Wednesday, 13 August 2008

The O2 arena: No place like Dome

Since then the former Millennium Dome has become the most popular music venue in the world, with the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Spice Girls selling out its 20,000-seat arena.
But why has the O2, in Greenwich, south-east London, been such a success, and has it damaged other music venues?
When David Campbell became chief executive of the O2's owners, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), he knew it would be a challenge, but thought the capital was crying out for a decent music arena.

"Our main competitors - Wembley Arena and Earls Court - were built in the 1930s and neither was primarily a music venue," he says.
"The Dome was an iconic building recognised around the world. It's in a great location. The issue was its content."
But he was surprised how quickly the O2, as it was re-christened in 2005, took off.
"We thought would take years but it happened in months," he says.
'Big impact'
Much of the O2's success is down to the artists who perform there and the fact that AEG is the world's second largest event promotion company has helped draw in the big names.

By Andy Dangerfield BBC News

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