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  • “The band lineup for the coming months is fantastic, but again comes at a price.” in 8 reviews

    Music: Live

  • “I've only been to one gig at the O2 Academy.” in 8 reviews

  • “My favourite night there so far has to be seeing the insatiable and quite frankly awesome Dizzee Rascal, showing off the sound system in it's full glory.” in 3 reviews

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  • 4.0 star rating
    3 check-ins

    I've now been to a couple of gigs here and the place does well for the more intimate feeling of actually being able to see the stage, no matter how far back you are. It's a bit of a 'no frills' place, but you're not exactly looking for candelabras & chandeliers when going to see a band so that's not such a bad thing.

    Bar prices are pretty steep @ £4 for a standard pint. Will be a shame to lose here once the stadium opens, as I can't see if being able to keep attracting the same business it does just now.

  • 3.0 star rating
    1 check-in
    Listed in Winter wake up!

    It's nice to have a music venue in leeds to bring in big bands. I've been to see bands such as Rise Against and Gaslight Anthem. They've both been awesome nights. The atmosphere is normally pretty good and quite busy.

    My main gripe is the price of drinks, I understand places charging more for a big gig, but if the cheapest alcoholic drink is £4.50 for a can of Tuborg is an absolute rip off!

    If you fancy drinking, definitely drink beforehand!!

  • 2.0 star rating

    The Town and Country Club was a great venue. My first ever gig, White Zombie, at age 13 was at the Town and Country Club (also my first experience of crowd surfing(the good old days huh!)). I have many happy memories of this place so was glad to hear the news that the venue would once again be used for (proper) music (I am pleased to say I never stepped inside Creation, so cannot comment on that era of the building).

    I had long thought that Leeds needed an Academy venue. Leeds was notable by its absence on many a band's tour and to some extent this has been rectified by the opening of the Academy. There is no doubt that Leeds needed a decent medium to large size venue and the Academy fits the bill. It's a good size, nice stage, great sound.

    My main problem with the place is economical. Tickets seem expensive. I know you have to pay more to see the bigger acts, particularly international ones, and maybe I'm just not keeping pace with inflation, but as I said, it seems expensive to me. Not much for under £20, particularly with the extortionate booking and/or transaction fees one must pay. I also don't like the fact that the only beer on tap is Tuborg and it costs £3.50 a pint. That means for a tenner you can only afford 2 and a half pints of rubbish lager and there's not much alternative.

    All in all it just feels a bit too corporate for me and I don't like the toilets. So I guess I'm just living in the past, long live the Town and Country Club and The Duchess ( I still wander into Hugo Boss sometimes with a guitar looking confused).

  • 3.0 star rating

    Firstly, I'm a very appreciative that there's another live music venue to bring slightly bigger acts to Leeds (not forgetting that we have the arena on its way too!). This is the major plus of the o2 though.

    It's problems stem from the venue itself. I remember when this was Creation, and navigating around the building itself is an absolute nightmare! I used to spend way too long looking for the toilets and then looking for the room I'd been in, and I recently had a very similar experience. They could have done with streamlining the corridors, but they left it in the confusing mess that it was. Aside from this you've got the expected poor draught drinks, although I don't recall whether they were expensive or not..

    However, what I do remember from my last visit, which was on a Saturday night, was enjoying the night as a whole. The music was enjoyable, if fairly standard sort of indie music, and whilst my memory lapses badly towards the end of the night, I woke feeling that I had a good night!

  • 3.0 star rating

    Leeds answer to the O2 Arena, o2 academy hosts the largests name in current pop music! Every month the venue is heaving crowds raring and waiting to see theeir favourite pop acts! Just this month the academy see's Jamie T, Franz Ferdinand, Calvin Harris, Dizzee Rascal, The Enemy and many more. There line-up is packed with chart toppers!!

    Their acts aren't the only reason music fans flock there during the event. The 02 puts on club nights such as Pet Sounds (Saturday) which span over two huge rooms with very cheap drink promotions (£2 Jaegerbombs and double spirits and mixer £2.50). The music is choice of that in the charts and popular indie and pop tunes among students!!!

    There is a strong, fashionable, vibrant atmosphere in the venue on a club night and duirng gigs. The 02 attracts the trendier the sttudents dressed in the latest trends all trying to push the boundaries of fashion a little bit!

    What I don't like about the Academy however is it size. As a fan of small, intimate gigs Leeds 02 academy is a little too large for me. I find the crowds around me a little distracting and rowdy at time due to the student clientele it attracts. However for some people this vibe is what a gig is about and I know  it suit some music fans down to the ground!!

  • 1.0 star rating


    Don't go here expecting a well organised event - or a good time.

    Maybe a touch jaded - but here goes:

    Went to see Chase and Status for a friend's birthday. Door staff / policies super unorganised - bouncers didn't seem too sure which door we should be going in, and there was a lot of people going in and out - our tickets were hardly checked and we didn't get a wristband.

    It was like they'd never had a gig there before!

    Next - we were up on the balcony (I know, I know - I didn't buy the tickets).... and the atmosphere was rubbish! Tried to have a bit of a boogie and kept getting told off / scolded by the various bouncers to steer clear of the balcony edge, etc. Again - like they'd not properly thought out crowd control, how people behave in the space, etc.

    Pretty.... bad. As were Chase and Status, as it happens.

    People of Leeds! Go to a gig in a real venue! Think Brudenell Social Club, Wardrobe, Cockpit, etc. Leeds' O2 Academy is too big, too characterless and too rubbish.

    Leeds is still lacking a bigger venue for big gigs - but there's plenty of decent venues elsewhere - and Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool aren't that far away...

  • 4.0 star rating
    First to Review

    The O2 Academy, previously the Carling Academy, and even more previously the awful club Creation, is a welcome addition to a city lacking a music arena.

    While the 15000 seater Leeds arena is being constructed, the academy has played host to the biggest music acts to come to the city in recent years - the autumn 2009 line-up for example, includes David Guetta, Massive Attack, and The Cribs, revealing the wide range of genres attracted to playing here. It's a good, if tiny, venue for acts of such magnitude, as two and a half thousand sweaty revellers are packed into very little space ensuring a proper gig-style atmosphere.

    Less impressive however, are the Academy's standard nights, such as Pet Sounds on a Saturday. While drinks are cheap and the music is good if you're into indie, the set-up of the venue just doesn't really work as a nightclub.

    One huge room with a sticky stained carpet means that it feels more like a high school disco than anything else. This is an aspect of the Academy that you fail to notice when you're watching a band play, but something that becomes hugely evident when there's nothing but booze and a DJ to occupy you.

  • 4.0 star rating

    I've only been to one gig at the O2 Academy. It was, er, Lily Allen? I went more for a friend, really. I mean, she's alright though, still, isn't she? Well, to be fair, I'm a bit of a fan. The new stuff's smashing. And she's a bit of alright too these days.

    The venue's the biggest Leeds has to offer and pulls in all the big names. It's academy status curries huge favour with the big concert bookers which steer all the mid-big sized bands right here. While the city's lack of a massive music arena may be seen as a negative by some, I see it as a great chance to see bands like Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party and performers such as Dizzee Rascal and even Lily, in a much more intimate setting.

    It lacks a bit of character, but what do you expect for an Academy? It's got easily accessible bars and you get a decent view wherever your stood. Job's a gooddun then, eh?

  • 3.0 star rating

    i've been here a few times to see both Franz Ferdinand and The Fratellis and loved it every time. While the venue might not be sophisticated or decorated to a high standard (well, its a gig venue, what do you expect?) it's both lively and fun.

    I've never had to really queue to get in here (or to go to the ladies, which is a BIG plus for me!). The only concern i've ever had in here is the amount of times i've nearly been squashed by over-enthusiastic fans!

    If you have to go to the ladies or the bar, you'll lose your floor spot immediately. A lot of the people who go here tend to be unfriendly and outspoken so be careful who you tread on mid way to the bar!

    Overall...it's good. Theres a seating area upstairs, standing downstairs and a big stage. It's a fun place to go and let your hair down to your favourite music.

    • Qype User pesky3…
    • Leeds, West Yorkshire
    • 21 friends
    • 72 reviews
    5.0 star rating

    This is where the Town and Country used to be, and has just reopened. It's a superb venue, and the staff were the most helpful I've ever come across. I took my husband, who uses a wheelchair, to see Maximo Park, and I can honestly say it's the best concert venue we've visited.

    We were directed straight inside from the queue, up the private lift, and inside an area roped off, which meant my husband got a perfect view of the stage.

    The acoustics are perfect as it's such a large area, and it gives an intimate feel, but with plenty of occupancy.

    • Qype User matt54…
    • Leeds, West Yorkshire
    • 1 friend
    • 122 reviews
    4.0 star rating

    We went to the 02 Academy last night to see Paloma Faith (the girlfriends choosing, not mine).

    The venue seems to be a hybrid of a small, intimate gig and a large arena, having both a standing area and balcony that spreads around the sides overlooking the stage.

    The sound system was really very good, with every driving bass note rumbling the floor and every chink of the guitar being more than audible. Paloma Faiths band was a 7-piece and the stage did look a little small to accomodate them all but the space was used well. I'm not sure how this venue would cope with larger performances.

    As you would expect, the alcohol prices were horrific at £3.60 for a pint of Tuborg. I'm not sure how gig venues get away with charging so much for what is essentially crap lager.

    Overall the 02 is an ok venue, but it could certainly do with being a little bigger!

  • 3.0 star rating

    I really do like this place, it has alot of music i like from bands that i go see and Propaganda is an all right night out.
    It has everything you would expect really decently priced drinks on nights, but as always rip off when bands are playing, ive never bought a drink here when going to see a band, 4 quid for a tin...... No thank you!
    Furthermore, the tickets prices are getting really quite expensive these days. I dont even like big bands so 20+ quid is a little daft when the Cockpit still regularly has 10 quid tickets for similar size bands in a much smaller venue hence less people and therefore less profit.
    Another issue i have with 02 are the bouncers, theres 2 black guys that work there that are really decent, but the rest of them are very difficult putting it nicely.
    The guys that are decent still do their jobs in exactly the same way with all the pat downs, bag checks, etc. But being decent with people makes them alot more likely to react positively.
    The bouncers have no idea how to handle moshpits either! They try to break them up like a mass brawl, when in actual fact any music lover of the rock/ indie pedigree knows you dont fight at gigs.
    The Academy is a 4 star venue and i go there quite often,however over assertive megalomaniacs kinda trash a good vibe.

  • 3.0 star rating

    Ahh the Academy. Can't say I've been to any gigs lacking in organisation or been felt up by a 'perverted' bouncer. Maybe because I'm there with my boyfriend. Anyhow. I have the slight gig misfortune of being 5ft2. Which means wherever I stand, I do not get the great view from wherever I'm stood that another reviewer mentioned. I've seen a handful of bands here, my beloved Lostprophets for one. The last time I went was to see Jimmy Eat World. We'd managed to get balcony tickets, mainly because they were the last ones left, but were a bit dubious about it. But on getting up there, picking some really good seats (second row up, in the centre) it wasn't actually that bad. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to actually see the band and to take pictures that weren't of the back of people's heads. Oh, and not sticking to the floor was a massive bonus. As for the expense of drinks, I don't buy any while I'm there. Boring? Maybe, but I usually drive and I don't like Coke so I avoid the bar unless the other half is buying Guinness (which isn't cheap).

    I quite like the Academy as a venue. Coming from Swansea which has one decent gig venue - but we get very few decent bands playing, I'm just happy I don't have to travel an hour to Manchester just to see my favourite band.

  • 4.0 star rating

    Leeds has such a rich history of music that it seemed criminal to be lacking in all departments, compared to some other local places like Sheffield and Manchester. Well the arrival of the Academy bridged that gap and has Leeds well and truly nailed on the map for all round genres.
    It's a great venue and it should be having spent a small continent's GDP on redoing the venue which was formerly known as Creation. (The less said about that particular inception the better). Off course it had to kick off with the city's rock Gods and flag flying heroes, the Kaiser Chiefs launching with a bang, but it hasn't looked back what so ever.
    It has to be about the names it attracts. You'd expect some of the harder chart hitters such as Mika and N-Dubz but it also retains a sense of the less commercial, regularly seeing acts such as New Model Army and the Stranglers. For the more dance and Hip Hop fuelled amongst you, well hold onto your hats. Chipmunk, LCD Sound System, Hotchip, Kiss Da Funk and load of others have all passed through or have been signed up. My favourite night there so far has to be seeing the insatiable and quite frankly awesome Dizzee Rascal, showing off the sound system in it's full glory.
    It's a good location at the top end of town. You can easily pop into a few pubs around Millennium Square or grab a bite to eat first and I have to say the bars inside are perhaps some of the finest planned in a big music venue for miles. You generally won't be hanging around for an hour just to get to the front and be told watered down lager is all that's left. Well thought out venue and some superb acts as well, rockin!

    • Qype User ljacks…
    • York
    • 112 friends
    • 556 reviews
    2.0 star rating

    I personally dont rate the o2 academy on a normal night out, although its quite good when theres a band or something on. I went last week and ive never been to anywhere with such soaking wet floors! Apart from that, good thing about the academy is that its really big, but its a bit of a rip off and not that great.

    • Qype User tonele…
    • Gainsborough, Lincolnshire
    • 5 friends
    • 43 reviews
    4.0 star rating

    Been here a few times for Digital Society, quite like the venue although i got lost inside once... (To much alcohol) ha!

  • 4.0 star rating

    O2 Academy, finally a dedicated music venue that holds more than a couple of hundred people. Granted it's not the biggest venue you're ever likely to see a gig in, but it does a good job of attracting names back in to the city centre, and it also provides a break on the train fare and car travel to bigger venues in Manchester and Birmingham. Twas a friend who informed me of the O2 Academy's - at the time - newly formed existence, and I was delightfully surprised. It's a nice size venue wise, sometimes I find the M.E.N Arena a little on the large side, and prefer the intimacy of the Manchester Apollo, and the O2 Academy strikes a nice balance. Something that came as a surprise, was that the O2 Academy is also host to dedicated club nights. Not brilliant on sounds and atmosphere on these club nights is made up for by the cheap drinks on offer, in many cases much cheaper than you'd pay in a club in the centre. Music wise, gig wise, it's a good pull for some big bands who are from local origins, Kaiser Chiefs and the like, and then there's people like Peter Andre and Mika, no comment, but with tickets at reasonable prices, and it's not too far out of the city centre, just before Leeds Met Uni, it's a good venue and worth the jaunt.  Some people do take issue with the amount of people packing into gig space, it's crowded at times and if it's a heavy beats type of band, then prepare for collective jumping and elbows in your soft bits. All part of the fun though I do believe.

    • Qype User jules9…
    • Leeds, West Yorkshire
    • 0 friends
    • 49 reviews
    3.0 star rating

    Those that used to frequent Leeds Town and Country Club will remember their dismay when it closed and was replaced with Creation  possibly the cheesiest, tackiest club Leeds has ever seen. Mercifully, Creation closed and has now been replaced with Leeds Carling Academy, the largest venue in the city. While this can only be A Good Thing, it's a shame that it's tinged with the corporateness of the Carling conglomeration. Inside, it feels much like the old T and C until you reach the bar and realise what a right royal rip off the whole thing is. £10 for two drinks (a Carling, obviously, and a double G&T) is more akin to London prices and is certainly not what you would expect when you're watching a band in Leeds. The band lineup for the coming months is fantastic, but again comes at a price. Go there if you really want to see a band that's playing  otherwise I'd suggest you stick to independent (and far better) places like the Cockpit.

    • Qype User tom_90…
    • Leeds, West Yorkshire
    • 1 friend
    • 6 reviews
    4.0 star rating

    definitely worth a visit, great venue and club the music isn't always to my taste but i will return for sure as it usually seems full to the rafters with people looking to party hard

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