We Love Oxford
The Edwardian building has been hosting live music on Cowley Rd for decades, but prior to being a music venue, it was a Co-operative 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. As The Venue, it hosted some impressive live performances; a Radiohead show even went on to become the video for debut single ‘Creep’. Difficult times in the nineties saw The Venue close, but local promoters Nick Moorbath and Adrian Hicks devised a plan get support and investment from local bands Radiohead, Supergrass and Ride, and in November 1995 the building reopened as the Zodiac. The Daisies were the first band to christen the Zodiac stage and Supergrass played a sold-out show in the opening week too. Other highlights during this time were shows from Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Kings of Leon, Robert Plant, The Killers, The Strokes and Muse.
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.