London’s O2 has today (May 17) announced that it will hold full capacity gigs from August.
The venue will re-open with a series of ‘Welcome Back’ events which will see artists playing to full capacity crowds for the first time since March 2020.
The first event to be announced was ‘Mo Gilligan and Friends and The Black British Takeover’ which will see the comedian perform at the O2 on December 8. Tickets for that event will go on sale here on May 21 from 10am.
Further events from August through to December will be announced soon, and promise to include some “rock, pop and dance” events.
Steve Sayer, VP and General Manager of The O2 said: “We’re ready to welcome full capacity crowds back to The O2 again, and The Welcome Back Shows are going to bring so much joy to fans who have been missing us almost as much as we’ve been missing them.
“We have created a truly spectacular programme of events to reopen the venue, and 2022 looks set to be our busiest ever”
🆕 @MoTheComedian is the first artist confirmed for The O2's 'Welcome Back Shows' which kick off this August. 'The Black British Takeover' comes to the arena on 8 Dec 2021
— The O2 (@TheO2) May 17, 2021
Emma Bownes, VP of Programming for AEG Europe (owner and operator of The O2) said: “The Welcome Back Shows mark a really exciting moment for The O2 and for our fans, as we get ready to welcome full capacity crowds back to the venue after such a long period.
“We’re planning a stunning string of events that will bring the best in comedy, dance, afrobeat, rock and pop to London and give fans what they’ve been waiting for. We’re delighted to be launching our return season with the very best of British comedy and know that hearing The O2 arena roar with 20,000 laughs is the tonic we all need.”
Mo Gilligan added: “I’m really proud of the Black British comedy circuit that I started on. The talent on this scene is exceptional, but all too often ignored by mainstream media, so what better place to showcase the culture than the most famous venue in the country? We’re ready to bring the Great British Public a show like you’ve never seen before!”
With the current roadmap showing today (May 17) as the penultimate stage easing COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in the UK before a planned return to full capacity social activity on June 21, the Music Venue Trust surveyed all of its English members to discover what a summer of live music might look like in grassroots independent gig spaces.
Their survey found that that over 2,534 socially-distanced shows are already on sale in 266 venues from May 17 to June 21 (including a tour from Fat White Family), with more than 4,000 shows across over 400 venues predicted to take place during the month.
Gigs will then hopefully increase throughout the summer, with over 17,000 full capacity shows are already confirmed to take place by the end of September, with around 28,500 shows likely to take place in front of 6,803,481 audience members throughout the full period.