The O2 Premiere in London
Part of: Graduate School in Oxford
Back in 2000, London put on a big celebration of the millennium. Most of the additions to the city were built to last and can still be seen today, including:
...and the Millennium Dome. This is basically a big tent, 365m in diameter (to represent the days of the year), that's held up by steel cables and 12 support towers (one for each month of the year). All the time stuff represents Greenwich Mean Time.
The Dome is located way out in east London near Greenwich and turned out not to be as popular as the others. It housed exhibitions on the millennium throughout 2000, but lost a lot of money. After 2000, it didn't attract the bidders to buy it that the builders had hoped for.
But recently, the cell/mobile phone company O2 bought the Dome and renamed it "The O2." It was reconstructed inside to serve as a sports and concert arena and reopened to the public on Sunday for a Bon Jovi concert. But since David works for O2, we got to be special and visit it a day early for "The O2 Premiere," a free event just for O2 employees.
We had quite an adventure trying to reach The O2 on foot, since it's on a peninsula and not reached by many bridges! More on that in a later post.
The concert/sports arena is in the center of the Dome, and the outside is ringed with restaurants and bars and a nightclub. It was extremely crowded when we arrived and the lines for all the restaurants and bathrooms were endless. They'll definitely have to fix that if they want this venture to succeed!
But it was interesting to see the Dome and we had good seats for a couple British comedians (despite our two years here still we didn't get all the jokes), Tom Jones and the Kaiser Chiefs. They were both great, and knickers were thrown on the stage during Tom Jones in accordance with tradition.
We left in the middle of the Kaiser Chiefs, in part to miss the huge exodus onto the Tube when it finished at 10pm and in part because it was too loud! We both were in near pain at the loudness and we both swear it's not because we're old.
Having learned our lesson on the way to the Dome, we took the Tube back. Below is the London Bridge station where we changed lines - wonderfully retro.
We got a hotel in London and made a weekend of it. It rained most of the time which was very annoying, but we still did some good sightseeing and had a great time. Highlights soon.