The O2 in London has announced today (Thursday) that its first socially distanced live music event, featuring rock band Squeeze, has been pushed back until February 27 amid logistical concerns caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The event had initially been due to take place on December 5, with The O2 having planned on letting 4,700 spectators into the 20,000-capacity arena. The gig would have been the first live music event at The O2 since the venue closed in March but it has now been postponed by almost three months as England remains in lockdown.
Plans for the December event were first revealed in October. Fans were able to purchase tickets in groups of two, three or four and The O2 would have implemented a one-way system throughout the arena and entrances.
All separate groups of fans would have empty seats between them, with food and drink able to be pre-ordered via an app. Electrostatic antibacterial foggers were also brought in to spray across all surfaces around the venue, providing protection for up to 30 days.
Despite the extensive planning and safety measures that have been put in place, The O2 has been forced to reschedule the event.
“Our arena is the beating heart of The O2 and we hugely miss the live experiences that we’re used to sharing with our fans,” Steve Sayer, vice-president and general manager of The O2, said. “It’s disappointing to have to delay this show but I would like to say how grateful we are for the support we’ve received from the industry, fans and our partners and we look forward to Squeeze performing in the arena next year.”
Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze added: “I was really looking forward to the show at The O2 in December, to be back on the stage with our wonderful band, but of course everyone’s safety is paramount. With the show being rescheduled for February, that allows even more time to make this a very special evening. I wish you all well during these uncertain times. Stay safe.”
In line with government measures, The O2 has been partly closed since November 5 and will remain so until December 2.
Areas which are closed include the Icon Outlet, bars and restaurants, Oxygen Freejumping, Hollywood Bowl and Up at The O2, but the arena itself currently staging tennis’ ATP Finals, albeit without fans in attendance. The O2 has staged the ATP Finals since 2009 but from next year the event will be held at Turin’s Pala Alpitour.
Image: The O2