Bigger Bang tour lands O2 arena in hot water

  • 23 August 2007

The management of the O2 arena have been reprimanded after two members of the Rolling Stones flouted England’s new smoking ban and lit up on stage. Bosses were cautioned but escaped a fine after Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood were pictured cigarette-in-hand at the former Dome in Greenwich. Taking part in their latest tour A Bigger Bang in front of 20,000 fans, the offending item was quickly extinguished as security rushed to ensure audience members did not follow suit.

Under the law, landlords can be fined as much as £2,500 for anyone defying the ban on their premises. A spokeswoman for the arena said this was merely an oversight and claimed they were taking the ban seriously. A source close to the band however offered a different perspective: “Ronnie and Keith have been smoking on stage for the last three decades and they’re not going to stop for the next two. Of course they’re going to have a fag – it’s what they do. You might say that Keith and Ronnie lighting up while they swap licks is part of the Stones performance.”

The Rolling Stones

The veteran band, featuring original members singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards, celebrates 50 years since its formation in London by playing its hits including Jumpin' Jack Flash and Brown Sugar.