The Academy on Middle Abbey Street has had a bit of a makeover, and the results are dazzling. With a newly launched Circus club night each Saturday, this theme carries throughout the revamped venue. Upon entry, you are led down a dark sparkly corridor awash with red lights and dark reflective walls. The main room has received a whole new lighting rig complete with lasers and strobe. There is an air of decadence in the place, with lots of plush red fabrics and lighting adding to this effect.
The Academy is so lucky in that it has multiple venues within the one building. For live gigs and DJ sets, the main room is the perfect size – just big enough to be able to see the act from every vantage point without getting a crick in your neck, but with ample room to have a little dance. Below the main room, The Green Room and Academy 2 act as two smaller, more intimate locations within their own right; with the new Saturday club night utilising them to the height of their potential.
The calendar of upcoming live gigs is impressively varied, with a great range of oldies as well as new & up and coming acts gracing the stage of the main room over the next few months. Between now and the end of November the Academy will host Chet Faker, La Roux and Wallis Bird but to name a few; with Bondax, Jessie Ware, Death From Above 1979 and Glass Animals among the extensive list of acts on the line-up from now ‘til March.
The Academy pulls out all the stops when the Circus comes to town each Saturday. The main room hosts onstage performances with aerial dancers and trapeze artists, with a huge production behind it comprising of CO2 canons, pyrotechnics, confetti and balloon drops. The music policy in the main room could be best described as ‘anything goes’ crossing all genres from hip hop to pop, beats to chart. As you descend, things get darker with rock & indie being played in Academy 2, and disco & house tunes in the Green Room. The night has an immersive vibe, with circus performers and freak shows wandering throughout the crowd and catching people unaware. A lot of work has gone into the re-imagining of the Academy, and it has certainly paid off, so go on - run away with the Circus this weekend!