In a year that saw 219 arena shows, six residencies, over 10 first-time performances, a record number of boxing events and its 25 millionth ticket being sold – The O2 concluded 2019 with its highest accolade, being named Venue of The Decade by Billboard magazine.
Emma Bownes, VP of venue programming, commented: “To be recognised as Venue of the Decade is such an honour and something we have to thank all of the artists, promoters, agents, managers, partners and fans for – without them we could never have reached this milestone.
“2019 has been an incredible year and we’re proud to have hosted 219 performances and welcomed world class content. Our 2020 calendar is already looking great and we’re so looking forward to another brilliant decade.”
Since 2010, The O2 arena has hosted over 2,000 events which kicked off with Bon Jovi performing on the roof and has welcomed global stars including; Beyoncé, Drake, Taylor Swift, Rihanna and Little Mix numerous times since.
Achievements in world class sporting events include being the host venue for the London 2012 Games, NBA season games, 10 years of the Nitto ATP Finals and becoming the home of British boxing have all contributed in cementing The O2 as the world’s number one arena. In 2019, The O2 welcomed RugbyX for the first time while also welcoming the return of UFC and Gymnastics.
Award ceremonies have made The O2 their home with the National Television Awards and BRIT Awards returning each year and, in 2013, The O2 hosted the first ever Country to Country event, which pushed out country music to the mainstream and is now Europe’s largest country music festival.
Started by Prince in 2007 after his 21 performances, The O2 21 Club has inducted 8 new members over the last decade including comedians, Michael McIntyre and Micky Flanagan, and bands, One Direction and Take That, who hold the record for the most amount of performances in the arena at 34. Most recently, Drake and Michael Bublé were given the accolade.
Comedy has been a huge part of programming at The O2 with comedians including Lee Evans, Trevor Noah, Miranda Hart, Jack Whitehall and Eddie Izzard performing there.
The O2 has welcomed a host of artists and guests for the first time this year including Bjork, Cher, Liam Gallagher, Michelle Obama, Jo Jo Siwa, Travis Scott, George Ezra and The Chemical Brothers.
Naming rights partner O2, has ensured fans at the venue are at the heart of everything through presales via Priority and onsite customer experiences. In 2010, O2 renewed their agreement with the venue for a further 10 years.
Outside of the arena, the venue has seen a huge transformation over the last decade with the addition of Hollywood Bowl, Oxygen Freejumping, Cineworld extension, ICON Outlet, Mamma Mia! The Party and ABBA Super Troupers: The Exhibition. Up at The O2, the roofwalk over the venue, opened in 2012 and has recently celebrated a record year.
In 2019, Good Vibes All Round was launched, an initiative to promote all the venue does in relation to sustainability, accessibility, charity and community. Moving in to 2020, The O2 is committed to each of these areas and will continue to work with chosen charities, The BRIT School, Nordoff Robbins, Music Venues Trust and MQ – transforming mental health.