O2 Academy Brixton information

The O2 Academy at Brixton has a long established tradition of attracting star names and up-and-coming acts alike. One of London's most popular live music venues, the O2 Academy also hosts club nights, with a capacity of 4,000.

Ranked #149 of 225 clubs in London

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O2 Academy Brixton reviews

By Chris B.

Most versatile venue in London! Seen Above & Beyond here a few times, Sub Focus, Andy C and it's an amazing rave space, but also seen the likes of Ben Howard and it works perfectly for acoustic music too. Security and bar staff are way more friendly than most clubs.

By Anna D.

Dreadful impossible to understand what he was saying with so much feed back , dont think his personal mike was even on - he was told so after half an hour by the audience that that side of the auditorium could not hear - very little was done about it - three quaters of the way through the whole show it improved a bit - all on the left of the auditorium were bored with struggling to hear him and when they could a bit more, found his jokes tedious anyway and extremely old hat. In addition to the old school 80's 'dirty humour' and lack of imaginative content, his stage presence was extremely poor. He conducted a section where he sat down and showed drawings on a screen as the punch lines. Out of what must have been around 80+ one lines 99% of them were sexual innuendos, yawn! His supposed 'chat show' episode in the second half made no sense and was more like a scene from Eastenders (of which he relied heavily on audience participation). So to summarise I'd give it the 3 I's; inaudiable, idiotic & irrelevant!

By Laura R.

The O2 Academy Brixton is to live music what the church is to religion.

The Venue
Perched proudly on Stockwell Road, The O2 Academy Brixton is an iconic music venue. Its lit-up dome entrance spells out each famous act gracing its stage that night and if that doesn’t catch your eye, the hordes of people converging on the venue from Brixton tube station will. Inside, the venue shows its 1920s theatre roots with grand, carpeted staircases that lead up to an upper circle as well as the cloakroom. Back downstairs, a darkened bar sits to one side of the venue and merchandise can also be found on sale, but all is leading up to the main room through a set of double doors, which holds 4000 standing spectators.

This concert hall is whopping but despite the scale of the Academy, all are guaranteed a view of the stage since the venue is built on a slope. Your focus is easily drawn to the stage, which still keeps period theatre features from the days the Academy was the Astoria. When acts take to the stage, lighting and visual effects are as hi-tech as can be and you can expect confetti cannons and flashing VJ displays or lo-fi, low-light performances, which varies from act to act.

The Atmosphere
Live music acts come far and wide to play at O2 Academy Brixton and many of the biggest names cite this as their favourite venue to play. It’s hosted some of the best names in the business at the height of their fame and continues to provide sell-out gigs to the masses every night of the week. As such, there’s something of an electricity in the air at the Academy, especially in that period where the band is fashionably late to the stage and the tension builds, in age-old gig tradition. Once they arrive on stage, you’ll be able to see your favourite act from a distance or up close and can choose to get involved in a rowdy mosh pit or stand casually out of the throes of rock passion at the very back of the venue, where the band sound just as good. The whole experience is moved along swiftly and politely from the most efficient security staff in the business who are rarely rude on the job.

The Music
The crème de la crème of live music acts – be that pop, dance, hip hop, indie or rock – have taken to the stage of The Academy, and this isn’t likely to change anytime soon. Indeed, 2014 holds performances from Jurassic 5, Haim, Phoenix, Manic Street Preachers and Azealia Banks in store for gig goers, showing the power to draw in contemporary names on the circuit. Rock ‘n’ roll gods have all had a part to play in the Academy’s history, with the likes of the White Stripes, The Smiths, The Prodigy and The Sex Pistols just a few of the acts on the historic bill. But it’s not just live guitar bands and singers that take their place in the spotlight, with club nights always on the roster such as Hospital Records’ regular Hospitality DnB nights. Stand-up comedy also features on the bill, but acts still have to have a rock god-like status – Russell Brand is case in point, who will be bringing his Messiah Complex tour to Brixton in the New Year.

The Drink
Drinks at the Academy are secondary to the music, which is what you’d expect really. You’ll also probably be expecting the price tag, since this gig spot isn’t the place for a cheap tipple or two. Pints at £4.50 seem to be most popular, served in plastic cups with Carlsberg on draught for lager drinkers. There’s also a few bottled beers – again, in plastic – and a small selection of spirits and mixers to help keep you up for it as the night draws on. Think rock ‘n’ roll minimalism as opposed to a lavish drinks list.

The Last Word
The O2 Academy Brixton is revered with good reason. It holds an historic place in the capital’s live music culture and continues to attract up-and-coming UK musicians as well as international acts of note, many of who still regard the Academy as their musical mecca.

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