Concession stands at the Dome

I went to a concert at the Dome a couple of days ago, and, since I’d gone to the cinema earlier (Screen 11, sat in the stalls – really not bad at all, though they need to sort out the sound – it’s got an ‘echo’ where the speakers don’t seem to be aligned) I decided not to go home to eat before the gig.

There were queues outside every single open restaurant, even an hour and a half before the show, so we decided to get some food from the concession stands around the arena. These too, had massive queues, and it didn’t take long to work out why.

As you go in at the bottom of the escalators, they search your bag. Fair enough, thought I – must be looking for bombs – and I guess the Dome’s quite a target. No – they were searching for food and drink, which they were confiscating and dumping into giant bins so that you HAVE to buy their overpriced stuff. Of course I didn’t notice to start with as I hadn’t brought any, but a lot of people were pissed off about this – and I don’t blame them. Ticket prices are already high, without having to fork out stupid amounts for a tiny bottle of water.

We joined one of the massive queues, but the staff were just totally unable to cope. An hour to go before the show and they’d run out of cheeseburgers and, it seemed, everything else. Ok, we thought, we’ll have the veggieburgers (seemingly the only other option.) “Two veggieburgers” shouted the guy to the back where other people looked like they were busy being busy. Ten minutes later, we were still waiting by the stand, with other bemused buyers, while the guy kept shouting back “Two veggieburgers!” and then turning back to us as though we hadn’t heard him and saying “just waiting for your veggieburgers…”

During this time they ran out of ice cream. We still had about three quarters of an hour to go.

I gave in and bought a bottle of water at £1.80 for a tiny bottle. And here’s a tip, folks. Bring a bottle cap. They confiscate your bottle cap, so that you have to drink it fast before you spill it, then, presumably, buy another one.

Veggieburgers finally in hand, there was nowhere to eat them. I’m not just saying there were no seats – I wasn’t expecting seats – but little bar-table things would have been helpful. There was a little shelf around the outside of one of the doors, but not nearly enough for the amount of people. There were people sitting all over the floors, and trying to find anywhere to perch. Some guy got removed when he tried to sit on the (empty) stairs – it was just – well – really uncomfortable.

The veggieburgers were ok – the handful of chips were underdone, but the burger, though soggy, was tasty enough. But a friend of mine who’d gone to the fish and chip place had to take hers back – fried on the outside, frozen on the inside.

All in all, my advice is this. Fill up before you go to the arena, don’t bother trying to bring your own provisions, they will only take them away from you, and bring a bottle cap. All in all a disappointing experience.

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