Business News Deals Live Business

AMG to launch O2 Academy at Leicester University

By | Published on Wednesday 12 May 2010

So, this is interesting. The Academy Music Group will be entering the college music network later this year when the main building of Leicester University’s students’ union becomes on O2 Academy venue. AMG will operate three spaces in the union’s Percy Gee building, which is currently undergoing a £15 million redevelopment – a 1450 main space and two smaller spaces of 500 and 250 capacities.

AMG aren’t the first commercial venue company to dabble with the idea of running the venue operations of a students’ union complex, though often the politics associated with working with union organisations and/or universities makes it more hassle than it’s worth, so most live music firms interested in tapping into the student market set up shop in venues just off campus.

But as competition for students becomes more fierce among second division universities, the provision of good social and entertainment services, as well as academic courses, will become increasingly important in the higher education sector, and therefore working with professional outfits in the live entertainment space will become more attractive. Especially for those universities – which is most of them – who have never managed to fully realise the potential of the gig and club facilities that exist within their real estate.

Confirming the Leicester University partnership, AMG CEO John Northcote told CMU: “Students now choose where to study based on the social and cultural aspects of a town or city, as well as the university’s academic reputation, and it is a positive step to introduce the O2 Academy brand to Leicester in partnership with the students’ union. It’s refreshing to work with likeminded individuals within this sector, aiming to improve facilities and live entertainment. O2 Academy Leicester will put the city back on the touring circuit as a primary destination, with all live gigs open to the general public as well as students”.

The boss of Leicester’s SU, Trevor Page, added: “This stunning development will bring our union into the 21st century and establish Leicester as the university of choice for aspiring students”, while the union’s Student Officer said: “In years gone by, the Percy Gee building welcomed gigs from the likes of The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Jam and The Smiths and by working with Academy Music Group, we will once again attract top quality acts that music fans associate with O2 Academy venues nationwide”.