (with up to 23,000 capacity) has been voted the world's best for two years running now, and assuming everything goes smoothly its easy to see why. Emphasis is on getting people in and out quickly and easily, with a good, unobstructed view from the seating and excellent acoustics.
The Arena is quite versatile as a venue, with the ability to have various stage setups (such as a standard venue, or a centre stage where the crowd surrounds), as well as being an ice-rink and sports arena (if you look towards the roof you will see the basketball score machine). Unlike some older venues, the Arena has no supporting columns, so as long as the person in front of you isn't a giant you should have an unobstructed view of the stage.
There are outlets around the Arena, providing food, drink and merchandise. The food and drink can be quite pricey (£4.50 for a pint), but this is the standard price for any captive audience in a music or sports venue. You also cant bring food into the Arena. The merchandise outlets provide various event merchandise.
Merchandise tip: The Foyer stand outside the entrance will always have the most stock and variety, but
Money tip: There are few cash machines in the o2, as many people choose to pay by card instead. If you do want cash, it may be worth using those within the tube and bus station, as there are only 3 in the o2 (outside the Arena) itself. These are situated in the Main Entrance Foyer opposite Gates A, B and C. There is one cash machine inside the Arena, situated at door 117.
All in all, the o2 Arena itself is an excellent venue, world class and good to visit (as I have done myself several times). You wont find better in the UK.
The O2 arena is the after math of the Millennium Dome, an iconic structure with great shape and form. Is the transformation worthwhile? We shall see...
The O2 arena is a quick few minutes' walk from North Greenwich and is extremely accessible not only by underground but by bus as well.
The O2 uses the space set out already and converts the space into a modern metropolis of cafes, restaurants and other entertainment venues: bars, clubs, discos, concert halls, cinema and more.
It is a "hip" place to go to and very heavily advertised under O2, and with them, you are likely to get free tickets and information about gigs and events before anyone else!
It is a really great place to visit, as they have a range of services to suit a good day out. Personally, the cinema is great as it is big, and you are likely to catch some great movies in 3D there if they don't do it in your local cinema.
Also, many great concerts and gigs are held at the O2, for example, Britney Spear's Circus Tour, and the P!nk Funhouse tour in December this year. If you want to see the biggest names in music, try the O2.
When I went, there was also a Rollerskate Disco, which brought a little bit of retro fun there, which was great!
They have a great range of restaurants, although many are not fast food, so don't expect to see the McDonald's or KFC, they don't have one.
Prices in restaurants are generally the same, with the odd few being slightly more expensive due to it being in a central London position.
The cinema is also slightly more expensive, and more so for 3D releases.
Gigs are relative, but at this venue it is quite worth it if it is someone you really want to see!
The conversion from the Millenium Dome to the O2 Arena is a good one, a transformation of space to an entertainment venue that is iconic to London, and shall be for a while. It has great features, venues and holds events to be remembered.
When I went, it was quite isolated not alot of people, perhaps its just spaceous but it was really quite empty! Maybe it was just that one time ...
Hopefully, it will be able to continue to expand and improve the services that exist.
I had visited the o2 when it was the Millennium Dome and was really impressed. Therefore, when we visited yesterday to see the show Disney on Ice, I had high expectations. Obviously depending on why your there, prices fluctuate. For example to see Disney on Ice Princess Wishes it cost £26.50 but to see Beyonce next week it is £50.
When you book tickets at the o2 you are advised to book your car parking in advance. I believe this is a different cost for each performance, with the lowest cost being £10. You have to pay the statutory rate which allows you 24hours even if you are only planning on being 4 hours. We booked ours online which was very simple and quick to do, to gain access to the car park on arrival you must insert the card you used to pay with. Total price of parking was £11.75 as there is a £1.75 booking fee. I thought this was quite steep as we were only going to be 3 hours but it is worth the money just to have peace of mind that you will arrive on time. You can also pay in the car park when you are there (minus the £1.75 booking fee).
Arriving at the o2 we found it was very clearly signposted and there were numerous members of staff waiting to help you. Going into the car park there were staff there both to let you in and guide you to spaces. I have to say I wasn't too impressed with the car park as it looked quite tired and was nothing special. I know we were only leaving the car there but I was expecting something better from the o2!
From all the car parks the o2 itself is about a 5-10 minute walk. Those who are disabled can park closer providing they have a blue badge. The walk is safe and any roads which need to be crossed have pedestrian crossings. Arriving at the o2 you immediately notice how huge it is and how modern and contemporary it looks! You enter through glass doors to the foyer where there are a number of bars and restaurants. If you follow the path to the left you will find more bars and restaurants including Nandos, Pizza Express and Chop Chop Stir Fry. There are a number of interesting things to look at here but some sections did look a bit like a building site. There is also a VUE cinema here which was showing all the latest films at reasonable prices.
Also in the foyer you have the opportunity to purchase merchandise for the show you are about to see, I will warn you though this is very expensive! For example, for Disney on Ice a bag of candyfloss was £7, a plastic trunk with popcorn in was £8, a colouring book was £5 and a 6' tall Minnie or Micky Mouse was £11.
Once the gates open for your show you are allowed through the glass doors after showing your tickets and up the stairs/escalator/lifts to the arena. Around the arena there are a number of places to purchase food or merchandise and plenty of toilets (the website boasts 548!). You are given a number on your ticket and by going to this entrance you will enter the arena closer to your seat, making it easier to find. There were staff at each entrance which helped you to your seat or directed you.
The arena itself is huge! It is cicular in shape with one end cut off with seats all around including boxes and superior seats right at the front. The seats are comfy and easy to find. We were in row X which is almost at the back and we had a fantastic view throughout the performance.
After the show, leaving the arena was easy, there was no queueing or waiting around due to the amount of exits. When leaving, there were staff trying to sell more merchandise but they were not pushy and did not approach either adults or children, instead waiting for you to approach them.
An overhead tannoy told us we had qualified for free entry to the British Music Experience because we had seen a show at the o2. We went along to this which gave us an insight into music over the decades. It was very interactive, providing us with tickets with microchips in order to experience it again when arriving home. This was a nice added touch and we spent half an hour in here but in my opinion would not have been worth visiting the arena for alone.
The o2 is very clean and I was very satisfied with the cleanliness of the toilets and eating facilities. I didnt have to queue for the toilets at all which I thought was fantastic, even it the interval of our show. There were a great deal of staff about the place who were all keen to help and direct you should you need it.
The prices in the o2 as I said before were very very high. They do state that you are not allowed to take your own food or drink into the venue however I saw many people with their own food and nothing was said.
Overall, we really enjoyed out experience at the o2 and I hope to go again some time. The venue was obviously very well thought out in both design and the way they run it. It was very high class and I witnessed no problems throughout our day. I had a really high sense of safeness there as although it was very busy, I felt that if either of the kids had wandered off they would be found easily and quickly.
I would recommend visiting the o2 for an event as it is very high class and a nice place to visit. However, the prices are very high so do be aware of this and take plenty of spending money!
The O2, is a large entertainment district on the Greenwich peninsula in South East London. The O2 was opened in 2007 after the redevelopment for the Millennium Dome. The Millennium Dome was a large dome-shaped building built to house an exhibition celebrating the turn of the third millennium. The Dome remains a name in common usage for the venue due to this. The O2 has an indoor arena, a music club, a cinema, an exhibition space, bars and restaurants.
The Entertainment Avenue is a modern and very clever pedestrian avenue within The O2. The street is all within the dome and has artificial palm trees and other decorations aloud the street. The buildings were built just like normal ones. The foundations had to be laid and roofs installed. Just clever that that was all done in side another building. There are so many restaurants and bars down this street that you will be spoilt for choose. But when there is a concert on the area will be full to the rafters. The street also includes a music club known as indigO2, an exhibition space known as The O2 bubble and a cinema managed by Vue.
indigO2 is a live music club that hold small music events and parties. The capacity of the space is and contains four bars. The space has also been used to hosted 'bootcamp' for the reality TV show, The X Factor'. I have not tried this personally but I know a few people who have I have been advised the space is excellent for small intermit gigs.
The O2 Bubble is a two-storey bubble-shaped exhibition space built to museum standards. The area opened in November 2007. Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs was the first exhibition in the Bubble and it now houses Body Worlds & The Mirror of Time.
Vue @ The O2 is a cinema that has 11 screens. The cinema has a massive 770 capacity auditorium which is the biggest in London.
The O2 arena
The O2 arena is a 23,000 capacity arena used live music, sporting events. It is located at the centre of The O2 with all the cinemas and entertainment districts around it. The arena and its facilities are housed in an independent building within the dome structure. This means that the sound inside stays inside. I have seen a few concerts here, Lionel Richie being one. The space is brilliant, the sound is great and all the seats have perfect view. But the top section is so high that the seats come with a vertigo warning.
I was surprised when the O2 became a concert venue, after it was the millenium dome. I thought Wembley Stadium would be enough but how wrong I was. There seem to be more than enough concerts and so on to keep the O2 arena occupied aswell as Wembley.
The O2 really became famous when Michael Jackson announced his tour dates there. The biggest series of come back gigs ever and he chose the O2. Even though they never ended up happening the amount of publicity it generated was still great.
I got tickets to see the Spice Girls at the O2. I didn't necessarily chose to go there its just the nearest venue to me. I left my house with plenty of time to get there, but it ended up taking next to no time at all. Whereas Wembley is in the centre of London, the O2 isn't so there is no traffic and ample parking. I parked at the arena, although it was expensive £20 and we could have just tried to park nearby, I hadn't been there so wasn't sure and the £20 was piece of mind.
What I didn't realize was that the O2 wasn't just one concert venue. It has tons of restaurants, bars, exhibitions etc. If I had realized I would have come earlier and made more of my time there. I was told before hand that there is not a single bad seat in the arena, which is certainly right, but one thing worth noting is that be careful chosing your seats if you are scared of heights. The O2 is definitely worth a trip.
The O2 Arena was a good thing to come out of the heavily criticised Millenium Dome. It is an arena located in the middle of the O2 complex and is used for a variety of purposes. Not only is it one of the largest indoor arenas in Europe but it also holds the name of the Worlds Busiest Arena which just goes to show that some good as come out of the Millenium Dome in Greenwich. The maximum capacity of the O2 Arena is 23,000 but this will vary depending on the event as less can be used for events which take up more floor space such as Ice Hockey. After the closure of the Millenium Experience, it was revamped as an entertainment facility and in 2007 the O2 Arena opened.
When I visited the O2 Arena it was for a musical event to see Nickelback. Not the best band in the world but they certainly put on a good show. I will run through the experience from start to finish to try and give you a good feel of the Arena.
You can access the Arena easily using public transport with North Greenwich station being right beside the Arena. Once out of the station the complex is just there beside you. Once inside the complex you will be inside a ring if you will, with the O2 Arena being the centre piece. Along this ring are bars, restaurants, toilet areas and shops to keep you busy if you have time before using the Arena. There are specified areas to queue which took a fair amount of time but it was handled reasonably well in my opinion.
We were situated right at the front of the upper tier so had a good but death defying view of the Arena. The Arena is an impressive sight and is by far the biggest indoor arena that I have been to. There are seats on three sides of the Arena all with upper and lower tier seating. For some events floor space is also used. I was a little dissapointed with our seats as it was a big risk to your safety jumping up and down and dancing about with the saefty barrier being just a tad higher than your waist standing up. Obviously this only applies to them seats though. Since the arena is big there is a lot of space for sound to escape but the arena is very enclosed which did help it.
Exiting the arena is not difficult, but exiting the complex is a different matter. Due to the outskirts of the arena being a ring shape it can get very congested after an event with there only being a few exits around the complex. What this does ensure though is when you are out of the complex it is pretty easy getting to the station and you do not have to wait long for a train. So I suppose, the ring of the O2 complex is the Wembley Way of Wembley.
The O2 Arena is a great indoor arena which has hosted many sporting, musical, comedy and one off events and is due to play a part in the 2012 London Olympics by hosting artistic gymnastics and the basketball final.