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Spotlight On…Brixton Academy, London

Brixton AcademyThough technically entitled the “O2 Academy, Brixton,” the building which houses the famous Brixton Academy in London was once the location of a bustling film house, The Astoria. Built in 1929, The Astoria saw many film premieres and the BBC would occasionally broadcast live acts playing The Astoria stage. In 1972, the theater closed but later that year reopened as the new Sundown concert venue, which lasted an entire four months. After spending some time as a storage facility, The Astoria reopened its doors in 1983 as the newly christened, Brixton Academy.

Brixton Academy at NightSince then, Brixton Academy has been the scene for many legendary and infamous rock concerts, from Arcade Fire to the Sex Pistols. In its early years, the venue hosted mainly reggae acts but in the mid-80s, slowly became a sought after location for bigger acts; Brixton was used as a video location for Wham! and Culture Club and Eric Clapton, Dire Straits and The Police all used the venue as a rehearsal space. Brixton is one of the largest, non-arena spaces in London with a capacity of 4,921 and has been voted venue of the year by the NME 12 times.
Only a year after 500,000 pounds in refurbishments for the landmarked Art Deco building, in 1996 the band Leftfield broke the decibel level record at the venue and nearly brought the ceiling down with it. Since then, all bands have had to keep to a strict sound level adherence and in 2000, Leftfield returned to Brixton a little bit quieter.
O2 Academy Brixton
211 Stockwell Road, London, SW9 9SL
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