Two venues in one building that feature big-name artists. The larger ABC1 is a top-notch space boasting superb sound quality. There are regular club nights too.
Initially called the plain-old ABC when it opened as a music and club venue in 2005 after a £2 million conversion (it’s been a cinema, hippodrome and ice-rink since being built in the 1920s) the potential for this Sauchiehall Street art deco building was recognised by Regular Music.
In 2009, the Academy Music Group, owners of the O2 Academy and many other venues nationwide, bought a majority stake in the business, bringing in corporate-sponsored rebranding, and solidifying the O2’s status as Scotland’s key mid-level music venue.
There are actually two venues within the building, the 1,362-capacity ABC1 and the 350-capacity ABC2, as well as the Polar Bar adjoining ABC1. The calibre of artists appearing on the retro marquee facing Sauchiehall Street is consistently strong, often superb. Practically every major promoter in Glasgow uses this place on a frequent basis, for artists ranging from Professor Green and Robyn to Mogwai, St Vincent and Public Enemy.
The smaller ABC2 feels a little clumsily laid out, and can suffer from sound bleeding through the ceiling from its larger counterpart above, but ABC1 has no such problems and sound quality is a cut above. Even at sell-out shows you can squeeze close to the front, and there’s a conveniently placed bar to the left of the stage as you face it, and a back exit for quick queue-beating departures.
Regular club nights – mostly of a student-orientated, indie, electro and pop variety – take place Thursday through Saturday, and include Propaganda, Love Music and Jelly Baby Club.
If you find yourself dancing in ABC1, note that you’ll be doing so beneath Europe’s largest mirror-ball.
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300 Sauchiehall Street
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