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Our account manager Lizzie Fryer tells us why The O2 is one of her favourite London venues.

“The O2 has become a second home to Eat to the Beat and GIG over the years. Originally known as the Millennium Dome, which was a government-backed exhibition celebrating the year 2000, the venue was repurposed into a retail and entertainment space.

In 2023 Eat to the Beat and GIG worked on over 40 events at the venue, including tours, comedy shows, corporate and sporting events. It’s renowned for some of the most spectacular shows in the entertainment world and most recently we’ve been honoured to have catered for two of the biggest events of the year – the ‘Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball’ and the National Television Awards (NTAs).

In November we were asked to cater for Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball. This is a concert that’s been held annually since 2008 and I was lucky enough to be onsite for the duration of the event this year. Pre-event preparations are the most critical phase when it comes to catering and I was tasked with managing the backstage catering for the entire event from start to finish. This included liaising with the client and converting their schedule and requirements into a quote and contract, menu planning with our onsite event leader and finding the right balance between hearty food for hungry crew and healthy treats for the artists.

I also organised the crew, booked suppliers, made sure we supplied the correct riders for the acts. In addition, I was the point of contact on the show days right through to the reconciliation at the end of the event.

As ever sustainability was a key focus, with efforts to source locally and reduction of waste being considered throughout – we had no single use plastic backstage, water was supplied in cans and water coolers were provided for people to refill their bottles.

I know how to get around backstage like the back of my hand and have worked with the in-house team and numerous promoter’s countless times.  The production team from Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball transform the venue backstage with amazing branding in a very short time.

There were so many acts performing – highlights for me were meeting and serving Take That, Alicia Keys and Becky Hill.

Our crew leader was Susie D’Andrea, who has worked with us for over 20 years, she and her team all worked tirelessly and did such an amazing job delivering fantastic, varied food for around 800 people every day. Alongside the catering we also had around 15 artist dressing rooms to manage each day.

The National Television Awards (NTAs) at the O2 Arena in London is a prestigious event in the British television calendar, celebrating the best in TV as voted by the public. These awards have been held annually since their inception in 1995. This is an event we have now been catering for nearly 20 years. At the NTA’s, we look after the VIP catering which includes a drinks & canape reception and an after party for over 500 celebrities. We also cater for the crew catering throughout the event, star treatment room, press room and various green rooms.

Catering for an event at The O2 is more than just a job; it’s about passion, resilience, and culinary excellence. Each event brings new challenges and learning experiences, making every day an adventure. Upcoming events we have at The O2 in January 2024 alone include Strictly Come Dancing, Bring Me the Horizon & St James Partners Conference.

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