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London will have a prestigious new entertainment venue situated next to the Dome at Greenwich that will play host to a galaxy of stars and live events during the year 2000. Named Skyscape, and sponsored by BSkyB, the venue will be dedicated to unique live entertainment.

The silver coloured building will be a striking addition to the peninsula with its distinctive curved roof sails and pod entrances. Nestling beside the Dome, Skyscape will be a dramatic and attractive futuristic building.

Copyright: NMEC/Sham ImagingVisitors will experience a state of the art venue fully equipped for the 21st century. Its two 2,500-seat cinemas will be the biggest in the UK, using top of the range cinematic screen and sound technology. The building's central foyer consists of a series of clear mezzanine floors and walls that will give visitors panoramic views of the Dome and the river.

The building, designed by Edwin Shirley Staging and architects Urban Salon in consultation with the Richard Rogers Partnership, has an exciting dual purpose. As an integral part of the Millennium Experience its two giant cinemas together will see up to 50,000 visitors entertained every day.


Rowan Atkinson & Tony Robinson (left) and Kate Moss & Rik Mayall (right).  Stills from the exclusive Blackadder film "Blackadder Back & Forth" to be shown exclusively throughout 2000 in Skyscape sponsored by Sky Television

They will be treated to a film experience that is currently in development. The film will be a unique half-hour “special” featuring the best of British comedy, by our leading comedy writers.

The building’s second starring role will see one of the two vast cinema screens 'fly away' to reveal a 20m x 20m live performance stage. Bigger than the Live Aid stage, Skyscape’s stage will be the largest in the UK, breaking the current record held by the Edinburgh Festival (14m x 19m). The stage will transform one cinema into an attractive 3,300 seater performance venue, enabling the staging of a series of separately ticketed events throughout 2000.

NMEC is currently compiling a diverse programme of events encompassing the best of music, comedy and dance. Skyscape will be capable of hosting star-studded premieres and award ceremonies; live comedy, dance, cabaret, opera and headlining showcase gigs and concerts by world famous artists. Skyscape will provide a showcase of the best of British for both emerging and more established talent.

Elisabeth Murdoch, Managing Director Sky Networks said, ‘It is only fitting that BSkyB a young, creative, entrepreneurial company and the leading architect of entertainment and information in the new millennium, be a part of the country's celebrations in 2000. As the Official Broadcast Sponsor of the Millennium Experience, BSkyB is proud to be the host of Skyscape and looks forward to entertaining the millions of visitors that come through its doors.’ The entertainment industry’s top promoters have welcomed Skyscape’s appearance on the London circuit.

Pete Waterman said, ‘No one knows better than I do the importance of publicity and Skyscape’s location will guarantee it a place in the limelight during the year 2000 and I’m looking forward to being involved.’ Pete is a multi-talented record producer, recently winning a music industry lifetime achievement award, producer of Kylie Minogue, and now responsible for Steps, one of the biggest selling pop acts of 1999 with over 7 million in record sales.

John Giddings said, ‘There is a dearth of venues in London and it’s great to see the millennium giving us a new opportunity to present our artists.’ John, MD of Solo, is one of the UK’s top five promoters, promoting The Rolling Stones, Celine Dion and The Corrs.

Tim Parsons said, ‘ Any new venue is a bonus to the live event business and one attached to the biggest promotional push this decade is going to have a phenomenally successful year.’ Tim is director of MCP Promotions Ltd. and among others promotes U2 and Bon Jovi.

Harvey Goldsmith said, ‘The dome is entertainment for all, including music fans. The opportunity of having a dedicated venue for entertainment is a marvellous idea and has to work.’ Harvey is a promoter with an international reputation, most recently with tours for Bruce Springsteen and the Titanic Exhibition.

Tickets for separate events that take place in Skyscape will be available from a variety of sources. These are likely to include a 24-hour call centre, open seven days a week, box offices on site, on-line from the NMEC Web site and via around 150 trade partners who are selling Dome admission tickets together with travel and accommodation packages.

Skyscape has been developed by Edwin Shirley Staging a modular staging company in conjunction with architects Urban Salon. ESS has been synonymous with major live events for twenty years. The company built the stage for the Live Aid show at Wembley in 1986, for the Amnesty, Human Rights Now show in Santiago Chile in 1990, the Oasis shows at Knebworth in 1996, the Spice Girls at Wembley last year, and the Hong Kong hand over. Urban Salon is a young architect/design company and was established in 1995 as a vehicle for the exploration of both live and theoretical urban, architectural and design projects. Urban Salon has completed live projects on a variety of scales including architecture and urban proposals, events and exhibitions and commercial and private interiors.


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