Newest Review: ... while I was there but it sounds impressive. Next to the big Arena is the Indigo O2 which is a smaller venue which holds 2,400 people an... more
The O2. (Arena)
The O2 (formerly the Millennium Dome)
Member Name: OhLala-17
The O2 (formerly the Millennium Dome)
Advantages: Great for concerts, Good transport links
Disadvantages: Lack of toilets
My review is about the O2 as it is now and not the Millennium Dome.
I've been to the O2 twice now both for concerts, I never visited it when it was known as the the Millennium Dome and so I can't compare how it used to be to how it is now.
The first time I went to the O2 it was the first time I've ever travelled to and around London without anyone who knows the city like the back of their hand. Thankfully I took to the tube very well and getting to the O2 was well signed on the tube map. I didn't realise that North Greenwich tube station was located slap bang next to the O2 so it was a relief when I got out of the station and saw this big white dome shining in the sunshine!
The dome looked fantastic and pretty big from where I was standing, I was a little nervous I wouldn't be able to find my way around it.
My friend and I walked up the the O2 and outside where a few restaurants and then closer to the dome was a merchandise stand for the concert we were seeing.
To the left of the main entrance doors were the Pre-Booked ticket window where you collect your tickets if you've pre-booked a different way. The first time I went to the O2 I didn't use this as I got tickets from Ticketmaster and so they get sent to you.
We walked into the O2 and there were some security gates and a few security men, we asked if they wanted us to walk through them and they said no, so we carried on walking. They seemed to select people at random.
Inside the O2 are a few shops and many restaurants! The first shop we saw was the O2 shop (mobiles) and the Sky TV place. Straight in front of us were the doors to the O2 Arena. As we were going to be sat up on level 4 we looked up and it didn't seem that high (thank goodness.)
To the left of the Arena doors was another bigger merchandise counter and to the right was a walk way taking you to the many restaurants and to the Cinema.
A few of the restaurants are: Nandos, TGI Friday's, Zizzi, GBK, Pizza Express and many more.. so a restaurant to suit anyone and they are all located in Entertainment Avenue.
I didn't eat in any of these restaurants we just brought some snacks from one of the little food shops. This food shop was located opposite the restaurants also in Entertainment Avenue and it had a good range of sandwiches, drinks, crisps, chocolate etc but it was very expensive! I brought a bottle of Orange Juice and a Tuna sandwich and I didn't have much change out of a £5!
Inside the O2 is also a Cineword's multiplex cinema with 11 screens. The main auditorium sits 770 people and has the biggest screen in London. I didn't go the cinema while I was there but it sounds impressive.
Next to the big Arena is the Indigo O2 which is a smaller venue which holds 2,400 people and they have live music, comedy, a night club here. The X-Factor have filmed boot-camp in the Indigo.
Now onto the O2 Arena which holds up to 20,000 people!
There are a couple of different entrances into the Arena and ours was the entrance located straight in front of you when you walk into the actual dome.
Before you go into the arena you have to have your bag searched and your not allowed to take drinks with a lid on. It looks pretty daunting when you walk in and there are all these security people but, they are actually very nice. The arena has a few levels- Floor, Level 1, Private Boxes and level 4. These are all sign posted (except floor, for floor you follow level 1) and there are a few security people to help you find your way.
Getting up to Level 4 is quite a ride on the escalator, it's a long way up! As you get to level 4 there are places to buy more food and drink to take into the concert and the odd person with merchandise will walk around, again the prices are expensive!
Before you can go into the arena you have to go to the right gate, so if your sat in block 401 you will go to gate 401 and so on. My gate was 409 and it was easy to find.
Before I went to the O2 I was told level 4 were the worst seats and I wouldn't be able to see anything so I was worried. Looking up from the floor didn't seem high but looking down over the O2 from level 4 seemed high!!
We walked in and straight away we saw the stage. We had to walk down steps to get to our seats as we were Row A, I'm glad we had to walk down steps and not up! (If you were Row C or above you walked up the steps.) When we sat ourselves down we turned around and looked at everyone behind us... Any row after about D or E looked scary!
Level 4 is extremely steep and high!
From our seats we could see better than we thought we would be able too, yes anyone on the stage looked small and it was hard to see their face clearly but, we could see and we had a great time! I'd definitely sit Level 4 again but, I would only sit in Rows A,B or C. No higher than that or the view really would be rubbish and just the general steepness would scare me silly.
The seats were very comfortable and they had a place to hold your drinks. Being on level 4 means your not going to stand up and dance because otherwise there is a high chance you will fall and probably injure yourself badly. So it's a good job the seats were comfy and roomy. Leg space was decent, I have no reason to complain about leg room I was able to place my handbag and my shopping bag down with space for my feet to dance away.
To give some idea of how steep it is the people behind us in Row B, just above their ankles was where my head was. Imagine that steepness all the way up to Row Z!
The sound system was also good. The speakers were up around the roof of the arena and so we were close to them and everything sounded clear. There wasn't to much 'boom boom boom' only what you'd expect. I'd previously been told sitting on level 4 means the sound is horrible. This isn't true... Yes it's loud but it's clear and I could hear everything perfectly.
Overall my first experience of the O2 had been good. The only exception being toilets. We searched for quite a while to find a toilet when we were outside the arena and just in the dome part, when we found one located near to the cinema it was tiny! It had about 5 toilets in so after a big event which was sold out the queue is huge!
I assume they only had this toilet because all of the restaurants have their own toilets and there are toilets inside the arena.
The second time I went to the O2 was just as good. Again this was for a concert but this time I had to use the Ticket Window for Pre-Booked tickets I didn't have to queue and I just walked straight up and got my tickets from the man.
The only difference this time was at the arena I was sat on the Floor (it was a seated concert) and our entrance gate was the other side of the O2!! I think our entrance gate was H and it look a good 10-15 minute walk to get there... This is when I realised how big the O2 was.
Walking to Gate H we walked through the whole of Entertainment Avenue and by the O2 Bubble where they hold exhibitions.
Again getting into the arena you have the whole security process. Once we got in we followed the signs for Level 1 even though we were sat in the floor.
You walk into a large room selling food, drinks etc just like level 4 but it seemed bigger.
If your sat on level 1 then you have to find your gate e.g if your sat in Block 111 you go to gate 111, for people sat on the floor section you go to any gate that says entrance to floor seating so you can choose which gate you go into.
You walk down the steps of Level 1 until you reach the floor and then floor seats are in sections. Bock A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3 and C1 and C3 when I went (this changes depending on the event.)
I was sat in Block A2 a few rows from the front this time and it was a huge difference to being sat up on level 4!
The seats are just temporary seats and I think they were basic plastic chairs so they aren't that comfy. But fine for sitting on them for about an hour before the concert starts and then your stood up, well 95% of people stand up.
The leg room was okay, I had just my bag on the floor and for anyone walking past I'd have to completely stand up or move out the way completely. It was fine for me but anyone really tall would find it cramped.
The view this time was incredible I could see everything! But there are alot of security on the floor so no standing on chairs! And be careful if you have a camera they can be strict, especially if you video!
Toilets this time were better on the floor, they were located at the back of the floor to the left and they were massive. I used them straight after the concert finished and didn't have to queue which makes a first!
That's pretty much my experience of the O2 the main thing is the arena.
The O2 isn't a place I'd go out my way of to visit. If I was in London for the day I wouldn't go to the O2, I'd only go there for a concert or if there was an event I wanted to go to on otherwise I don't think it's worth a general look around visit.
If I lived close by I'd use the cinema but it would have to be my closest cinema for me to go there. I just think it's pointless to go to unless your going for a certain event.
But it's a great place to hold concerts as the transport link is fantastic! North Greenwich Tube Station is next to it, they have a taxi rank, Themes Clippers and you can drive. Parking is available with Pay as you arrive or you can Pre-Book. If your going to a big event it's recommended you pre-book, this is about £17.50 plus a £2.50 booking fee.
-A few tips would be to take your own food. The second time I went I popped into a Sainsburys and grabbed some food before I got on the Tube, I ate it before I went into the arena. Outside the O2 are a few places to sit or inside many people will sit down on the floor near the Arena entrance, so you don't look odd if you sit down and eat. Nobody looked at me anyway.
-If you need the loo try and hold it in and go when you get into the arena. Unless eating in a restaurant.
-Different outlets open and close at different times.
Overall a great place and the atmosphere is quite excitable if your going to a concert. Huge range of restaurants to choose from and when you walk through the row of restaurants it feels like your walking down a street, the only difference is there is a roof over your head!
I will continue going back for concerts. The only thing I would say would make it better would be more toilets in the dome part!!
Summary: Good for concerts.
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