O2 Academy Bristol
|Former names||Locarno (1966-97)|
Carling Academy (2001-08)
|Address||1-2 Frogmore St|
Bristol BS1 5NA England
|Owner||Academy Music Group|
|Capacity||1,650 (Academy 1)|
350 (Academy 2)
|Opened||17 November 1966|
The O2 Academy Bristol (originally known as the Locarno) is a music venue located on Frogmore Street in 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 and gigs was opened in 2001, and was the third Academy venue in the UK.
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 ballroom with an illuminated ceiling. Only the ice-rink and the cinema survived, the rest being demolished in 1998 and subsequently the site given over to student accommodation. The cinema closed in 1996 and was converted into a nightclub in 2000, originally called "Rock". Soon after, it became the "Carling 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.
- "Academy Group music venues announce new partnership". NME. IPC Media. 6 November 2008. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
- "Survey Results: What were the best nightclubs in Bristol when you were in your teens and 20s?". Bristol Post. Trinity Mirror. 20 February 2014. Archived from the original on 20 February 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
- Southall, Nick (4 February 2014). "The gig venue guide: O2 Academy, Bristol". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
- Ramshackle Website
- Generation X Website
- Photo of Locarno's Ballroom
- Photo of venue as the ABC cinema