o2 arena

Lightyears at the O2 Arena with The Script

20 March 2011

Chart-topping Irish rockers The Script are headlining the O2 Arena on Saturday 26 March and before they hit the stage we will be performing a set in The Blue Room (exclusive to O2 customers).

If you’re planning to be there, we’ll be onstage at 6.30pm. If you don’t have tickets, unfortunately you’re out of luck because the gig sold out in less than a day!

However, if this is the case, why not buy tickets for The Lightyears at the Clapham Grand the night before?! Apart from anything else, if you arrive at The Grand before 8.30 you get a free shot. And they won’t be doing THAT at the O2.

The Great AEG Hologram Debacle

2 July 2009

Imagine having your very own one of these, shaped like Michael JacksonDoes anybody else think that AEG Live, the company responsible for booking Michael Jackson’s gargantuan run of shows at the O2 in May, got what was coming to them?

Against the star’s wishes, AEG extended MJ’s initial run of 10 shows to 50, virtually overnight. Michael himself wasn’t happy about this but it seemed he had no choice in the matter. It was obvious to everybody that he was going to really struggle to make it through 50 concerts – the people knew it, the media knew it and the insurance companies knew it. As a result, AEG were only able to secure insurance against a small proportion of the concerts they’d booked and now they are in the hole for something like £300 million. 

It has recently emerged that the company are offering fans a “souvenir ticket”, featuring a hologram of the great man, as an alternative to a refund. I’m sorry, but what?! A hologram? You used to get tat like that free in cereal packets in the 1980s. That is clearly the result of a group of executives sitting around a boardroom trying to figure out how they can exploit the memory of Michael Jackson just to save themselves a few quid.

Now, I don’t want to come across as naive – businessmen exploit musical talent for financial gain all the time (that’s why we have a music industry and it’s also the reason bands are able to get their music out to millions rather than just hundreds, which is clearly a good thing) –  but I think in this case it’s a little crass. The problem, however, is this. I wish I could say that the fans will see through AEG’s hokey offer. I wish I could say that devoted Jackson-ites will boycott the scheme on principle. But they won’t. And AEG know that. 

Personally, I wouldn’t accept a shiny ticket for a concert that never happened created by a desperate corporation as a suitable memento for the loss of the world’s greatest entertainer. Mind you, maybe that’s just sour grapes from one of the schmucks who failed to get a ticket in the first place. 😉 

What I will say is this – if you can’t decide between a refund and a souvenir ticket, why not join me on my soapbox and take the cash? Then, later on today, in place of framing AEG’s ground-breaking hologram technology and hanging it on your wall, why not bust out a huge ghetto blaster and strut the streets of your hometown playing “Speed Demon” on full blast and grabbing your crotch? That’s a better tribute to the King Of Pop than anything that could have been dreamed up by the suits at AEG…

Have we been played?

13 March 2009


Last week Michael Jackson came out of hiding to announce that he was playing ten shows at the 02 Arena. These were to be his last ever performances in London. This is it, everybody said.

This is it, at least, aside from the other forty gigs that were later added to meet the enormous demand for tickets.

Even once you set aside the question of whether the lovable old fruitcake will actually make it to show number 50, consider this – have we been played? Surely they knew all along there’d be more than ten concerts. In hindsight, wasn’t the whole “This is it” schtick just a clever ploy to sway the floating voters?

By which I mean that, whilst MJ has a legion of loyal fans over here who would spend their life savings to watch him perform in a swamp, the promoters must have also realised that there was a large portion of the public who might go either way – casual of fans of his music (for who in the WORLD isn’t at the very least a casual fan of Michael Jackson?) who had asked the inevitable question “Will it be any good? Will it not just be a bit like watching a marionette operated by a one-armed stroke victim?”. 

Scarcity, as we know, drives up demand. The dudes sitting on the fence were given a cunning nudge in the right direction: “Well, I wasn’t that bothered about going to see him until I discovered there were only ten shows and he’d never be playing London again. I have to get tickets now. I mean, come on, this is IT! ”

As I write I am currently trying, and failing, to secure my tickets to see the King in the flesh. Maybe it was never meant to be for me.

If only “Jim’ll Fix It” was still around.

Chris Lightyear