Now suddenly the London Millennium Dome has arrived back by stealth at the top tables. The O2, as it is now called, has become a major selling venue, successfully brought off its uppers by no less than Kylie Minogue. Her performances in this realm of elementary acoustincs, in the fattened, circular volume, have been recognised as something of a winner in the music world. In the future Avril Lavigne and Celine Dion will also perform, and Michael Jackson is a distinct possibility for the autumn.
What helped things along was persuading Phil Anschutz that you could think of the dome as an umbrella rather than a flat building. A simple conceptual change, but it worked., and keeps the weather out. But is it not a bit of an inside-out, windblown umbrella? Time will tell.
Pollstar, collators of entertainment venue figures, report that O2, running from mid-June, achieved 1,209,376 visitor sales in 2007, while Wembley Arena had 901.778 and Madison Square, New York, sold 1,230,433 (both for January–December). In 2008, O2 is expected to beat all competition.