Academy Music Group (AMG) has revealed its expansion in Scotland with the announcement of O2 Academy Edinburgh, after the successful acquisition of 3,000 capacity venue, Edinburgh Corn Exchange.
The Corn Exchange building – built in 1909 – is category B listed and has been transformed into an award-winning venue over the last 20 years by Marco’s Leisure Ltd. It’s iconic history includes performances from Blur, Oasis, Foo Fighters, Arctic Monkeys, Grace Jones, Calvin Harris, Coldplay and more.
AMG and the O2 have been in partnership since January 2009 in a naming-rights venue deal, which sees 20 award-winning venues owned and operated by AMG across the UK. These AMG venues were awarded a £2,981,431 grant from the Culture Recovery Fund in November 2020 to help meet the core operating costs.
Edinburgh Corn Exchange will take on the name of O2 Academy Edinburgh from September 1, and has been updated with new sound and lighting production facitilites.
Speaking on the news, AMG chief operating officer, Graham Walters said: “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.”
“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,” Walters continued. “It also has a number of diverse secondary spaces, flexible formats and configurations that we’ll be looking at over the coming months to complement programming and events in the main auditorium.”
Head of sponsorship, O2, Gareth Griffiths, added: “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.”
MD of Marco’s Leisure Ltd, Paul DeMarco, said: “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.”
Upcoming shows at the O2 Academy Edinburgh include Declan McKenna (September 3), Nile Rodgers & Chic (September 21), DMA’s (October 18 and 19), Rag’N’Bone Man (October 26), Bullet For My Valentine (November 1), The Charlatans (December 21), Chvrches (March 13) and more.