NHS breaks Prince’s record for longest residency at London’s O2 Arena
Prince’s record for the longest residency at the O2 Arena in London has been broken by the NHS.
The 20,000-capacity live music venue has been stood down as an NHS coronavirus training facility after 44 days.
Prince, who died in 2016, performed at the venue on 21 consecutive nights in 2007, spending more than 50 hours on stage and playing more than 500 songs.
The arena, owned by AEG, was converted into an NHS training facility in April to supply staff to the Nightingale hospitals.
To mark the building’s role during the coronavirus pandemic, the NHS education team has signed an artwork of a nightingale with rainbow wings, created by British artist and illustrator Madeleine Floyd.
The framed piece will be hung in the O2 Arena’s backstage area.
While the venue remains closed to the public, a phased reopening of parts of it is planned for summer, with the ICON Outlet shopping centre among the initial stages.
The O2’s deputy general manager Danielle Kennedy-Clark said: “We’ve hosted some real heroes during these past few weeks and it has been a privilege for AEG, along with our partner O2, to have been able to play our part during these challenging times
“This has been our most important residency to date and we’re grateful to the team for this special piece of artwork to remind us of such a poignant time.”
O2 chief executive Mark Evans said: “We’re proud through our partnership with AEG to have been able to support the fantastic work of NHS with the training facility at the O2 Arena.
“We continue to work hard to keep the nation connected, and remain committed to supporting customers, key workers and the NHS with the network and support they need during these unprecedented times.”