Inside The O2’s ‘year of two halves’
The O2’s Steve Sayer has reflected on a “year of two halves” for the London venue in a new interview with IQ.
The 21,000-cap arena is finishing 2022 strongly following a difficult first few months, initially due to the spread of the Omicron variant and then damage caused by Storm Eunice, which caused it to close for a week in February.
“Overall, we’re really happy with the year and we’re ending on a high,” notes Sayer, The O2’s VP and general manager. “We’ve had some incredible shows but it was only 10 months ago that we were dealing with the storm ripping into the tent. We were just coming out of Covid wave number four or five with a lot of new team members and contractors, so it was a challenging start to the year.”
The venue, which celebrated its 15th anniversary this year, recovered to host a string of triumphant shows by the likes of Dua Lipa, Kendrick Lamar, Billie Eilish, Rod Stewart, Lewis Capaldi, Travis Scott, Diana Ross, Little Mix and a 10-night stint by Queen + Adam Lambert.
“I think the recovery from Covid is going to take a little bit longer than we all anticipated… It’s just the aftermath that we’re now dealing with”
“By the time we got to Queen + Adam Lambert for those 10 shows in June, Diana Ross, which was another highlight, and Billie Eilish and the Overheated climate conference, I said to the team that it felt like we were getting back into our groove – and we’ve kicked on since that point,” adds Sayer.
“I don’t think anyone anticipated coming out of the global pandemic into the economic environment that we find ourselves in, so there are plenty of headwinds. We have some challenges around the cost base that are no different to any other venue and we’re working hard to figure out how we can mitigate that, so there’s still a little bit of uncertainty ahead. But then when I look at the diary, I think it’s going to be a solid year.”
Shows lined up for 2023 include Panic! at the Disco, George Ezra, Lizzo, Tom Grennan, Michael Buble, Elton John, Sam Smith, Paramore, Maroon 5, Kiss and Iron Maiden, among others, along with a monthly residency by comedian Peter Kay that stretches all the way to 2025.
“In terms of the number of shows that are already confirmed or strong pencils, we’re exactly where we need to be,” says Sayer. “I think the recovery from Covid is going to take a little bit longer than we all anticipated. I think the C-word is pretty much done, it’s just the aftermath that we’re now dealing with.
“We know that there is still a lot of pent-up demand from the fan for tickets. Some shows are doing incredibly well and there are one or two shows that perhaps aren’t doing quite as well as they would have done in normal times, but that might be a function of ticket price and cost of living, but what we have seen is that when fans are coming into The O2, they’re still spending money.
“What I take confidence from is that at times of recession, in recent memory, it tends to be that sport and music is the stuff that people don’t want to give up on. So I feel reasonably confident, but of course we have questions about how next year will play out.”
“We’re planning to deliver a net zero show. If we can prove the model for a single night, I’m pretty sure we can scale it up and replicate it over the medium and long term”
Sayer also discusses the knock-on effects of Eilish’s multi-day climate festival Overheated, which coincided with the singer’s six-night residency at the venue. The O2 implemented various changes within the arena to reduce single use plastic, promote a plant-based menu, and better enable customers to make informed and responsible choices.
“It’s been a real catalyst for us and has stimulated at least one if not two conversations with artist management about shows next year where the act has a particular leaning towards climate activism and the climate agenda,” reveals Sayer. “Whilst we probably won’t repeat the Overheated model, we’re planning to deliver a net zero show. If we can prove the model for a single night, I’m pretty sure we can scale it up and replicate it over the medium and long term.”
Last week, The O2 became the first arena in England to achieve its Greener Arena certification thanks to its sustainability practices and commitments.
“We’ve reduced the amount of meat we’re serving around the campus with out catering partner Levy UK & Ireland, and have been developing a Green Rider,” adds Sayer. “We appointed Jamal [Chalabi] and A Greener Festival to work with us on that and turn all of those learnings from the shows we’ve been running where the artist had a real leaning towards doing the right thing when it comes to sustainability.
“We’ve brought in an energy manager and AEG Europe is soon to be appointing a director of sustainability, who will support The O2 in 2023 and give us some additional expertise in terms of building our plans. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but I think both of those hires are going to be key for us.”
“We’re going to be improving our premium spaces… Our new super-club lounge concept on level 3 is going to be the best place to watch a show”
Having served as a transformative force in the venues sector ever since opening in 2007, Sayer is adamant The O2 is not about to rest on its laurels.
“It’s just about not being complacent,” he explains. “We’re going to be improving our premium spaces; we’re removing 12 suites and putting a new super-club lounge concept on level 3, which will have an incredible view of stage and is going to be the best place to watch a show.
“We’re planning a number of investments to ensure that our back of house areas are renovated and brought up to an even better standard. We’re investing in the fan experience – introducing kiosk ordering in some of our busy bar areas to try and reduce the queues – and are also planning to introduce frictionless payment kiosks in a couple of areas. We invested in Evolv Express security scanning technology earlier this year, which continues to keep everybody safe but also ensures that fans get into the building a lot quicker.”
Sayer continues: “We’re also upgrading our Wi-Fi over the next six months and rolling out 5G across the venue because, while we don’t want fans to spend all their time on their phones, we know they want to put stuff on their social media channels and we want to give them the best experience to do that.”
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The O2 first English arena to achieve Greener Arena merit
London’s The O2 has become the first arena in England to achieve its Greener Arena certification, thanks to the venue’s sustainability practices and commitments.
The certification is awarded by A Greener Festival (AGF), a not-for-profit company and sustainability expert, dedicated to helping events, festivals, and venues around the world to become more sustainable.
The Greener Arena certification considers measures that reduce emissions and environmental impact, as well as the health and wellbeing of staff, along with equity, diversity and inclusion – all of which result in an ‘Outstanding’ rating for The O2.
“We’re so proud to have achieved our Greener Arena certification and to be paving the way for other arenas in England and around the world,” says Steve Sayer, VP and general manager at The O2 (cap. 21,000).
“Sustainability has been an integral part of our business strategy this year, and with events like Overheated we’ve been able to make real strides in this space. Becoming a more sustainable venue is a constantly evolving task, and we know there’s still a lot more work to do, which is why we’re hiring new, dedicated resource next year to help take on this challenge.
“Sustainability has been an integral part of our business strategy this year”
“We’re looking forward to working closely with AGF following the actions from their certification report and publishing a comprehensive Green Rider for The O2. This will ensure that we provide a best-in-class experience for both artists and fans in an even more sustainable way.”
The O2’s 2022 sustainability-driven initiatives include hosting the cross-campus climate festival Overheated in June which saw the arena go vegan for Billie Eilish’s six show dates, and saw a reduction in the amount of single-use plastic used at the venue through the implementation of paper cups and recycled PET plastic wristbands.
The venue’s catering partner Levy UK + Ireland has committed to reaching net zero at The O2 arena by 2025, which will be a venue-first for the catering company.
AGF was honoured at last night’s inaugural LIVE Awards with The LIVE Green Award, ahead of the 15th edition of its Green Events and Innovations Conference.
GEI is AGF’s flagship event and is organised in partnership with the ILMC, which takes place at the Royal Lancaster Hotel between 28 February and 3 March.
For more information on GEI 15, or to purchase tickets, click here.
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The O2’s Steve Sayer on the K-pop boom
The O2’s VP and general manager Steve Sayer has spoken to IQ about the global K-pop boom after the London venue was lit up pink in honour of Blackpink’s two headline shows.
The 21,000-cap venue’s iconic white tent, and entrance sign were transformed to bright pink for the South Korean girl group’s AEG-promoted concerts on 30 November and 1 December.
The O2 was an early adopter of the K-pop craze, having welcomed BTS in October 2019, who smashed a merchandise sales record previously held by the Rolling Stones. The seven-piece band went on to make history the following year by playing to 120,000 people over two nights at Wembley Stadium, promoted by Live Nation.
“We hosted BTS before most people in the UK mainstream even knew who they were,” Sayer tells IQ. “They had this phenomenal fan base, but it was still relatively cult, and when we had those two shows I remember walking into the venue that morning – it was midweek and it wasn’t a school holiday – and there was this huge queue on the square outside The O2.
“We’ve had a lot of smaller K-pop artists and Asian artists play The O2 over the last 10 years, but that event really set the standard. You now have major artists – Blackpink’s a great example – that have the capability of selling out huge venues.”
“It’s a genre that is clearly only going to grow”
Staged by K-Pop Europa in partnership with PK Events, K.Flex was due to make its UK debut at The O2 last month with acts including Winner, Pentagon and AB6IX, alongside the first-ever Kpop.Flex Awards For Emerging Artists. But the event was cancelled following the Halloween crowd crush in Itaewon, Seoul that killed 158 people. The festival, which returns to Germany from 17-18 June, will now launch in the UK from 22-24 September 2023.
“It was sad that we had to cancel the event recently, but I think everybody understood why,” notes Sayer. “But next year’s K. Flex is going to be brilliant, because there will be big headliners but it will also be an event that breaks some of the up-and-coming K-pop artists.
“In addition to K.Flex, we’ve have a number of other pencils for K-pop artists next year. It’s a genre that is clearly only going to grow and our partners on that event are very much connected with the Korean equivalent of our DCMS, which is actively using it as a way to promote Korean culture globally.”
“To mark Blackpink being the first female K-pop band to headline The O2, it was only right that the whole venue should be turned pink for the first time ever in their honour”
Blackpink recently became the first girl group to gross US$3 million (€2.9m) from a single arena concert in North America, generating $3.297m per night from their two 23,928-cap sellout shows at the Prudential Center in Newark from 14-15 November. The quartet will return to London in 2023 for their UK festival debut at BST Hyde Park on Sunday 2 July.
“We were very excited and proud to start Blackpink’s European arena tour with two historic nights at The O2 – a mere sneak peek into what they have planned for their colossal BST Hyde Park show in July 2023,” adds Simon Jones, SVP of International Touring at AEG Presents. “To mark Blackpink being the first female K-pop band to headline The O2, it was only right that the whole venue should be turned pink for the first time ever in their honour. Iconic!”
Meanwhile, Billboard‘s newly published Year in Touring places BTS as the 27th highest-grossing tour of 2022, generating US$75,489,240 from 458,144 ticket sales for just 11 shows.
BTS’ record label Big Hit Music announced in October that the K-pop superstars were moving forward with plans to fulfil their mandatory military service, ending a long-running debate in Korea over whether they should receive an exemption due to their artistic accomplishments.
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Billie Eilish tour ‘can serve as blueprint’
The sustainability efforts of Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever Tour can serve as a “blueprint” for future tours, according to Live Nation promoter Kelly Chappel.
Eilish, who will become the youngest ever headliner of Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage this Friday, partnered with environmental nonprofit Reverb to make the tour more sustainable and empower her fans to take action for people and the planet. The link-up extended to cross-campus climate festival Overheated at London’s The O2, which began on June 10 during Eilish’s dates at the venue.
The O2 has presented the 20-year-old with a special First Time Award to celebrate her six night sell-out residency at the arena, which wraps up this weekend.
“I’m personally so proud of our six Billie Eilish shows at The O2,” says Chappel, Live Nation’s EVP of global artist development and global tour promoter. “I’d like to thank everyone who was involved in delivering this tour. It’s testament to thoughtfulness and hard work, and it can serve as a blueprint for future arena tours, as this proves that artists performing on large scale tours can make vital changes to aid sustainability and be friendlier to our planet.”
Inspired by Eilish’s passion for sustainability, the award features a unique design and has been created using Jesmonite, a sustainable material which can be crushed and reused. It also features a piece of The O2’s own tent fabric that was retrieved following Storm Eunice, as well as photographs from her first show at the venue.
“The fight against climate change is incredibly important to us and with these initial steps and conversations there is now a chance to build on this”
Christian D’Acuña, senior director of programming at The O2, says: “It’s been incredible to welcome Billie Eilish to The O2, and we’re so proud to have hosted not only six incredible debut shows at the venue, but also the Overheated festival, which has sparked important discussions around making both our planet and our industry more sustainable.”
In conjunction with Eilish’s show dates, and the Overheated festival, The O2 also made several commitments to make the venue more sustainable, and in response to Eilish’s Green Rider, including offering a fully vegan menu in The O2 arena for all of Eilish’s show dates. The O2 also introduced recyclable paper cups and recycled PET fabric wristbands in the arena for the first time.
“A special thank you to The O2 for hosting us over what has been six incredible shows and the opportunity to create meaningful change through the launch of Overheated,” adds Eilish’s agent Mike Malak of Wasserman Music. “The fight against climate change is incredibly important to us and with these initial steps and conversations there is now a chance to build on this.”
The Happier Than Ever Tour continues its European stretch next week with stops in Belgium, Germany and Switzerland, before concluding in Australasia in September.
“This partnership allows us to continue investing in improving the customer experience”
Meanwhile, The O2 has also announced a multi-year partnership with instant commerce firm Gopuff, which has been named as the venue’s principal partner and official grocery, food and beverage delivery partner.
The deal, which was brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, means fans visiting the venue can now bypass concession lines through rapid click-and-collect services in The O2 app powered by Gopuff. It will also provide artists with instant access to their performance essentials while onsite.
“This partnership allows us to continue investing in improving the customer experience for our fans and premium clients, and with digital ticketing and other innovative solutions available for all customers via The O2’s app, we’re making the concert-going experience as seamless as possible through digital means,” says AEG Global Partnerships EVP Paul Samuels. “We are confident that over the next few years, Gopuff will significantly boost the onsite experience both for fans and artists, and we’re delighted to have them on board.”
Billie Eilish hosts Overheated Climate Session
Over 250 music professionals and sustainability specialists came together at The O2 in London for a series of debates and performances today (16 June).
The event, which took place alongside Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever tour, was hosted by the BBC’s Abbie McCarthy (BBC), with representatives from REVERB, The Big Climate Thing, Live Nation, Julie’s Bicycle and The O2.
During the discussion titled Taking Charge – Efforts to Decarbonise Events, The O2’s VP and general manager Steve Sayer described the changes that hosting the Eilish tour had seen at the venue, including going fully vegan for the duration.
“We had Morrissey here five years ago and the question about whether we sold burgers was a huge topic, but on this tour, it wasn’t,” he said. “Going fully vegan was the right option for this tour and we’ll be entirely open with other venues about the results from that.”
The O2 recently committed to removing meat burgers from its menu, but other moves include installing water filling stations, and recyclable wristbands for floor-standing guests.
“We’re planning forward in partnership with our caterers, Levy, who are committed to being net zero by 2027,” he said. “As a flagship site for them, we’re aiming for 2025.”
“The solutions are there, and amazing simple, but you have to get people to move past where they are right now”
Sayer also outlined that all National Arena Association member venues will be banning non- biodegradable confetti over the coming months.
With much of the day detailing myriad practical steps now available to tour and events on their sustainability journey, Chiara Badialli, music lead of Julie’s Bicycle, listed carbon offsetting as one of the most exciting.
“If these costs are factored into tour planning – and an example is that Pearl Jam has recently committed to paying $200 per tonne of carbon emissions – it gives artists a budget at the start of their tour to actively reduce emissions,” she said.
A focus of the discussion was collaboration across the business to bring change. And while Sayer insisted that senior management at each company must be engaged in the conversation, it was bottom-up pressure that instigated it.
“The most powerful agent of change was when our employees started coming to The O2 and AEG management team to ask what we were doing,” he said. “That employee push was incredibly powerful.”
And Jamal Chalabi of Backlash Productions reported that there are open ears across the supply chain now as well.
“It’s the culture change, particularly within crew and production houses. The solutions are there, and amazingly simple, but you have to get people to move past where they are right now,” he said.
“It’s a system change,” added Badialli. “You have to ask how we can do things differently.”
The event included performances from Sigrid, Nick Mulvey and Love Ssega, while Billie Eilish took the stage to thank the room for attending.
“I want to thank you all for informing people like me, and for everything you’re doing,” she said. “It doesn’t go unnoticed. It might sometimes fell like what you’re doing is pointless, but it’s not. There is a point and it’s really important.”
The conversation came just weeks after the 14th Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI), the leading gathering for sustainability at live events.
The O2 enhances sustainability measures
The O2 in London has announced a series of new sustainability measures as it prepares to host multi-day climate festival Overheated.
Overheated is set to take place across six days – 10-12, 16 and 25-26 June – during Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever, The World Tour dates at the AEG-operated venue.
The O2 will be implementing various changes within the arena to reduce single use plastic, promote a plant-based menu, and better enable customers to make informed and responsible choices. Working with the singer and her tour team on their Green Rider, it has committed to going 100% vegan on all available food items for the six shows,
Following Eilish’s residency, The O2 will continue with a plant-forward philosophy, which will see the concession stand staple ‘beef burger’ being removed from the menu permanently.
“We’re proud to be leading the charge as a company”
“Finding ways to make both our venues across Europe and worldwide, as well as the wider live entertainment industry, more sustainable has never been more important,” says AEG Europe COO John Langford. “We’re proud to be leading the charge as a company to help find and trial innovative solutions and help reduce our impact on the planet.”
Throughout The O2 arena, the venue will be installing several water dispensers for fans to easily access on their visit, thereby reducing the need for plastic water bottles. Visitors to the arena will be encouraged to bring soft, reusable water bottles which will need to be emptied prior to entry and fully collapsible.
The O2 is also taking strides to reduce the amount of single-use plastic used in the arena moving forwards and has committed to using recyclable paper cups in all areas of the arena, including backstage. It has also removed all plastic bags from merchandise units and is implementing fabric wristbands made from 100% recycled PET plastic for standing arena attendees for the first time this month.
“As one of the world’s leading venues, it’s important that we help drive industry change in the space of sustainability”
“We’re so proud to be taking real strides this month to becoming an even more sustainable venue here at The O2,” says Steve Sayer, the 21,000-cap venue’s VP & general manager. “Going fully vegan in the arena for six sold out show dates with Billie Eilish is no small task and is something that we know will really resonate with fans attending the shows.
“The reduction in single use plastic in The O2 arena is another huge step forward for us, as we work towards our A Greener Arena accreditation, and ultimately one day towards becoming net zero as a venue. As one of the world’s leading venues, it’s important that we help drive industry change in the space of sustainability and show that we can all make a difference, whilst continuing to still provide a best-in-class experience for the fans and artists.”
Through its partnership with catering partner Levy, The O2 is also working with Klimato to calculate, communicate and report the climate impact of the food available for fans to purchase. Levy has committed to reaching net zero at the arena by 2025 – an integral part of The O2’s overall strategy to hit net zero.
The O2 and AEG Europe are currently working with A Greener Festival on establishing an accurate scientific baseline for scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions before publishing its full plan for net zero later this year.
Sodexo Live! hires Rebecca Kane Burton as UK CEO
Venue services company Sodexo Live! has appointed former The O2 chief Rebecca Kane Burton as its new UK and Ireland CEO.
Kane Burton served a four and a half year stint as VP and GM of AEG’s 21,000-cap London arena before stepping down in 2016 to become chief executive of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s West End venue chain LW Theatres (formerly Really Useful Theatres), where she played a key role in the London Palladium’s Covid-safe socially distanced shows in 2020 as part of a UK government pilot scheme. She departed the company last year.
Prior to The O2, Kane Burton was MD of the 10,400-cap Alexandra Palace, also in London, and previously held a senior role at English Heritage.
“I am looking forward to driving our strategic ambition and accelerating growth in a market that has high development potential”
“I am excited to join Sodexo Live! as we head into a busy summer season of events,” says Kane Burton. “I am looking forward to driving our strategic ambition and accelerating growth in a market that has high development potential.
“Sodexo Live! has a talented team delivering excellence in all the services they deliver and I can’t wait to meet them and see their expertise first hand.”
Founded in Marseille, France, the Maryland, US-headquartered hospitality and catering giant now operates in more than 70 countries, partnering with stadiums, arenas, convention centres and museums, among other facilities. Clients include Hard Rock Stadium Miami, ACC Liverpool and Royal Ascot.
In addition to joining the firm’s UK and Ireland regional leadership committee, Kane Burton will also become a member of the Sodexo Live! global executive committee. The Sodexo Group created the Sodexo Live! brand last year to “unify and leverage its expertise” in the sports, events and hospitality sector.
“The UK is a key part of Sodexo Live! global growth strategy”
The company has also hired 15-year veteran Nicci Clarke from Punch Pubs & Co as marketing director.
“I am delighted to welcome Rebecca and Nicci to the UK and Ireland team,” adds Sodexo Live! worldwide CEO Nathalie Bellon-Szabo. “The UK is a key part of Sodexo Live! global growth strategy, the business is recovering well from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and is starting to show signs of strong growth.
“We look forward to supporting Rebecca and her team as they deploy their expertise across major venues and events to provide the best service to our clients and customers.”
The O2 to stock Ukraine lager to support appeal
Budweiser Brewing Group (BBG) is bringing Ukraine beer brand Chernigivske to The O2 in London to support the humanitarian relief effort in Ukraine.
The O2 has been named as the first UK on-trade partner and venue stockist for the traditional Ukrainian lager through the venue’s long-term partnership with Budweiser, which is part of its official beer partner AB InBev.
The move forms part of a wider initiative from AB InBev, which has pledged to donate at least $5 million to designated non-governmental organisations, including Caritas International, to support humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine.
“We’re delighted to be supporting such a worthy initiative”
“We’re delighted to be supporting such a worthy initiative alongside our long-term partner AB InBev, as well as Levy UK, and bringing Chernigivske to fans visiting The O2 arena,” says Laura Palairet, senior partnerships director at The O2. “As a business, we’re continually looking for ways that we can make a difference and are proud to be working with partners who share this mission.”
In addition, The O2, in conjunction with the venue’s catering partner Levy UK and AB InBev, will be making a donation from every drink sold at the venue to go towards charitable causes with the aim of providing essential humanitarian relief.
“I’m proud that we can leverage our expertise, scale and ecosystem to support humanitarian relief efforts by introducing Chernigivske in the UK,” adds Anna Rudenko, marketing director of Chernigivske, Ukraine. “We are thrilled that Chernigivske will be available at The O2, offering our consumers the opportunity to directly contribute to this effort.”
Cans of Chernigivske feature the Ukrainian flag on their packaging and are available to purchase at The O2 until September.
Billie Eilish announces climate-focused event
Billie Eilish has announced multi-day climate-focused event Overheated in collaboration with Support + Feed and environmental nonprofit Reverb.
The event set to take place across six days – 10-12, 16 and 25-26 June – at The O2 in London during Eilish’s Happier Than Ever, The World Tour dates at the venue.
Fresh after last week’s Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI), Overheated will bring together climate activists, musicians and designers to discuss the climate crisis, and their efforts to make a difference. Topics will range from greening practices in the music industry to the benefits of a plant-based diet, and sustainable fashion.
“We are thrilled to be in London and to have this opportunity to connect and discuss different ways we can take action to mitigate the climate crisis,” says Maggie Baird, founder of Support+Feed.
“We’re excited to empower even more people to take significant climate action and engage the music industry to do more”
Each day will feature unique programming including panel discussions, live performances, a documentary viewing, and opportunities for the public to take climate action. The cross-campus event will kick off on Friday, 10 June with Overheated Live – a panel event at Indigo at The O2, featuring introductions by Billie Eilish and Finneas and a special keynote speaker to be announced.
A Music Climate Session on 16 June, meanwhile, will feature representatives from Reverb, The Big Climate Thing, A Greener Festival, Julie’s Bicycle, Beggars Group, Live Nation, Earth/Percent, Tour Production Group and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. It will also see performances by Sigrid and Love Ssega, with others to be confirmed.
“Building upon our sustainability work on Billie’s world tour, and engaging fans at her shows to take climate action, we’re excited to empower even more people to take significant climate action and engage the music industry to do more through Overheated,” adds Reverb co-founder Adam Gardner.
The takeover will also include special screenings of the new Overheated short documentary at Cineworld at The O2 throughout the full six-day period, while all visitors to The O2 will have the opportunity to experience the free Citizen-TPlayground, which will feature a free clothes swap as well as talks from fashion sustainability experts, at the All Bar One Space from 10-12 June.
The O2 promotes Christian D’Acuña to senior role
The O2 (cap. 21,000) in London has promoted Christian D’Acuña from director to senior director of programming (UK).
D’Acuña’s new position, which took effect earlier this year, sees him continue to lead programming at the O2 alongside Emma Bownes.
He will also join Steve Homer’s team at AEG Presents and oversee the programming initiatives of the three AEG Presents venues: the O2 (including indigo), Eventim Apollo, and Wolverhampton Civic Halls.
Emma Bownes, VP of venue programming (Europe) at The O2, says: “Christian’s combination of tenacity and passion for music has been pivotal in the development of our event programming at the O2.
“He is extremely well-liked and respected in the industry, and I am delighted that he will using his considerable experience to support the teams at indigo at The O2, Eventim Apollo, and Wolverhampton Civic Halls.”
“He is extremely well-liked and respected in the industry”
Christian D’Acuña has worked at the O2 since 2012 when he joined as programming assistant.
Commenting on his promotion, D’Acuña says: “I’m really excited to have been given the opportunity to work on a broader range of AEG venues in the UK in addition to the O2, and am looking forward to working alongside the great teams we have at Eventim Apollo and indigo at the O2.
“I can’t wait for the reopening of the legendary Civic Halls and The Wulfrum in Wolverhampton in early 2023, where we are already working with promoters and agents on an exciting calendar of events.”
The O2 is due to celebrate its 15th birthday this year and will host 200 events from artists including Dua Lipa, Little Mix, Billie Eilish, Queen + Adam Lambert and Kings of Leon.