‘The O2’ cancels gig as COVID ‘squeeze’ UK

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The O2 postponed first show after shut down Image: AEG Europe

The coronavirus situation in the United Kingdom is taking a very serious turn and the new mutated COVID-19 strain is causing havoc in the country with a majority of cases surfacing from London, the South East and the East of England.

Keeping the above grim situation in mind, The O2 in London announced recently that its first socially distanced live music event, featuring rock band ‘Squeeze’, has been pushed back until February 27th, 2021.

Squeeze are an English rock band that came to prominence in the United Kingdom during the new wave period of the late 1970s, and continued recording in the 1980s, 1990s and 2010s. In the UK, their singles ‘Cool for Cats’, ‘Up the Junction’ and ‘Labelled with Love’ were top-ten chart hits.

The event had initially been due to take place on December 5th, 2020, with The O2 having planned on allowing 4,700 spectators into the 20,000-capacity arena. The gig would have been the first live music event at The O2 since the venue closed in March 2020 following the global outbreak of coronavirus. But, the same has now been postponed by almost three months as the Prime Minister of UK, Boris Johnson, announced recently a new virus lockdown for England until at least mid-February.

The O2 Arena is a multipurpose indoor arena in the center of The O2 entertainment complex on the Greenwich Peninsula in Southeast London.

Plans for the December event were first unveiled in October. Fans were able to purchase tickets in groups of two, three or four and if everything would have been on track, The O2 would have implemented a one-way system throughout the arena and at the ingress points.

All separate groups of fans would have had empty seats between them, with food and drink able to be preordered via an app. Electrostatic antibacterial foggers were also brought in to spray across all surfaces around the venue, providing protection for up to 30 days.

Despite the extensive planning and safety measures that were put in place, The O2 has been forced to reschedule the event as a fast-spreading new variant of the coronavirus has thrown life totally out of gear in the United Kingdom with body bags piling up.

Steve Sayer, Vice-President and General Manager, The O2, stated, “Our arena is the beating heart of The O2 and we hugely miss the live experiences that we’re used to sharing with our fans. It’s disappointing to have to delay this show but I would like to say how grateful we are for the support we’ve received from the industry, fans and our partners and we look forward to ‘Squeeze’ performing in the arena soon.”

Glenn Tilbrook of ‘Squeeze’ added, “I was really looking forward to the show at The O2, to be back on the stage with our wonderful band, but of course everyone’s safety is paramount. With the show being rescheduled for February, which allows even more time to make this a very special evening. I wish you all well during these uncertain times. Stay safe.”

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