The O2 (Dublin)

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The O2
The O2, Dublin - - 1670682.jpg
"It's Built, They're Coming"
Former names The Point Theatre
General information
Type Concert and events venue
Location The O2
East Link Bridge
North Wall Quay
Dublin 1
Country Ireland
Completed December 2008
Opening December 2008
Owner Live Nation
Height 28 metres
Design and construction
Architect HOK SVE (Populous since 2009)
Services engineer Buro Happold
Other information
Seating capacity 9,500 all seated or 14,500 seated + standing

The O2 (stylised as The O2) is a 14,500-capacity amphitheatre located at North Wall Quay in the Dublin Docklands in Dublin, Ireland, which opened on 16 December 2008. The O2 was built on the site of the former Point Theatre,[1] a smaller music venue which operated from 1988–2007, retaining only some of the outer facade. The Point Theatre was branded as "The Point Depot", in recognition of its original role as a railway goods handling station. Amongst railwaymen, however, it was always known as "The Point Store". Its 14,500 capacity makes it the largest indoor arena in Ireland.[2]

The venue is owned by Live Nation.

In 2011, The O2 was named as the fifth busiest arena in the world with ticket sales of 670,000 putting it behind The O2 London, The Manchester Arena, Antwerp's Sportpaleis and Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena.[3]


Following its closure in 2007, the site underwent major redevelopment and was renamed after the telecommunication brand, O2, similar to The O2 in London.[4] In 2008 O2 paid €25 million for the naming rights for 10 years.[5] As part of the deal, O2 customers could purchase Priority Tickets up to 48 hours before being released to the general public as well as other privileges at the venue such as fast-track entry and access to exclusive bars.

With the sale of mobile network operator O2 Ireland to rival 3 Ireland in June 2013,[6] it was suggested by 3's CEO during an interview with Newstalk radio station that the naming of the theatre would change with the brand change to 3 Ireland.[7] Proposed names included:

  • The Threehouse
  • The 3 Arena
  • The 3 Point

Structure and design[edit]

The arena has a capacity of over 14,500 (standing) or 9,500 (seated). Retractable seating may be withdrawn to create space for 8,000 standing in front of the stage, with the remainder seated. The furthest seat is 60 metres from the stage, 20 metres closer than in The Point. This was achieved by arranging the seats around the stage in a gigantic "fan" formation which the architects likened to the Colosseum of Rome. There are no corporate boxes inside the venue. The backstage area has a "substantial" loading bay for trucks.[8] Alcohol will only be available in a high-security area of the venue in an effort to curb under-age drinking.[9] Prior to re-development, the seating capacity was 6,300 or 8,500 standing.

Panorama view of inside the venue


Mike Adamson (CEO of The O2 & 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.

Notable/historic performances[edit]

U2 were the first band to play in the venue, when Bono and The Edge performed "Van Diemen's Land" and "Desire" to a private audience.[10]

The first event to take place at the arena was the ChildLine Concert on 16 December 2008.[11]

There was a controversial Guns N' Roses show in September 2010 during which the band had arrived a substantial amount of time late then had bottles hurled at them and stopped performing. Most of the audience then left the building in disgust, but the band later returned to finish the show.[12][13][14][15][16]

Music Events[edit]

On 29–30 May, 3–4 June & 22–23 November 2009 Beyonce performed for a record breaking 75,000 people as part of her I Am... World Tour. She also played at the venue for her The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour on 11–12 May 2013 and is set to return on March 8, 9, 11 & 12 2014. Muse performed two sold out shows in the venue on 6 November 2009 and 3 November 2012 as part of their The Resistance Tour and The 2nd Law World Tour. On 20 and 21 February, and again on 26, 27 and 29 October 2010, Lady Gaga brought her world tour, The Monster Ball Tour, to The O2 and she is set to bring her massively anticipated Artrave: The Artpop Ball to The O2 on Friday October 17 2014. The O2 has also hosted many theatrical events including Aida, Britain's Got Talent Live Tour, The X Factor Live Tour. As well as Saltimbanco & Quidam events by Cirque du Soleil. Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds has also taken place at the venue. Cesar Millan also performed at the O2.British dance group and Britain's Got Talent Winners Diversity and Michael Flatley will also perform towards the end of 2010. Strictly Come Dancing will play at the venue in 2011. Batman Live, the worldwide arena tour has also been confirmed for 2011. Rush performed on 12 May 2011 during their Time Machine World Tour. The cast of Glee performed live at The O2 during summer 2011. Also the Star for all Season Britney Spears performed there live during October 2011, in support of her seventh studio album, Femme Fatale. On 27 March 2011 American singer/songwriter Taylor Swift performed at The O2 for her first time as part of her Speak Now World Tour

American singer/songwriter, P!nk performed at The O2 for the first time on the 19 and 20 April 2009 and 14 and 15 October 2009 on her Funhouse Tour. She is set to perform at the arena again on 12 April 2013 on her The Truth About Love Tour. On 2 September 2013 American rock band Paramore played the first date of the Paratour, (The Self-Titled Tour) debuting many new songs from their fourth successful album.

Comedy events[edit]

Comedians who have performed at The O2 include The Mighty Boosh, Lee Evans, Peter Kay, Frankie Boyle, and Ricky Gervais. Also Bill Bailey recorded his show "Dandelion Mind" at The O2 over 2 nights in Sept/Oct 2010. Alan Carr and Michael McIntyre have been announced for October 2011 and November 2012 respectively.


Patrons are advised to use public transport to get to the venue.[17] Parking services for the nearby Point Village are suggested.[18] In addition to the ferry services and shuttle buses noted on the venue's web site, Dublin Bus number 151 provides a scheduled public service to the venue. A LUAS light rail extension from the Red Line to the square in front of the venue opened on 8 December 2009, and links the DART train services at Connolly Station to the venue. The public Dublin Bus airport service, bus route 747, provides a direct, non-stop from Dublin Airport and takes about 20 minutes.

Due to the high volume of pedestrian traffic leaving the venue after concerts, extensive traffic restrictions are put in place along the North Wall Quay after such events, which can cause both the North Wall Quay and the East-Link (Dublin) toll bridge to be restricted for vehicular traffic by the Garda Síochána.

The Luas Red Line extension to the Point opened on 8 December 2009 to coincide with a performance by Lily Allen.[19][20]

In addition, those travelling to the O2 from Dublin Airport can avail of either the public Dublin Bus route 747, or the Greystones or Dalkey Aircoach services that stop outside the venue, whilst several other private operators also call at the venue.

The Point

Preceding station Luas Following station
Spencer Dock   Red Line   Terminus

Public bus services are provided from various locations around Ireland by Kelly Travel, mostly from Limerick, Tipperary, Cork and Galway. Licenses are granted by the National Transport Authority.


  1. ^ "Meet the new venue on the block – The O2". The Irish Times. 2 July 2008. Retrieved 20 September 2008. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "O2 Dublin fifth best attended venue in world". Irish Independent. 1 December 2012. 
  4. ^ "Live Nation's Point Theater in Dublin to Be Renamed The O2". Reuters. 7 July 2008. Retrieved 20 September 2008. 
  5. ^!story/Home/News/The+Point%3A+Harry's+rock+n'roll+Village/id/19410615-5218-5171-0ebc-1e46b4726533
  6. ^ "O2 brand to disappear as Three snaps up rival operator for €850m". Irish Independent. 25 June 2013. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "The O2: Welcome to the future". Irish Independent. 5 December 2008. Retrieved 7 December 2008. 
  9. ^ "O2 arena to curb drink at teen gigs". Irish Independent. 9 December 2008. Retrieved 10 December 2008. 
  10. ^ "U2 make a point with first O2 show". Irish Independent. 10 December 2008. Retrieved 10 December 2008. 
  11. ^ "O2 rocks to sound of music". Irish Independent. 17 December 2008. Retrieved 19 December 2008. 
  12. ^ Guns N' Roses show statement released. RTÉ Ten. 2 September 2010.
  13. ^ Fan fury as Rose shows thorny side. Irish Independent. 2 September 2010.
  14. ^ Guns N' Roses bottled off stage in Dublin. BBC. 2 September 2010.
  15. ^ Axl Rose bottled offstage at Guns N' Roses' Dublin gig. NME. 2 September 2010.
  16. ^ Guns N' Roses bottled off stage. Toronto Sun. 2 September 2010.
  17. ^ "Getting to The O2". Live Nation. 9 March 2009. Retrieved 1 April 2010. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ O'Brien, Tim (4 December 2009). "Luas Red Line extension to open on Tuesday". The Irish Times. Retrieved 9 January 2010. "THE LUAS extension from Bus Áras to the Point is to open on Tuesday and will face its first big challenge within hours, the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) said yesterday. [...] The offer coincides with a potential audience of up to 13,000 people at the Lily Allen concert in the O2." 
  20. ^ "Luas extended to Docklands area". RTÉ. 8 December 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2009. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°20′51″N 06°13′43″W / 53.34750°N 6.22861°W / 53.34750; -6.22861