The O2 in London has confirmed plans to reopen tomorrow (Friday) after “rigorous” safety checks deemed the venue safe, secure and structurally sound following damage caused by Storm Eunice last week.
The storm led to panels on The O2’s famous domed roof being ripped off last Friday, leaving a substantial hole.
The damage led to two headline shows from rapper Dave being postponed on Monday and Tuesday. The O2 had tentatively set a reopening date of tomorrow and this has now been confirmed by the arena, with Dave’s two shows having been rescheduled for next Monday and Tuesday.
In a statement, The O2 said that the hole in the fabric caused by Storm Eunice will remain visible for “some time” while a permanent solution is put in place. However, the damage is limited to an isolated area within The O2’s premium shopping experience, Icon Outlet.
This section of the venue will remain closed while essential works continue. The outlet features over 60 shops and venues, with further communication on the reopening of these sites to be made in the coming weeks.
The O2 said that a “monumental effort” has been made to secure the venue over the past few days, with works to continue in the coming weeks. A team of experts, including the structural engineers who originally worked on the building design, has been engaged to address the required repairs.
A new entrance tunnel has been constructed by Entrance H of the arena to allow guests to enter and exit the venue in a safe and protected manner.
The first show at the arena following the reopening will be a UB40 concert tomorrow, with all future scheduled events set to go ahead as planned. The 2,800-capacity indigo at The O2 venue will also reopen for live events from Saturday.
Steve Sayer, vice-president and general manager of The O2, said: “Confirming our reopening after such a short closure is a huge testament to everyone who is working so hard to get us open again.
“Safety will always be our number one priority and as a venue, we have always been proud of the standards we hold and delivering a best in class fan and artist experience. On behalf of The O2, I would like to thank our partners, the industry, our staff and all the fans for their support and patience. We’re back, we’re safe and we can’t wait to see you soon.”
Janine Constantin-Russell, managing director of the entertainment district and Icon Outlet, added: “We are delighted to be reopening the doors at The O2 and can’t wait to get back to doing what we do best, which is providing a world-class experience for our visitors.
“Whilst Icon Outlet will sadly be remaining closed for the time being, we’re incredibly proud to be opening the rest of the venue after such a short closure and are grateful to all of our brand partners and customers who have supported us during this time.”
Image: The O2