• Amy Middleton

Corn Exchange to become O2 Academy Edinburgh

ACADEMY Music Group Ltd have confirmed their expansion in Scotland with the acquisition of the 3,000 capacity Edinburgh Corn Exchange. It will now be known as the O2 Academy Edinburgh for its new era, which will see Nile Rodgers, the DMAs, Fontaines DC, Rag 'n' Bone Man, Frank Carter, The Snuts and The Charlatans play over the next few months, giving Edinburgh's music scene a much needed boost.

AMG already run O2 Academy venues across the UK, including Glasgow, Liverpool and Newcastle, and they have already spent more than £500,000 installing a new PA and lighting system ahead of the first show show, Declan McKenna on Friday 3rd September.

Graham Walters, chief operating officer at Academy Music Group, said: “The Corn Exchange had moved more towards the corporate and non-music side of things over the years. The former owners didn’t have the knowledge or expertise of the music industry that we have. We’ve been keen to expand our O2 Academy brand in Scotland for some time and we’re delighted to now be in Edinburgh, it’s an inspiring city with a thriving appetite for music and culture.

Edinburgh has a great heritage of culture and music. It’s always been on our radar, but trying to find venues of the right capacity, in the right location, is a challenge. When this opportunity came up it was a no-brainer," he continues. "Although it didn’t have a huge number of gigs it was held in very high esteem by promoters, agents and bands. We see huge potential with this venue, it fits with our ethos of investing in heritage buildings, with the right capacity of 3,000 to bring world-class entertainment to the city.

"There will still be a mix of events, but we will be focusing on the amount of live music there because that’s in our DNA", confirms Walters.

Built in 1909, the Corn Exchange is a category B building with a unique history. Over the last two decades, it has become one of the capital’s largest standing, multi-purpose, award-winning venues. The venue's connection with live music began back in 1999 with a sold-out Blur show. Other headline acts to grace the venue include Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro, The 1975, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Paolo Nutini, Radiohead, Calvin Harris, and more.

Gareth Griffiths, head of O2 Sponsorship, said: “The new O2 Academy Edinburgh is a brilliant addition to our O2 Academy estate. It’s a beautiful venue and as entertainment begins to return this further demonstrates O2 and Academy Music Group’s commitment to enhancing the live industry in Scotland, one of the best places to watch music in the UK.”

Paul DeMarco, managing director of Marco’s, added: “When Marco’s Leisure bought the Corn Exchange in Chesser 22 years ago, we started with a plan to be Edinburgh’s go-to concert venue and ran over 300 live shows, as well as welcoming 3 million visitors to gigs, conferences, banquets, weddings, exhibitions and parties, creating one of the busiest and most successful venues in Scotland. We are happy to pass on the baton to the top professionals in the live music industry who will ensure it continues to play a major role in Scotland’s events industry for many more years to come. Marco’s will continue to operate and expand its leisure business.”

DF Concerts chief executive Geoff Ellis said: “It’s always been such a great venue – we were the first to host a concert in the venue with Blur. The installation of a fixed PA system and lighting rig will enable more tours to be viable and it will now see many more concerts taking place, playing an enhanced role in the city’s live music scene.

Upcoming events at the new O2 Academy Edinburgh include: Declan McKenna (Fri 03 Sep), Tom Grennan (Thu 09 Sep), CHIC feat. Nile Rogers (Tue 21 Sep), Yungblud (Mon 11 Oct), DMA’S (Mon 18 and Tue 19 Oct), Rag’n’Bone Man (Tue 26 Oct), The Snuts (Thu 28 Oct), Bullet For My Valentine (Mon 01 Nov), Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes (Tue 23 Nov), Bicep (Tue 07 Dec), The Charlatans (Tue 21 Dec), CHVRCHES (Mon 13 Mar), Jake Bugg (Mon 21 Mar), The War On Drugs (Mon 18 Apr), Gary Numan (Mon 09 May), Marina (Tue 17 May), Beck (Tue 14 Jun).

For more information please visit: www.academymusicgroup.com/o2academyedinburgh