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The best music venues in London: O2 Brixton Academy

The city's 20 best places to see live music, as voted by you – get the latest gig listings and buy tickets


O2 Brixton Academy

Music Music venues Brixton

The Academy’s famous raked dancefloor splits opinion – it allows the petit(e) attendee to see something of what’s happening on stage, which is good, but isn’t exactly ideal if you fancy a boogie. 

What’s not in contention is the Academy’s importance to London’s nightlife, The 5,000-capacity art deco gem straddles the chasm between the pomp and volume of a stadium show and the intimate (read: sweaty) atmosphere of a club.

Since becoming a full-time music venue in 1983, it’s served names from James Brown and the Stones to Springsteen, Dylan, Prince and Madonna, via the Chili Peppers. It’s also a major figure in dance music history, having been the seat of the Megadog all-nighters (at which Orbital were regular fixtures), plus rave-ups from Fatboy Slim v Armand van Helden, right up to The Streets’ and Plastikman’s recent super-futuristic (although not that good) augmented-reality beano.

Next venue: The Lexington

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