O2 Academy Brixton

Music , Music venues Stockwell
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(20 user reviews)
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O2 Academy Brixton
© Nick Pickles
Brixton Academy

Built in the 1920s as a cinema at a cost of £250,000, Brixton Academy is London's most credible major rock venue. Although it's echoey when half-full, the 5,000-capacity space is popular because the raked standing area gives good sightlines. Pop acts such as Goldfrapp occasionally feature, but programming favours metal, indie and alt-rock. As one of the capital's largest non-stadium venues, Brixton Academy played its part in rock history – it hosted the Sex Pistols reunion gigs in September 2007, Leftfield broke the venue's decibel record in 1996 bringing showers of dust and plaster down around them, and The Smiths played their last ever gig here in December 1986.

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Brixton Academy: 10 classic gigs

Venue name: O2 Academy Brixton
Contact:
Address: 211
Stockwell Rd
London
SW9 9SL
Transport: Tube: Brixton
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  • Rock and indie Friday December 2 2016
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  • Rock and indie Saturday December 3 2016
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  • Punk and metal Wednesday December 7 2016 - Saturday December 10 2016
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  • Literary events Sunday December 11 2016 - Saturday May 27 2017
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  • Rap, hip hop and R&B Wednesday December 14 2016
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  • Thursday December 15 2016
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  • Pop Friday December 16 2016
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  • Musical Saturday December 17 2016
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  • Bass, garage and D&B Saturday December 31 2016 - Sunday January 1 2017
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  • Punk and metal Saturday January 14 2017
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Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:11
  • 4 star:8
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|20
1 person listening
Tom
moderatorStaff Writer

Historical venue which has an intimate feel compared to many other London venues. Definitely worth a visit if one of your favourite acts is in town!

Shona R
Tastemaker

I love the intimate feel that comes with a gig here - you feel part of a crowd but at the same time small enough to still feel like you're listening to something not many people are getting to hear.  It's stands are sloped, which is great as everyone gets a view and unless you're right at the front, nobody tends to be pushing to get ahead of you - this also means wear comfortable shoes!

From rock to techno, comedy and more - the venue manages to hold it's own.  The bathrooms/floors aren't the cleanest, but let's be honest, you're not going there for an opera!  If you get a chance, head down to see some up-and-coming acts.

Gerê
tastemaker

Loved the place. The graded stand guaranteed a good view from anywhere and the sound system was good. The venue is tacky and smells like an old pub, which brings some character! 

Jonny McWilliams

Best gig place in London - I love the graded standing so you are guaranteed a great view, the atmosphere outside the venue and the friendly staff inside!

jeaniekarl
Tastemaker

I have a special relationship with the Brixton academy. I have seen some incredible artists and bands over the years at this place. A short stroll from Brixton academy makes it so easy to get to with Brixton's nightlife on its doorstep which is always vibrant with plenty choice of eateries and options to continue the rest of the party afterwards should you wish to. This personally remains a firm favourite london music venue of mine. I love the fact that it's not so big compared to the vast London arenas where I sometimes feel you can lose that intimacy of watching live music.There is always a great atmosphere plus there are amazing acoustics and even a sloping floor which is brilliant for the vertically challenged like me. More venues should have these!!! The bar is conveniently located at the back so should you wish to top up on more drinks you don't feel you're losing out on the music and atmosphere. There is even an upstairs area too if you wish to stay away from the crowds on the main floor.

Sam B
tastemaker

Great gig venue. It's on a slope (so ladies.... avoid heels!) meaning you get a good view throughout the venue. Unless you get a 7' tall brick lump stood in front of you, of course. Really annoying rules won't let you take your drink outside when you go out for a cigarette, and the 'smoking area' (if you can call it that) fills up very quickly. Bar is well priced though and staff work hard to serve everyone quickly. 

Daniel L
Tastemaker

Brixton Academy is one of the best places to attend a concert because of the size of the place (not too big and not too small) and the acoustics are great as well. Many a great act has performed here, like Pentatonix, and Imagine dragons, and James Bay and even Alesso (he had fireworks INSIDE the venue!!!) The atmosphere is always electrifying and the crowd always fully into the music. the only downside is the bar which takes forever to get a drink. But then again, which concert venue doesnt take forever? 

Sarah G
Tastemaker

I love having Brixton Academy so close to my home - 30 mins door to door. They have a good selection of acts. Its a great concert venue if you get to know where to stand (i'm v short)! Its pretty grotty in terms of its cleanliness and feel but that makes me love it all the more,


The entry and exit experience could be improved - it took us over 5 mins to get in even when there was absolutely no queue and coming out was such a crush.


dnwilliams

I've seen a lot of acts here now, and always manage to get standing tickets for downstairs, but for the most recent show I wasn't so lucky - if I wanted to see Grimes performing live, I was going to have to do so from the circle. I really, really wasn't sure about that - I saw FKA Twigs at Hackney Empire from the nosebleeds and spent most of the event jealous of the people on the ground. Luckily, it was still a really cool experience at Brixton Academy.

The Man on the Street

Cor ! 

They really poshed this place up last night for the NME Awards. Always a strange venue its never going to feel anything other than a gig in an old but grand cinema. As property prices in the area rocket , one also has to ask how long new residents will tolerate live music audiences. Leaving all that aside, it was an interesting place to have dinner in the company of a few Rock and Roll giants. Yoko Ono and Coldplay were in the house. However, the band that absolutely owned the night was Bring Me The Horizon. They smashed it on stage and smashed up Coldplay's table too - proving that rules and tables are there to be broken. Great night in a strange venue - but one I hope survives gentrification.  

Tiago Almeida
Tastemaker

It was my first time in this O2 Academy (and I live minutes away) and having visited other great venues in London this is definitely one of the best in terms of sound.


I'm already coming back in December to see the great Lianne La Havas and looking forward for it.

Jojuj
Tastemaker

For a venue of its size, it's okay, given the sloping floor that is helpful for short gig-goers. And the no-crowdsurfing sign and some weird neoclassical sculpture are amusing. However, it's not a particularly atmospheric or interesting place to see a band. 

Pavlos G
Staff Writer

Went there to watch a standup comedian. The show was sold out. I was sat upstairs and had a nice view of the stage.  It was a great night out. Laughed a lot. 

myownthememusic

i moved here from aus mid 98 and my first gig was the beastie boys here. 16 years later it's still my favourite venue. every band should play here (and invite me) imo. 

shaktibhakti

Ive seen many bands here over the years! A friend of mine also hired the foyer/front for her club house parties in the early 90s! Always find/see people i know here too. Probably the best largest venue before it gets less intimate! I first came here when it was the stockwell odeon for Trex in 70s..good views due to floor slopes down toward stage/front.

Vlad Cool

Nice atmosphere, good size venue and incredible views from the sloped floor, never missed a second! looks cool from outside, where I had a nice chat with a homeless guy and then gave him some spare change to help him out with his various addictions.