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Dublin O2 opens to an audience of 10,000

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Dublin’s new O2 Arena in the dockland’s area of the city has opened to an audience of around 10,000 this week.

The dilapidated Point Depot, once the city’s major indoor concert site, has been transformed into a 21st century venue in a 14-month construction project that cost €80 million.

With tiered seating, cup holders on every seat, and a design that ensures perfect sight lines – with no one more than 60 metres from the stage – it has a capacity for up to 14,000.

According to Mike Adamson of Live Nation, co-owner of the new arena with Dublin businessman Harry Crosbie, it is “the equal of any venue in Europe”. The revamped centre also offers a special corporate hospitality area, the Audi Club, with membership costing €10,000. And despite the current grim economic climate, it is reportedly almost sold out.

In the past, many top-line musicians bypassed Dublin because The Point could not accommodate lavish stage shows, says O2 Ireland marketing manager Jonny Cahill. “They could play here or do another night in Manchester and perform in front of 13,000, and many opted to do that. Now things will be different. This venue is purpose-built for music, unlike many around the world that were originally designed to host sporting events.”

Some of the biggest acts in the business are now expected at the new arena, including U2, whose career started at The Point and who have promised to return. Later this week, Coldplay and the Kings of Leon will head the bill and other performers listed for early next year include Tina Turner, Bob Dylan and AC/DC.

The opening concert was given over to a children’s charity, Childline, with X Factor finalists Eoghan Quigg and JLS among the performers, together with Boyzone, Enrique Iglesias, Shayne Ward and Anastacia. The show raised around €400,000.

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