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Live events to return to The O2 in December

The O2 arena in London will welcome 4,700 socially distanced fans in December after being closed for nine months due to COVID-19.

The return of live music to the 20,000-capacity venue will be headlined by Squeeze and feature Leon Tilbrook on December 5.

Fans will be able to purchase tickets, which go on sale this Friday, in groups of two, three or four. All ticketing at The O2 is now digital using AXS Mobile ID.

The O2 will implement a one-way system throughout the arena and entrances, while all separate groups of fans will have empty seats between them. Food and drink can also be pre-ordered via an app.

In addition, electrostatic antibacterial foggers have been brought in to spray across all surfaces around the venue, providing protection for up to 30 days, a media release about the event said. There will also be a “heightened cleaning regime before, during and after” the show.

Steve Sayer, general manager at The O2, 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.”

Steve Homer, AEG Presents chief executive, 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.”

During the pandemic, which initially halted live events for months, the Virgin Money Unity Arena opened in Newcastle in August as a socially distanced outdoor venue.