Jingle Bell Ball

Jingle Bell Ball
Photo: capitalfm.com
Jingle Bell Ball is one of the two annual concert/mini-festivals held in London by the radio station Capital, the other one being Summertime Ball. It takes place every December at The O2 Arena.

Capital is a network of independent contemporary hit radio stations owned and operated by Global Media & Entertainment. Capital has organized its mini-festivals since the late 2000s to popularize its radio stations and benefit the network’s flagship charity.

The inaugural Jingle Bell Ball was held on December 10, 2008. It was headlined by Rihanna; other acts that performed at the event included The Pussycat Dolls, Boyzone, Sugarbabes, James Blunt, Enrique Iglesias, Anastacia, Lemar, Craig David, and other popular performers. Even though the concert was a success with attendees, some critics found it subpar. For example, David Smyth of the Evening Standard rated it three stars out of five, describing the event as “too quick to be boring but too superficial to stick in the mind”.

Despite criticism, Capital held the second event in December 2009 and expanded it to two days. Since then, Jingle Bell Ball has been held every December, except for 2020, when it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It takes place at The O2 Arena, an indoor arena in southeast London with a capacity of 20,000.

Over the years, Jingle Bell Ball has been headlined by Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Janet Jackson, The Black Eyed Peas, Kylie Minogue, Coldplay, Bruno Mars, P!nk, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Take That, Justin Bieber, Ellie Goulding, Little Mix, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, David Guetta, Harry Styles, Stormzy, Lewis Capaldi, Dua Lipa, Alicia Keys, and Busted.

Some artists have been headliners multiple times. As of 2023, Sam Smith and Taylor Swift have headlined Jingle Bell Ball three times, and Little Mix, Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber two times. The most frequent performers at the festival (again, as of 2023) include Jesy Nelson – 7 times (6 times as a member of Little Mix and once as a solo artist); Little Mix, Olly Murs, The Script and Nathan Sykes – 6 times (4 times as a member of the Wanted and twice as a solo artist for Sykes); Anne-Marie, Jason Derulo, Ella Eyre, JLS, Liam Payne, Sigala and Sam Smith – 5 times (twice as a member of One Direction and 3 times as a solo artist for Payne).

As we’ve already mentioned, Jingle Bell Ball is a fundraising event to benefit Capital’s flagship charity Global’s Make Some Noise, so a portion of ticket sales profit is donated to the charity. The charity was founded in 1975 by Richard Attenborough under the name Help a London Child (later renamed Help a Capital Child and relaunched as Global’s Make Some Noise in 2014). It provides grants to small grassroots charity projects for children and youngsters in need, such as homelessness and refuge projects, support groups, cultural and leisure activities, etc.

Jingle Bell Ball has had a number of sponsors over the years such as Zavvi (2008), Windows 7 (2009–2011), BlackBerry (2012), Coca-Cola (2013 and 2015–2018), Morrisons Supermarket (2014), SEAT (2019), and Barclaycard (2020–2023).

Jingle Bell Ball




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