O2 Academy Bristol

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O2 Academy Bristol
070522 ukbris academy.jpg
02 Academy Bristol exterior, featuring the old Carling branding.
Former namesLocarno
LocationBristol, England, United Kingdom
OwnerAcademy Music Group
O2 Academy Bristol Website

The O2 Academy Bristol (formerly known as the Locarno) is a music venue located below the now demolished ice ring on Frogmore Street, Bristol, England. It is run by the Academy Music Group. On 1 January 2009 sponsorship was taken over from Carling by telecommunications company O2 and the venue's name changed from the Carling Academy to the O2 Academy. The Academy which hosts club nights (capacity 2,500) and gigs (capacity 2,000) was opened in 2001, and was the third Academy venue in the UK.[1]


The venue was originally part of Mecca Leisure Group's New Entertainments Centre and was an ABC Cinema. Opening in 1966, it included a dozen licensed bars, an ice rink, bowling lanes, the Craywood Club casino, a night club, a grand cinema and the 1900-capacity Locarno ballroom with an illuminated ceiling.[2] Only the ice-rink and the cinema survived, the rest being demolished in 1998 and subsequently the site given over to student accommodation.[3] The cinema closed in 1996 and was converted into a nightclub in 2000, originally called Rock. Soon after, it became the Bristol Academy.


Ramshackle is a dance event held weekly at the venue. In the main room indie and alternative music is played, DJ'ed by Ramshackle residents: The Postman & Andy Tokyo plus occasional guest DJs which in the past have included Zane Lowe and Bloc Party. Live bands also feature in the main room, in 2006 OK Go, and The Fratellis appeared. Room 2, a smaller room upstairs, features punk, rock and "Metal Anthems with Old Man Rich & Jason X". Parties with varying themes (such as beach parties, Christmas, Easter) occur throughout the year as do band specific promotions, often with promotional giveaways. A similar night occurred at the Birmingham Academy until 2009, leaving Bristol the only venue that holds a Ramshackle club night.


  1. ^ "Academy Group music venues announce new partnership". NME. 6 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-06.
  2. ^ "Survey Results: What were the best nightclubs in Bristol when you were in your teens and 20s?". Bristol Post. 20 February 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  3. ^ Southall, Nick (4 February 2014). "The gig venue guide: O2 Academy, Bristol". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 November 2015.

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Coordinates: 51°27′15″N 2°36′01″W / 51.4542°N 2.6004°W / 51.4542; -2.6004