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The best music venues in London: The O2

The city's 20 best places to see live music, as voted by you – get the latest gig listings and buy tickets

The O2

Symbolic of the turn of the century’s cash-rich, common sense-poor mentality, the Millennium Dome was a national embarrassment which took years to sell off. Even once it was off the public’s hands, doubts remained about the building’s viability as a venue, given the drawbacks of its relatively remote location and the fact it used to be the Millennium Dome. 

But the plucky 20,000-seater has proved the critics wrong and established itself as the capital’s de facto home of the megagig.

This was where Prince chose to hold his famous 21-night freeform residency, still spoken of in awed tones by those who were there. It is also, of course, where Michael Jackson fatally decided to base his own 50-night run, with equally memorable results.

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Greenwich Peninsula
Next venue: The Forum


The Man on the Street Tastemaker

The O2. Its big, miles away in North Greenwich, represents the totally commercial side of live music, feels like America and is packed with chain restaurants. I should hate it, but I don't. As an arena for staging bigger gigs it delivers. I have spent so many great nights here. The best so far have been Springsteen's Christmas gig, Pink Floyd almost reuniting at The Wall and the Led Zeppelin reunion which ranks amongst my top 5 ever. Just last week I attended Fleetwood Mac (pictured) who are now ancient but still have it. Triumphant after headlining The Isle of White they put on a  very good show. I still prefer smaller venues that don't smell as good as The O2 but when the big boys are in town its well worth a visit.