O2 Academy Leeds
Leeds, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
|Opened||2008 (as the O2 Academy)|
|Owner||Academy Music Group|
The O2 Academy Leeds (formerly known as the Leeds Academy) is a music venue situated in Leeds intended as a larger music venue for the city. It is run by the Academy Music Group and follows in-line with their other music venues around the UK. The Academy was nominated for the TPi Awards 2010 for the country's favourite venue.
The venue for the Leeds Academy on Cookridge Street in the city was originally opened in 1885 by Prince Albert and is a grade II listed Gothic building.  Known originally as the Coliseum it hosted many different events during the early 20th century such as political meetings and circus shows. Between the 1930s and 1990s the building accommodated a cinema, television studio and bingo hall.
The venue opened in 1992 as the Town and Country Club and between 1992 and 2000 staged gigs by artists such as Blur, David Bowie, Tangerine Dream, Robbie Williams, The Stereophonics, East 17 and The Stone Roses. The venue however closed in 2000.
In 2001, after a £7 million re-development of the venue by First Leisure Corporation, it opened as Creation Nightclub, but closed after six years in February 2007. The licence was acquired by AMG from Luminar and plans put in place for the new Leeds Academy in November 2007.
The venue itself has a large room accommodating 2,300 guests, including a balcony which can hold 500 people. There is also a basement room for gigs by up and coming bands which will accommodate 400 guests. The Kaiser Chiefs opened the venue with a gig on 8 October 2008 Some other well known musicians which have played at The Academy have included: Cher Lloyd, All Time Low, Foals, Wolfmother, Last Shadow Puppets, Ellie Goulding, The Pigeon Detectives, MGMT, Paolo Nutini, The Proclaimers, Madness (band), The Fratellis, Beady Eye, The Pogues, Deftones, Band of Horses, Crystal Castles and Hot Chip.
On 6 November 2008, it was announced that Telefónica Europe (owners of the O2 Network in the UK) had become the new sponsor of all Academy venues, in a deal with music promotor Live Nation. The deal, which lasts for five years, sees all venues rebranded "The O2 Academy", in line with Telefónica's purchase of the Millennium Dome (now The O2).
Hot Chip performing on stage at the Leeds Academy
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- "Leeds Academy set to open this autumn". NME. 2008-08-01. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
- "Leeds Town and Country Club back". Paul Robinson. Yorkshire Evening Post. 2007-11-19. Archived from the original on 2008-05-31. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
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- "Bootleg Trade List". 2005-11-08. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
- "Kaiser Chiefs to launch Leeds Academy". NME. 2008-08-19. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
- Sweney, Mark (2008-11-06). "O2 to sponsor Academy music venues". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 6 December 2008.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to O2 Academy, Leeds.|
- leeds-academy.co.uk, the venue's official website