The O2 will host its first live music event for more than eight months when it welcomes a socially distanced show by Squeeze on December 5.
The arena event promises to be a major step forward in getting the live event industry back up and running after the March shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The concert will see the venue’s capacity reduced from 20,000 to 4,700, 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.
Steve Sayer, The O2 GM and VP, said: “We have been working incredibly hard to bring back events at The O2 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.”
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.
We are excited to be promoting a live music show again after what seems like an eternity!
Steve Homer, AEG Presents
The O2 has purchased electrostatic foggers to deliver a charged anti-bacterial spray across the venue that will envelope all surfaces, providing protection for up to 30 days, with a heightened cleaning regime before, during and after the event.
AEG Presents CEO Steve Homer added: “We are excited to be promoting a live music show again after what seems like an eternity! Squeeze, hailing originally from Greenwich, are a perfect artist to kick things back off again at The O2 and we are delighted they are supporting such an important step of getting back to live music.”
Tickets go on general sale at 10am on Friday, October 9.
For six weeks during the pandemic, the NHS transformed The O2 arena into a training facility for those going on to work at the NHS Nightingale Hospital at ExCel London. The facility closed on Friday, May 22. Most recently, fans were invited back for ticketed arena backstage tours, which ended on September 27.