The O2 (formerly The Point Depot) started life as a large cast-iron warehouse. It was built in 1878 by the Great Southern and Western Railway Company as a riverside goods depot. Its location beside the point at which the East Wall and North Wall met provided the buildings name. By the 1980's the building was abandoned and facing collapse when it was bought by Harry Crosbie from CIÉ for €952,500. Shay Cleary Architects was recruited to turn the building into a multi-purpose concert, exhibition and conference centre. During the renovation U2 recorded part of their Rattle and Hum album in the building. The Point Depot operated between 1988 and 2007 as a venue for music concerts, boxing matches, exhibitions, operas, as well as theatre and circus performances. It hosted the Eurovision Song Contest on three separate occasions in the 1990's and the 1999 MTV European Music Awards.
The 02 is Europe's first venue, of its size, which is custom designed for live music. It is an amphitheatre design and boasts unrivalled acoustics. The layout also ensures clear sightlines and proximity to the stage for everyone in the audience, due to its unique tiered seating design. The O2 has a capacity to hold up to 14,000 people who will enjoy some 150 entertainment and live music events in any given year. The O2 opened its doors to the public in December 2008 after an €80 million investment. It is a development of the Point Exhibition Company, made up of Live Nation and Harry Crosbie. Live Nation operates over 155 music and entertainment venues across three continents and promotes acts as diverse as Madonna, U2, The Rolling Stones and Jay Z. The new name acknowledges corporate sponsors Telefonica Europe plc - better known as 02.
For more information visit www.theo2.ie.