The O2 (originally the Point) - Dublin
The O2 is a concert and events venue in Dublin, which opened on 16 December 2008. It is located in the Point Village on the North Wall Quay of the River Liffey, amongst the Dublin Docklands. The Point Village is also well-known for its 35m (110ft) high “Giant Man” proposal. The O2 was built on the site of the former Point Theatre, a smaller music venue which operated from 1988 - 2007. Following its closure, the site underwent major redevelopment and, in Ireland's first major naming rights deal, was renamed after the telecommunication brand, O2, similar to the O2 in London.
O2 paid €25 million and, as part of the deal, 10-15 per cent of concert tickets will be made available to their 1.6 million Irish subscribers up to 48 hours in advance of going on general sale. O2 mobile customers will also get fast-track access to the venue on the night of gigs and have exclusive use of two of the 14 bars on site. The mobile phone company also plans to make music content from Live Nation events around the world available to its subscribers.
The arena has a capacity of over 14,500 (standing) or 9,500 (seated) and intends to stage 150 live events each year, catering to a projected target audience of two million customers annually. It is the largest indoor venue in the country. Prior to re-development, the seating capacity was 3,500 or 6,000 standing.
Events in the O2 are controlled by Live Nation, a live events company based in Beverly Hills, California, who own half of the venue. Live Nation is a spin-off of Clear Channel Communications, who separated the live music part of their business for legal reasons. Mike Adamson of Live Nation Ireland claimed that Irish fans had been short-changed when attending major events in the previous venue due to size restrictions. "It wasn't always possible to get every show touring in Europe into the venue because of restrictions. It is now. Some shows couldn't fit. For example, George Michael could only stage three-quarters of his production in the Point. We're up there now with other venues in Europe." Developer Harry Crosbie said that the Point had had a "grungy" feel "which suited Dublin at the time". He claimed that the O2 would be a "stunning venue" created for a more "sophisticated" audience.