The 02 is an outstanding arena for entertainment and it is now enjoying its 10th birthday! As part of its celebration milestone, we were treated to a behind the scenes tour, giving us Access All Areas. It is an iconic arena, that has hosted many legends in the entertainment industry, covering musicians, sports stars and comedians. The 02 is where the Brit Awards are hosted, it’s where we find out who the biggest television personalities in the UK, with The National Television Awards, which is held in January, every year.
The walls backstage are covered in personalised, signed t-shirts of thanks, from the likes of Bette Midler, Kylie Minogue, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Barbara Streisand, John Legend, The Spice Girls, Take That and Beyonce, to name but a few, who have all expressed their thanks to the 02 Arena and its staff. The walls also feature legendary British artists, and you are reminded of just how many amazing pop artists have come from the UK. Walking around, you feel a sense of pride and a sense of what we have achieved as a small nation, on a national scale.
Walking through the entrance door that so many icons have walked through is a surreal experience. Walking the same route in to the arena that hundreds of icons have also walked to get to their dressing rooms is a special feeling. For those that have been to backstage areas, we can safely say that they are quite often not the most glamorous of places, despite the illusion of them being so. The dressing rooms at the 02 however, are a little bit more special. When they told us that they catered to everyone and that no request was too big or small – I immediately thought of those infamous diva demands that you hear about! But the down to earth approach of the staff and their humble nature, gives the feeling that they really care about the people that visit here. And its not only just the celebrities that receive this treatment, but also the paying fans. They want everyone that visits to have a great time and they take pride in giving their best, so that everyone can have a great experience.
Being taken around the dressing rooms was a very fun experience. With Celine Dion about to play the 02 this weekend, we couldn’t help but sit on the sofa and reflect, thinking that she would be there with her entourage, in the exact same spot in less than a few days time. My favourite room was the dressing room that is called The Fab room. Here, a sneaky doorway exists behind an antique dresser, which brings you to another room – with another hidden door also hiding in this room! Behind the bookcase is another, tiny room, made for lounging and watching TV. We weren’t allowed to take photos, but it is very cool to see it up close.
Being in the actual 02 arena itself with nobody else there is quite breathtaking. Seeing the arena minus a stage is surreal. Also, because of the vast, vacant space, it didn’t look half as big as it does when the arena is full to capacity, which also threw me, because it always seems so huge when it is filled with thousands of people! Walking down the corridor to the stage – the same route to the stage that countless stars have walked as they are about to greet their fans, is a really awe-inspiring treat. The tour left no stone unturned, and we were also shown around one of the many hospitality boxes. All in all, the tour gives you a greater insight in to life backstage at the 02, and also it gives you a greater appreciation and understanding of the venue and everything that goes in to making a show happen there.
The O2 is giving you the chance to win an exclusive all areas pass and a behind the scenes tour. For the chance of winning a place on the tour, fans can enter via theo2.co.uk.
The O2 will host ten tours across the summer, from 29th August.