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quinta-feira, 1 de abril de 2010

Tina Live 2008/09 Era: O2 scores a hat-trick as world’s favourite music venue (Tina Turner: the biggest show of 2009 at the 02 Arena, UK)

O2 scores a hat-trick as world’s favourite music venue

Alistair Foster


The O2 has been named the world's most popular music venue for the third year running — selling 75 per cent more tickets than its nearest rival.

The Greenwich arena sold 2,349,952 tickets last year. By contrast, only two on the list of 100 venues sold more than one million.

Despite the economic downturn, the O2, which opened in the former Millennium Dome in 2007, smashed its 2008 record of 1,806,447 by more than 30 per cent.

Highlights from last year included five nights by Tina Turner, seven from Beyoncé, an eight-night residency by Britney Spears and shows by The Killers, Paul Weller, AC/DC, Bob Dylan, Kings of Leon, Cliff Richard and the Shadows, and Sir Paul McCartney.

It also featured events such as Star Wars: A Musical Journey, Ben Hur LIVE and the inaugural Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

In second place on the venues chart, compiled by concert magazine Pollstar, was the Manchester Evening News Arena with 1,346,090 ticket sales. The Sportpaleis Antwerpen in Belgium was third with 1,090,407.

The Madison Square Garden Arena in New York was fourth with 977,868, while Wembley Arena was eighth with 611,096 sales.

David Campbell, president and chief executive of AEG Europe, owner and operator of the O2, said: “These results really are quite amazing.

I want to thank all the artists, agents, managers, promoters, the more than 2,500 people who work at the O2. and all our partners.

“Events like the ATP Tour Finals at the O2 really did put the eyes of the world on us. London deserves a world-class entertainment destination and we will keep working hard in the next decade to ensure we remain a world leader.”

The arena has set its sights just as high this year, with a line-up including the world's biggest screening of Mamma Mia! The Movie, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Lady Gaga, Dizzee Rascal, Lily Allen, Peter Gabriel, Whitney Houston, Black Eyed Peas, Rihanna, Michael Bublé and Rod Stewart.

It will also see the return of Julie Andrews to the London stage after 30 years, the venue's first complete opera, Carmen, and a summer residency by Bon Jovi.

It marks an extraordinary turnaround for the site after the £800 million Dome was branded a white elephant for costing taxpayers millions and failing to attract enough visitors. The Government struggled to find a use for it.

The biggest shows of 2009

Tina Turner
3, 4, 7, 8 March; 3 May
Takings: £6m
First time Turner had played the UK for nine years, all dates sold out. The Standard's John Aizlewood: “Where she aches this morning must remain between her and her doctor but I was exhausted just watching her. Glorious.”

25, 26 May; 8, 9 June; 14-16 November
Takings: £4.6m
Visited London seven times last year, recording her live DVD here. The Standard's David Smyth praised: “a dazzling show that featured all the best elements of arena entertainment.”

Britney Spears
3-14 June
Takings: £5.8m
Her Circus tour pitched its tent for eight nights and was noted for its spectacular visuals as well as her alleged miming. Smyth wrote: “She spun and dangled, writhed and stamped but probably didn't sing in a frantically entertaining set.”

14, 16 April
Takings: £2m
The mighty rockers' raucous show came complete with a train that crashed through the back of the stage. Smyth: “During the world-beating, epic solo that dominated Let There Be Rock, it was as if the guitar was playing him.”

Sir Paul McCartney
22 December
Takings: £1.35m
Macca's visit on his brief eight-date European tour
was the venue's last gig of 2009. Smyth's verdict: “McCartney offered a
curfew-busting set packed with sufficient hits to leave people punch-drunk.”

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