19 Dec 2023
The world's busiest arena: The O2 celebrates record-breaking 2023
- The world-famous venue reports strongest year for ticket sales, with over 2.5 million tickets sold and record-breaking sales across multiple genres;
- Milestone moments: celebrates hosting 3,000 arena events and selling over 30 million tickets since opening in 2007
- Receives string of industry award wins and accolades, including ‘Venue of the Year’ and hosts a year of stand-out artist residencies.
London, Tuesday 19 December 2023, 11am: The O2 is celebrating a stellar year of ticket sales, with over 2.5 million arena tickets sold in 2023. This record-breaking stat follows 2.3 million tickets being sold by the world-famous venue in 2022 and supports a 9.3% increase in year-on-year ticket sales since 2019 (excluding Covid years).
Since opening in 2007, The O2 has firmly established its position as the world’s most popular live entertainment, leisure and retail destination, having welcomed over 100 million visitors, sold over 30 million tickets, and most recently hosted its milestone 3000th event with the legendary Tom Jones (Sunday 17 December). In 2023 alone The O2 hosted 216 events from the very best acts in country music, hip-hop & rap, R&B, rock and comedy.
Steve Sayer, newly promoted Senior Vice President and General Manager at The O2 said: “2023 has been a phenomenal year of milestones at The O2 – from headline performances with some of the world’s most iconic performers like Madonna and Elton John, to surpassing over 30 million tickets sold at the venue. Our record-breaking ticket sales continue to position The O2 as the world’s busiest arena and we look forward to building on this legacy in 2024 and beyond.”
It’s also been a record-breaking year for Priority at The O2, with over 390,000 Priority tickets sold to O2 and Virgin Media customers this year – a 67% increase from 2022.
Alongside a record-breaking year of ticket sales, The O2 has also won a string of industry awards in 2023, including 'Best Visitor Experience' at the Access All Areas Magazine Awards, 'Venue of the Year' at the London Venue & Catering Awards, and ‘The LIVE Green Award’ at The LIVE Awards. This follows the world-famous venue being awarded the prestigious ‘Venue of the Decade’ award for the 2020’s by Billboard. Furthermore, the venue has continued to launch industry-leading initiatives, including most recently with the venue’s Green Rider – a document intended to drive real industry change and make live events at the world-famous venue more sustainable.
Alongside iconic residencies with Madonna, Elton John and more, The O2 has also seen a rise in first timer performers in the arena this year, with 24 artists playing The O2 for the very first time, compared to 12 in 2022, including the likes of Ateez, Wu-Tang Clan, 21 Savage, SZA and Louis Tomlinson.
Steve Sayer added: “It really is thanks to the fans, but we also couldn’t provide a best-in-class experience at The O2 without the support of our partners, including our ticketing partner AXS, who have been integral to this record-breaking year of ticket sales, and our naming rights partner Virgin Media O2, who have had another incredible year with Priority tickets. Here’s to all of the fans, bands and brands who’ve supported us this year – we can’t wait for what’s to come in the new year.”
2024 is set to be an exciting year at The O2, with the venue set to host the world’s first carbon removed events, in collaboration with carbon removal experts CUR8 and sustainable event specialists A Greener Future, at The 1975’s headline shows in February 2024.
For more information on the events coming up at The O2, please visit our website here.
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Notes to Editors
- Strong tickets sales have occurred across a multitude of genres, from rock and RnB to comedy and country music.
- In 2023, The O2 has seen a rck resurgence, including the iconic returns of Blink-182, Paramore, Fall Out Boy, along with the return of Hip-Hop favourites Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent and Busta Rhymes. These shows, and many others within the rock genre, have contributed to over 865,000 tickets sold this year.
- Sales have als soared for artists of Asian descent, with over 70,000 tickets sold this year for artists including Hng Kong singer-songwriter Terence Lam and South Korean group AESPA.
- The venue kicked ff its extensive Country music line-up for the year with the return of the sold-out Country-to-Country festival in March. A further nine country music shows were subsequently held across the year, including Country superstars Luke Combs and Shania Twain, resulting in over 130,000 tickets sold across the genre. A record-breaking number of tickets for Country shows at The O2, this was spearheaded by Mrgan Wallen’s recent headline show at the venue, which saw the highest number of tickets sold by a Country artist at the venue, with over 17,000 fans in attendance.
- 2023 has als been a successful year for comedy at The O2, with the inaugural Just Fr Laughs LONDON cross-campus comedy festival in March, and the first full year of Peter Kay’s monthly residency (currently running until April 2025). Alongside nine shows from Micky Flanagan, as well as performances from Jack Whitehall and Trevor Noah, the genre as a whole has sold over 480,000 tickets at the venue this year.
- The venue has als seen big success in sport, with the return of UFC and boxing with Anthony Joshua, as well hosting WWE’s Smackdown and Money in the Bank events, the latter of which set a new record for the highest-grossing arena event in WWE history.
- Emma Bownes, VP of Venue Programming at The O2 said: “What has been particularly exciting to see is that our record-breaking ticket sales have been across such a broad range of genres, from Country to Comedy, RnB to Rock. We’re so grateful to the artists, promoters, agents, managers, and all the touring teams involved for bringing such incredible shows to The O2 arena this year. We look forward to an even bigger and better 2024 with some amazing artists already confirmed and lots more to come.”
- In 2024, The O2 is set to host 4+ headline shows from Take That, Olivia Rodrigo, Liam Gallagher, Michael McIntyre, The Killers, Girls Aloud – as well as the return of Country-to-Country Festival, The BRIT Awards, and more.