The O2 has suffered roof damage due to Storm Eunice. What will this mean for dedicated fans planning to visit London’s largest music arena? Emily Campbell explores.
Storm Eunice took the country by storm on the 18th of February, (yes, pun intended!), weather warnings were issued countrywide. The storm dramatically affected the weekends of millions across the nation with transport methods and day-to-day activities severely disrupted as a result. Parts of the country where the storm had been struck the worst were told to limit unnecessary travel and remain indoors because of the threat to life. London was issued its first red alert for weather and 200,000 homes across the country lost power as a result of these extreme climates.
The O2’s fabric roof took a battering from Eunice because of the winds which were averaging around 122 miles per hour
Extreme winds created damage to infrastructures seen in the significant case of the O2. The O2’s fabric roof took a battering from Eunice because of the winds which were averaging around 122 miles per hour. This consequently left parts of the indoor arena open to the elements. Six sections of the roof have been left severely affected. The venue was not in a safe state to host concerts, so artists such as The Lumineers and Dave had to reschedule their long-awaited London tour dates. This was a blow for artists and fans alike, after COVID-19 had prevented concerts going ahead for such a long period of time.
On the day of the damage 1,000 people were evacuated and the venue was officially closed. Fortunately, the venue was lucky that this harm was contained mainly within the outlet shopping centre instead of the main arena. This meant that with a great deal of hard work to make the arena safe, the venue was able to reopen again at 10 am on the 25th of February. A week after the damage UB40 were the first artists to perform within the mutilated O2 arena. Ali Campbell ironically was quoted saying he planned to “tear the roof off”. Furthermore, it is predicted that the iconic white O2 roof will take a while to be fully reconstructed.
The visible scar to one of London’s most popular music venues will remind the public of the power of extreme weather but also the increasing uncertainty of live music going ahead as planned.
In-article images courtesy of @theo2arena via instagram.com. No changes made to these images.
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