O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire

Music, Music venues Shepherd's Bush
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(11user reviews)
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O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire
o2 Shepherds Bush Empire

This former BBC theatre is far and away the best thing about Shepherd's Bush, holding 2,000 standing or 1,300 seated with decent sound everywhere (except the alcove behind the stalls bar). The Empire's gig roll puts many bigger contenders to shame: David Bowie, Kylie Minogue, Erasure, Elton John, Smashing Pumpkins and The Rolling Stones have all played here, though the most widely reported event took place on March 10 2003, when Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines caused uproar by declaring on stage that she was 'ashamed the President of the United States [George W Bush] is from Texas'.


Venue name: O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire
Address: Shepherd's Bush Green
W12 8TT
Transport: Tube: Shepherd's Bush
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Pick a date

  • Stand-up Friday September 22 2017 - Wednesday November 29 2017
  • Stand-up Friday December 15 2017 - Saturday December 16 2017

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Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

I was lucky to see my first show here not too long ago. I got tickets to the UK tour of the incredible Comedy Bang Bang. I was nervous about how high up I was but the stalls are steep and tight. The view, no matter where you are is great. This is a beautiful venue and the sound is good throughout. 

Neil H

As a recent first timer to the O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire (I saw NY band 'Phantogram'), I was very impressed with the venue, a nice balance of the old features of the historic (old BBC) theatre along with modern touches. Although it may vary from gig to gig, there was no queues on the night I visited, so getting served at the bars (there are 3 within the immediate vicinity of the bar) was a painless process. The acoustics were OK too. Tastemaker Tip - as it is an O2 venue, use your app and get a 2 for 1 pint offer to be redeemed on the night, or free cloakroom usage.


This venue had so much potential. 

As I arrived I was pleasantly surprised about how small the venue was. It is very small and intimate letting you get very close to the bands on stage. 

However after the first band started something just didn't feel right. I am pretty lucky in being 6ft 2 I generally always have a good view of a band, however I was getting frustrated. People's heads kept getting in the way and I just didn't understand why, it was so strange for me. I figured it out quickly - the stage is very low. It does not add much height to the band at all, so unless you are stood right at the front, it really gets in the way of the experience. The stalls area is also flat, so the view is just poor all round. There is a great view from up the stairs at the back where people then crowd and block the passage to the toilets. 

Overall I was disappointed by this venue. It's small which is great, they just need to add a foot to the height of the stage. the O2 in Brixton is much better, although a bigger venue, the entire stalls area is built onto a slope allowing a much better view all round for everyone at the venue.

moderatorStaff Writer

Great historical venue with acts that tend to have ardent followers and fans along, which always makes for a great atmosphere.


I haven't been for quite a while, but back again yesterday for "A Peaceful Noise", which has been hosted in aid of the Nick Alexander Memorial Trust and therefore not your "normal" concert experience, but an evening packed with amazing artists accompanied by a great audience.

The venue itself is amazing - I'll always prefer intimate, historic venues over newly built, huge stadiums (and I will never understand why artists don't see it that way...). The acoustic is incredible - imagine somebody singing on stage without a micro and you can hear it clearly even in the back. Even from the upper levels you don't feel too far away from the stage. The staff is nice and the bars well stocked. There might be the occasional queue to get in or use the bathroom, but that does not spoil the experience.

I will definitely be back anytime soon!

The Man on the Street

The Empire is one of those places that bands do before they move up to Arenas. As a result you tend to see hot acts in a reasonably intimate space. 

The decor is victorian theatre which is all a bit glam. It's normally standing downstairs with two levels of seating above.

Naturally we went for staying on our last visit to see American redneck rockers The Cadillac Three. What a great gig.

This was perfect venue for them. About 2000 fans roaring approval and singing along to the big anthems. 

Great sound and lights - security not too bullish and a cloakroom that works well so you can strip down a few layers on a winters night.

If there's one criticism , the bars downstairs struggle to cope on a busy night. Be prepared to wait. 

Otherwise this is a top venue for live music. One I will return to many times.


I have been to this venue for Mura Masa's gig and it was fabulous!
Amazing lighting system highlighting and playing with the beautiful architecture around.

Very practically, it seems to be far far away (i'm an east Londoner!!) but actually you can get there super easily with the Circle or Hammersmith (stopping at Shepherd's bush market) or the central line (stopping at Shepherd's bush)!
Only down side, despite the 3 bars in this place, we ended up giving up on drinks because of the huge queue (which did not seem to move fast at all...)

Mei M

A very beautiful venue for concerts. I'm really into music and I've seen gigs pretty much everywhere in London, and the Sheperd's Bush Empire has a special spot in my heart.

Went there for SOHN + Years & Years, standing at the front row. The atmosphere is amazing, truly beautiful building and not too big so you don't feel overwhelmed by the crowd, good sound system, the bar is nice and I loved the work they did with the lights. 

It's also very easy to reach and find, I love that area of London and going there is always a pleasure.


I love this venue - and I've been to three shows there over the last three weeks, so you can trust that. I stood in front of the speakers at the sides of the stage for all three shows and the sound mixing was fantastic. Despite each show being sold out, I didn't feel like a sardine - plenty of room to bop around and get into the performances. The bar staff are nice, too, and the toilet - while a bit awkwardly designed - is easily accessible beside the merch area. The venue is super easy to get to as well, only about a ten minute walk from Shepherd's Bush on the Central line.

Alan U

So many artists I've seen here especially jamiroquai back in the day,and a short walk home after. Sweet