7 Things You Might Not Know About The O2
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It’s the busiest arena in the world
Yep – a few years ago we edged out the competition and were officially recognised for hosting more events than anywhere else in the world. That includes Madison Square Garden in New York, by the way. We also have the second highest seating capacity of any indoor venue, with Manchester Arena just about beating us. We’re not too worried, though – we’re ten times the size of St Paul’s Cathedral, which is pretty impressive!
The O2 wasn’t always The O2
Remember the Millennium Dome? Well, that’s us! Indeed, a lot of people have forgotten that the huge (and controversial) temporary exhibition that celebrated the year 2000 was converted into the beautiful and bustling entertainment powerhouse that you see today.
The arena itself is a shape-shifter
Architects designed the seating inside the arena to be as flexible as possible. Our space can be converted into anything, from an exhibition to an ice-rink. We can even transform it into a basketball court! (It’s no wonder we were a key player in The London Olympics…!)
Expert sound quality
Ever noticed how concerts sound just that little bit clearer and sharper at The O2? That’s no accident. We were determined to get rid of the pesky echo that haunts so many of London’s other concert halls, so we hired U2’s sound manager, Joe O’Herlihy, to work alongside our acoustic engineers, and together they managed to create the amazing ambience we enjoy today.
Her Majesty’s Secret Service
We have such a distinct look in the London skyline that producers in the James Bond franchise couldn’t help but use us in the famous opening scene in The World Is Not Enough. Mr Bond himself rolls down our lightweight roof. Alright, it was 1999 at the time and we weren’t technically The O2 yet – but that’s still a pretty cool part of our history. Blessed by 007 himself.
You can climb the building
We realised pretty quickly that lots of insane people were going to try and climb our massive tent-like structure, whether we liked it or not. So, instead of getting stressy about it, we decided to invest in a few harnesses, hire a handful of professionals, and actually help these mentalists chase the London Skyline. Our guides will give you the most unique tour of London you’ll ever experience, from above! We’ve even got an app that labels the buildings in the city vista, so you can learn more about the city at your own pace. @jingzhang119 described it to be like ‘Walking on the moon! #o2climb #london #gearpro #UpatTheO2 @UpatTheO2.’
It’s actually pretty cheap and cheerful
You don’t have to spend £80 on front row seats in order to have a great experience at The O2. We’ve got a world class Bowling Alley – The Brooklyn Bowl – which also doubles up as a music venue for up and coming artists, and a restaurant serving food inspired by America’s deep South. @SnellyKat pretty much sums it up with her hashtag hotpot: ‘#girls #O2 #OutOut #funk #soul #lovelondon #London #greenwich @ Brooklyn Bowl London.’ We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, although we might’ve included #boys in there. Boys love bowling too, Katie.
We’ve also got a Cineworld with all the usual trims and trappings of popcorn, pick ‘n mix, and ice cream. Plus there are dozens of restaurants and bars, nestled together in our pleasant concourse – everything you need for a night out on a budget.