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For other uses, see The Point. For the rebranded venue (after July 2008), see The O2, Dublin.

The Point Theatre (often referred to as the Point Depot or simply as the Point) was a concert and events venue in Ireland, that ran from 1988 - 2007, enjoyed by in excess of 2 million people.[1] It was located on the North Wall Quay of the River Liffey, amongst the Dublin Docklands. The Point was closed in the summer of 2007 for a major redevelopment and underwent a rebranding as the O2 in July 2008.[2][3] Prior to the redevelopment the seated capacity was 8,500; it is set to rise to a 13,000 standing capacity in its new existence.[4]

The Point was noted for its flexible seating configurations - over the years it has not only served as a venue for many different varieties of music concerts, but has also been turned into an ice rink, a boxing arena, a conference hall, an exhibition centre, a wrestling ring, a theatre, an opera house and a three ring circus. It hosted the Eurovision Song Contest on three separate occasions in the 1990s and the 1999 MTV European Music Awards.



The Point was often criticised for its poor quality of general atmosphere encompassing sound control and sightlines. There were also notably lengthy queues for the building's bars and restrooms, particularly for female attendees.[5]


The rocket, located just outside the venue itself.

The building was constructed in 1878 as a train depot to serve the nearby busy port. In the late 1980s, after many years of neglect and disuse, it was bought by local developer, Harry Crosbie along with Apollo Leisure (now Live Nation) fitted out the venue with balconies, offices and backstage facilities. Before it was renovated, U2 recorded track #2 of their 1988 album, Rattle and Hum, "Van Diemen's Land" there,[6] and footage from the building of performances of this song and "Desire" appear in the accompanying "Rattle and Hum" movie.

The Point opened in 1988. Melissa Etheridge being the support act for Huey Lewis and the News was the first to play there. U2 played four nights at the venue near the end of their Lovetown Tour from December 26-31, 1989.[7][8][9] Their December 31 concert was broadcast live on radio stations around the world and was notable for frontman Bono's prophetic comment regarding U2 having to "go away and ... and dream it all up again." It later received an official online release via iTunes.[10]

In the 1990s, the Point was seen by millions of European television viewers, as it was the venue for the Eurovision Song Contest on three separate occasions over four years, in 1994 [11], 1995,[12] and 1997,[13] becoming the only venue to have hosted the final three times. Riverdance was first performed in the Point Depot, as the interval act during the Eurovision Song Contest 1994.[14]

Tragedy struck the Point on May 11, 1996 in a night that would go down in the history of the venue. Due to overcrowding and moshing at a Smashing Pumpkins concert,[15] 17 year-old fan, Bernadette O'Brien was crushed to death. The band were in mid-set when moshers surged toward the stage and began trampling one another, despite the presence of 110 security guards. Singer Billy Corgan warned the crowd that people were getting hurt, while at one point, bassist D'arcy Wretzky announced: "There's a girl dying backstage, do you care?" As the show descended into chaos it was eventually abandoned in an effort to prevent more deaths. A show in Belfast the following night was cancelled out of respect. Gardaí were said to be investigating why the bars in the Point remained open for the teen-packed show.[16]

The 1999 MTV Europe Music Awards were held in the Point Depot on November 11.[17] Hosted by Ronan Keating, there were performances [18] from Mariah Carey, The Corrs, Whitney Houston, Iggy Pop, Marilyn Manson and Britney Spears [19] on the night.[20] Award presenters [21] included Alicia Silverstone, Mick Jagger, Pierce Brosnan, Carmen Electra, LL Cool J, Mary J Blige, Iggy Pop, Fun Lovin' Criminals, Des'ree, Five, Christina Aguilera, Damon Albarn, Geri Halliwell [22] and Gary Barlow. The largest winner was Britney Spears who won four awards (Best Female, Best Pop, Best Breakthrough Artist, and Best Song for "...Baby One More Time"). Boyzone won two awards (Best UK & Ireland Act and Best Album for By Request).[23]

The final event to take place before closure and rebranding was a boxing card featuring local boxer, Bernard Dunne on August 25, 2007. Promoter Brian Peters had moved his European title defense against Kiko Martinez from Dublin's boxing-specific National Stadium across the Liffey to the Point Depot where Dunne shattered former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis's previous attendance record for the venue.[24][25]

Notable concerts and events

The Point was the host of the MTV Europe Music Awards (EMA's) in 1999, with Ronan Keating presenting.

Dire Straits began the band's On Every Street tour, its last, at the Point in August, 1991.

Kylie Minogue performed at the venue in November 1991 on her Let's Get To It European tour which was filmed for a VHS release the following year.

In April 1992, Cher performed here her "Love Hurts Tour" supporting her highly-successful album Love Hurts.

On June 19, 1992, Def Leppard began their Seven Day Weekend Tour of Europe in the Point Depot, a tour designed to support their multi-million selling record, Adrenalize. The show was the first time Def Leppard had brought their "in the round" stage show outside the United States and Canada. The stage was set in the middle of the arena and featured a revolving drum kit which could move to any point around the stage and a lighting rig which would move out over the audience during "Rocket".[26] It was the first time any band had brought an "in the round" stage show on an international tour and was also the first full show the band played with their new guitarist, Vivian Campbell (who had joined following the death of Steve Clark).[27]

Nirvana played the venue on June 21, 1992 to a sell-out crowd.

The Point was the venue that introduced Riverdance to the world at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest.

Norweigan super group a-ha performed the last gig of their successful Lifelines world tour on 16 October 2002 at The Point, a sell out gig.

50 Cent's 2003 performance at the Point is briefly shown on the special features of 50 Cent's own film, Get Rich or Die Tryin'.

In 2004, punk rock band The Offspring played the Point to a sell-out audience.

Britney Spears performed to a sell-out crowd at what would be her last performance for three years. Her concert entourage for the Onyx Hotel Tour was the biggest ever hosted at the Point and her second performance in Ireland, the largest and most extravagant concert in the Point Theatre's history, with huge entourage and equipment.

Also in 2004, on December 16 the punk rock trio Blink-182 played their last show before going on a four year hiatus.

Velvet Revolver, the band comprising ex-Guns N' Roses and Stone Temple Pilots members, played there although there were many sound problems during their set.

Oasis have played several concerts in the Point, most recently in December 2005, where they referred to Dublin as "the second greatest city in the world". Footage from one of the 2005 gigs was included in Oasis's 2007 rockumentary, Lord Don't Slow Me Down.

Kylie Minogue made returned to the Point (after a 14-year absence) in May 2005 with her Showgirl Tour. She played six nights at the Dublin venue, just weeks before she was told she had breast cancer.

On August 23, 2006, Pearl Jam opened their first European tour in six years at the Point. They were originally to play the Reading and Leeds Festivals first before playing Slane Concert; however Pearl Jam felt the Point was the perfect place to begin their tour. The concert gained wide radio play in the UK and Ireland.[28]

McFly performed at the Point in 2006.

Celtic Woman performed their debut concert in Ireland at the Point Theatre in February 2006, following a lengthy and enormously successful North American tour. While their first performance in Ireland was technically at The Helix in Dublin (which was filmed for PBS), the Point performance marked the group's first unveiling of the theatrical show that had taken America by storm.

Tool made their third ever Irish appearance there in 2006 during their 10,000 Days tour with support from Mastodon after previously appearing at the SFX centre in 2001 and inadvertently headlining the Ozzfest in 2002 at Punchestown Racecourse when Ozzy Osbourne cancelled due to illness.

Iron Maiden brought their Dance Of Death World Tour and Matter of Life and Death tour to the Point with 2 sell out shows and extra seats made available due to demand.

Beyoncé Knowles played two dates in the Point, which closed the first leg of the Beyoncé Experience Tour. During both concerts, Knowles commented on how she loved coming to Ireland for the Irish shows, telling the audience how she "bragged" on them to her band/crew. At the end of the second Irish show Knowles cried, giving an emotional conclusion to the first leg of her tour.

Several other acts played the Point during the summer of 2007, including Keane, George Michael, and Norah Jones.

Tiësto performed in 2007 as part of his Elements of Life World Tour.

In 2007, the Irish boy band, Westlife played 12 times in the Point; they played a total of nearly 60 shows at the venue between 2001 and 2007.

Live recordings

The Theatre has been the venue for numerous live recordings subsequently released as live albums. David Gray's live performance video, David Gray: Live, released on March 19, 2001, was recorded at a sell-out show at the Point at the end of an Irish tour in December 1999.[29] David Bowie filmed his A Reality Tour DVD in the Point during two sell-out shows there in November 22-24, 2003.[30] R.E.M. filmed and recorded their live double CD/DVD set, R.E.M. Live in the Point in February 26-27, 2005.[31] Bruce Springsteen recorded his 2007 album, Live in Dublin at the Point from November 17-19, 2006.[32] Bell X1's live album Tour De Flock was recorded at their sell-out December 1, 2006 performance at the Point.[33]

Sports events



The Point has hosted many boxing fights featuring local fighter Bernard Dunne most notabally his fight for the EBU Super-Bantamweight title against Kiko Martinez. Other boxing events at the venue have been headlined by world champions Lennox Lewis, Naseem Hamed, Steve Collins and Wayne McCullough


The Point has hosted a number of WWE Smackdown & Raw live events.


  1. ^ ""The Point Theatre"". Retrieved 2008-09-20.  
  2. ^ ""Meet the new venue on the block - The O2"". The Irish Times. 2008-07-02. Retrieved 2008-09-20.  
  3. ^ "Point Theatre to re-open under new name". RTÉ. 2008-07-01. Retrieved 2008-09-19.  
  4. ^ "O2 wins naming rights for 'stunning' new Point". Irish Independent. 2008-07-03. Retrieved 2008-09-20.  
  5. ^ "The O2: Welcome to the future". Irish Independent. 2008-12-05. Retrieved 2008-12-07.  
  6. ^ "U2 - Rattle And Hum". Discogs. Retrieved 2008-09-20.  
  7. ^ "1989-12-26: Point Depot - Dublin, Ireland". U2 - Lovetown Tour. Retrieved 2008-09-20.  
  8. ^ "1989-12-27: Point Depot - Dublin, Ireland". U2 - Lovetown Tour. Retrieved 2008-09-20.  
  9. ^ "1989-12-30: Point Depot - Dublin, Ireland". U2 - Lovetown Tour. Retrieved 2008-09-20.  
  10. ^ "1989-12-31: Point Depot - Dublin, Ireland". U2 - Lovetown Tour. Retrieved 2008-09-20.  
  11. ^ ""Nul Points - Eurovision 1994"". Retrieved 2008-10-08.  
  12. ^ ""Nul Points - Eurovision 1995"". Retrieved 2008-10-08.  
  13. ^ ""Nul Points - Eurovision 1997"". Retrieved 2008-10-08.  
  14. ^ ""Video Clips"". Riverdance. Retrieved 2008-09-20.  
  15. ^ ""May 11, 1996"". Smashing Pumpkins. Retrieved 2008-09-20.  
  16. ^ "Fan Crushed at Smashing Pumpkin's Show". 1996. Retrieved 2006-06-23.  
  17. ^ ""MTV Unveils the Nominations for the 1999 MTV Europe Music Awards"". BNET. 1999-10-04. Retrieved 2008-09-21.  
  18. ^ ""The 1999 MTV Europe Music Awards: Show Description, Cast & Crew"". Yahoo! TV. Retrieved 2008-09-21.  
  19. ^ ""Go Britney Spears Pics >Britney Spears Award Shows > 1999 > Europe Music Awards 1999"". Retrieved 2008-09-21.  
  20. ^ ""Full cast and crew for MTV Europe Music Awards 1999"". IMDb. Retrieved 2008-09-21.  
  21. ^ ""The 1999 MTV Europe Music Awards (1999)"". Retrieved 2008-09-21.  
  22. ^ ""MTV EUROPE MUSIC AWARDS CEREMONY IN DUBLIN, EIRE - 1999"". REX. Retrieved 2008-09-21.  
  23. ^ ""Spears Tops 1999 Mtv Europe Music Awards"". All Business. 1999-11-12. Retrieved 2008-09-21.  
  24. ^ ""Time to prioritize: How much does Dunne want it?"". ESPN. 2008-07-11. Retrieved 2008-09-20.  
  25. ^ ""Boxing: Martinez cashes in with rapid win"". The Independent. 2007-08-27. Retrieved 2008-09-20.  
  26. ^ - Information on the Def Leppard Dublin Show
  27. ^ Interview: Hot Metal Magazine Issue 11 April 1992
  28. ^ ""PEARL JAM - THE POINT, DUBLIN - AUGUST 23RD 2006"". Chimpomatic. Retrieved 2008-09-21.  
  29. ^ ""DAVID GRAY LIVE AT THE POINT, DUBLIN"". Warner Music Australasia.,w_prod,8573859982AU. Retrieved 2008-09-20.  
  30. ^ ""David Bowie - The Reality Tour"". CLUAS. Retrieved 2008-09-20.  
  31. ^ ""R.E.M. - Live (Point Depot, Dublin 26-27 Feb 2005/+DVD) [Digipak (CD 2007)""]. eBay. Retrieved 2008-09-20.  
  32. ^ ""Bruce Springsteen: Live in Dublin (Just Released 2-CDs)"". BuzzFlash. Retrieved 2008-09-20.  
  33. ^ ""Bell X1 - Tour de Flock: Live at the Point"". RTÉ. Retrieved 2008-09-20.  

External links

Coordinates: 53°20′51″N 06°13′43″W / 53.3475°N 6.22861°W / 53.3475; -6.22861

Preceded by
Green Glens Arena
Eurovision Song Contest Venue
1994, 1995
Succeeded by
Oslo Spektrum
Preceded by
Oslo Spektrum
Eurovision Song Contest Venue
Succeeded by
National Indoor Arena
Preceded by
Train depot
Point Theatre Succeeded by
The O2


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