O2 Arena announces reopening

The O2 Arena has announced that it will host its first live music event for more than eight months, with British band Squeeze set to play to socially distanced fans on 5th December. The event is a major step forward in getting the live event industry back up and running after all venues were closed in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The socially distanced event will see the venue’s capacity reduced from 20,000 to 4700, with tickets being sold in groups of twos, threes and fours only and a seating configuration which is in line with the UK government’s one metre plus guidelines. Seats will remain empty between each group and one-way routes have been installed throughout the arena and concourse.

To ensure the customer experience is contactless, all ticketing will use AXS Mobile ID via The O2 venue app, which also enables pre-ordering of food and drink as well as merchandise to reduce queuing with fast collection lanes. Visitors will only be allowed to bring a single clear bag into the arena and the wearing of face coverings will be mandatory, except when eating and drinking within the seats. The show will end by 10pm to allow fans to leave the site safely at a distance. 

Steve Sayer, The O2 GM and VP, said: “We have been working incredibly hard to bring back events and put measures in place to ensure our fans will have a safe and Covid-19 secure experience. At the moment, we’re only able to host under a quarter of our capacity in the arena, so this is not a long term solution for us or other venues and we continue to press the government for targeted support and guidance to get the live events industry and its supply chain back on its feet.

“The O2 was designed to give artists and fans the best live music in the world and we look forward to doing that again with Squeeze. As The O2 returns to live, it’s really fitting that a band from the local area are the ones to reopen our doors to the public once again. The whole team are excited to see them on our stage for the first time.”