O2 Academy Oxford

O2 Academy Oxford

About the O2 Academy Oxford

The O2 Academy Oxford, located in an Edwardian building on the iconic Cowley Road, is a landmark spot in Oxford’s entertainment scene. With two venues, it has been hosting the best live music and club for decades.

But before being a music venue, it was a Cooperative party hall. It was originally known as The Venue and then the much-respected Zodiac, both of which paved the way for O2 Academy Oxford.

The official launch of the Academy took place in September 2007, with performances from New Young Pony Club, The Magic Numbers and Young Knives. In the first few months of opening, the venue had already attracted some big names to Oxford with shows from Editors, Foals, Elbow, Ian Brown, and Calvin Harris.

O2 Academy Oxford has continued to build on the foundations laid by the Zodiac and has established itself as one of the city’s greatest venues for live music and club nights. Some of the best gigs to date have come from Ed Sheeran, Foals, Stereophonics, Ozzy Osbourne, Babyshambles, Hozier and Royal Blood.

Venue opening times

Regular opening times are from 7.00pm to 11.00pm, but if the opening times and curfew time is out of the ordinary, it’ll be listed on the individual event page. All timings are subject to change, so check before you travel.


The main venue downstairs, has a maximum capacity of 1,020, and alternative configurations. The secondary venue is the upstairs area of the building, O2 Academy 2, with a capacity for up to 436 persons. There is a total building capacity of 1,350 people.

The venue has bars (of course), a cloakroom to leave your stuff. If you’re visiting for the first time, just ask a friendly staff to show you the way. Please try and travel light as cloakroom facilities are limited, so if you really need to bring a bag, please make sure that it‘s a small one (laptop size or small handbag).

Age restrictions

It’s always best to check the age restrictions for each event in advance as they vary from show to show. A few obvious ones to bear in mind:

  • No under 8s
  • 8 to 13 years, you’ll need to attend with an adult (someone 18+).
  • For shows that are 14+ but -16, you’ll need to come with an adult (someone 18+) if you’re between 14 years and 16 years.

Getting there

By bus

Cowley road is well connected. City 5 by the Oxford Bus Company starts at Oxford railway station, through the city centre and straight to Cowley Road, very close to the venue, around 100 metres.

Stagecoach run night buses between Blackbird Leys, Templars Square, Cowley Road and the city centre. All these buses have an ‘N’ in front of the number and are cash fares. Oxford buses are equipped with bus lowering systems and steps, or easier access.

By train

Oxford railway station is around two miles away, with lines for London, Reading, Didcot Parkway, Banbury, Birmingham and further afield, with First Great Western, CrossCountry and Chiltern Railways.

Details on accessibility features of rail stations, entrance and exits, services, including ramps, height-adjustable counters, indication loops, toilets (radar key), and staff support can be found on the National Rail website.

By car

Cowley Road is easy to get to by all major approach roads, including the M40, A40, A34 and A44. If you’re driving, the local streets have limited options for parking. There’s a car park, behind the Tesco Metro, opposite the venue for pay and display parking. Use satnav OX4 1JP. Charges vary, so check when you park.

Disabled parking

The venue does not have its own parking facilities, but there are bays reserved around the local streets. The council car park on Union Street has 74 spaces but visit the Oxford City Council website to find out about the blue badge scheme and parking options nearby.

By bike

Look out for bike racks in local streets and on Cowley Road, Oxford loves cyclists.

What’s on at O2 Academy Oxford

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