O2 Academy

Things to do in Glasgow | O2 Academy

Music is a massive part of Glasgow’s character so what better way to celebrate it than with a gig at the famous O2 Academy? Since its opening in 2003, it’s seen many a legend take to the stage including Adele, Kanye West and James Brown - he played his last ever gig here! When it’s not hosting a megastar, it’s the perfect venue for club nights so be prepared for a sweaty night of dancing before resting up in our Glasgow City Centre South hotel.

Formerly known as the Carling Academy, this art-deco style building has not always been a music venue. Over the years it has been a church, a cinema and bingo hall and was once sadly burnt down. Inside, the decor is still very much 1920s-esque emulated when it was a cinema and gives the venue an unmistakable and charming character. In 2006, it saw The Killers have a sell-out gig in three minutes and is also a venue for the Glasgow Comedy Festival. With a capacity of over 2,500 people, it has a feeling of both intimate gig and a stadium night gig, regardless of whoever is on the stage.

O2 Academy

The O2 Academy, Glasgow

Top tip

If you’re watching a gig standing on the bottom floor, beat the sweats by standing under the large air con vent tucked away after the first set of stairs on the left-hand side.

Eating and drinking

Whether you want a couple of drinks before the gig starts and a couple after if you’re carrying on into the evening, there’s lots of bars nearby. As for food, you’ll find a variety of places to try from Indian to Italian to tapas but it might be a short stroll back over the river.

With a whopping six bars at the venue itself, you won’t be without a drink, that’s for sure. With two on the floor, two to each side of the stage, one as you enter and one each on the mezzanine and the balcony, you’ll be sorted. There are no food options in the venue but lots outside.

There are so many places nearby to grab a bite to eat before your gig. Just down the road, middle-eastern inspired Babylon Restaurant is great for sharing and Brazilian steakhouse Tropeiro cooks all their tastiness on an open fire. If you’re after a few drinks before or after the mosh pit, try local favourite The Laurieston or Scotia Bar for good drinks and even more live music.

Getting to O2 Academy

Situated just outside of the city centre and over the river, getting to your gig at the O2 is stress-free. With a subway station right next door to it and buses that take you to the stage door, you’ll have no worries getting to the show on time.

By car
Street parking is available near the venue and some spots may be free after 6pm or 8pm. There is also 159 spots at Bridge Street station for your wheels.

By bus
Bus number 3, 4, 38 and 57 will all drop you nearby the venue either on the front or back end. Thankfully, the N38 and N57 night buses that run until 4.30am.

By train
The closest train stations to the venue is either Glasgow Central or Argyle Street station. From here, it will be a 10-12 minute walk where you’ll cross the River Clyde.

By subway
Bridge Street subway station is the place to jump off at to get to the O2 Academy. This stop can get busy after gigs so bear that in mind.

Looking for a hotel in Glasgow?

If you want to immerse yourself in a city with incredible history, architecture and culture take a break in Glasgow. With a range of budget hotels in the City Centre on Buchanan Street and Argyle Street plus an array of  hotels near Glasgow University, we have something suitable to stay whatever the occasion.