10 reviews of The 02 Academy in English
It is now the O2 Academy, but the upstairs room (smaller) is still officially called the Zodiac, the (larger) downstrairs is called the Academy.
Great non-threatening atmosphere. They let under14's in to the gigs if accompanied by an adult. So have taken my 15 year old son there and introduced him to moshing (which he could not quite believe what he was seeing), and also taken my 12 year old daughter to see Kate Nash (WOTEVA!).
On the bright side, also saw the Alarm and the Damned there, whom I last saw in 1976!
So, in short...something for everyone to enjoy...AND ITS LOUD
The accoustics are actually pretty dodgey, but at 120dB who can tell??
One of Oxford’s highlights, and it’s retained its character and charm even after taking on the Carling Academy branding. Excellent listings have always been a hallmark, and the bands the Zodiac has attracted down the years are testament enough to the esteem in which it is held.
The upstairs/downstairs design allows it to operate as nightclub and gig venue, and it does both with a unique style that’s difficult to capture in words. Probably best just to go along.
Everyone always talks about the infamous Fuzzy Ducks and the lamented (or should that be lamentable?) Disque Vogues student nights, but the weekend indie and some off-beat bands as well as the big names, make it easily one of Oxford’s better nights out.
Zodiac (now Carling academy)
is Oxford best and famous gig venue
i have seen countless bands there big and small!
and the famous Fuzzy ducks student night! Wooaw!
its just amazing! the drinks are priced ok too!
Zodiac means alot to Oxford people! and now its part of the carling group its bringing bigger and (not always!) better bands to oxford!
but i wish they kept the name! and the old purple and black sign!
im just glad most people i know still call it the Zodiac
i will shun anyone who calls it The academy or The Carling!
I’ve been going to the Zodiac for years. It is quite an institution.
I know a lot of people have feelings about it turning into a chain, as do I, however they have retained many of the original local club nights.
I do actually very much like the place! It is much bigger and airy and feels like a ‘proper’ club.
It can take a while to get served, and there is not a wide selection of drinks - however there are a wide selection of bars from those on the main dance floors, to a cocktail bar upstairs.
I love going to clubs where you can choose your music - and with it’s variety of rooms, the Zodiac offers this.
It used to be called the Zodiac. Now it’s called the Carling Academy. Most locals call it The Cardiac.
Fancy a boogie? Great venue. Great lighting.
Great for gigs. I never went to fuzzy ducks but i’ve been to see alot of great bands here. Check out goth night! Alwayd good for a laugh. Reasonably cheap drinks although it does depend a bit on the night you go.
Good old Fuzzy Ducks. I can't quite believe it's still running. When i was at uni in Oxford in 2002, the Wednesday night fun was shut down due to young drunken girls doing unthinkable things on the main stage. Subsequently lap dancing at bar baby was opened to cater for all the oggling male students.
Apart from Fuzzy's, The zodiac is THE place to see live music in Oxford. It's a pretty small venue, so gigs are fairly intimate. My fondest memory is of stage diving at a BRMC gig. Good times....
Linus, 13 February 2008: I've got a horrible feeling I've been here.
usefulcat, 6 March 2008:
I went there when I was a student and recall Fuzzy Ducks vividly. My god, what a dump. They’ve since renamed it the Carling Academy don’t cha know.
Cutestuff, 17 November 2008:
Hated Fuzzy Ducks! Went once in my whole 3 years at uni! What a hole!
I must have been to a different place to other reviewers. I've been twice to upstairs venue fairly recently (autumn/winter of 2007) The first time my shoes STUCK to the floor so much that I kept moving my feet so as not to find myself permanently stuck. It was really icky. And we were there really early so it wasn't that people had just spilt the beer. It was old stickiness, the sort of stickiness that could have been cleaned away with some hot water, strong chemicals and a mop. The second time it was a bit better - my feet didn't actually make a noise when I moved.
The second time the bar was so busy that we couldn't get a drink and yet they didn't open the other bar at the back. My friend had booked tickets via the phone or internet but we weren't allowed to pick them up until 30 minutes before the venue opened. We were there an hour before the venue opened thinking we could pick them up before the rush and then go for a quick bite to eat. So we had to have our bite to eat and then queue to pick the tickets up.
The acts we went to see were brilliant and the atmosphere was great. The venue itself could be improved.
Comment 2 comments on this review
Phil Chambers, 12 February 2008: Oh I dunno - sounds pretty good to me! You can get those teflon-coated shoes these days for this type of venue...
notquiteox, 13 February 2008: Ah, but I'm from the generation that likes to dance around their handbags - and we didn't dare make the ritual pile of bags on this floor.
Okay its no longer called zodiac, or carling zodiac. It is simplay a carling academy, Oxford.
However, most people refer to it still as the 'zodiac' as the club nights etc have not changed.
But boy has the decor. Gone is the grotty floor and dirty walls that became famous about 5 or 6 years ago in Sky tv's documentary on student clubs. It is now a clean, sharp looking club which can finally hold its head up high.
Becoming a Craling Academy was not a bad thing. It still has its club nights like wednesday's Fuzzy Ducks which is consistently rammed with students wanting the £1.50 offer drink of the night (about a fiver to get in and they usually want to see your student card too). But it also now has the prestigious gigs that other carling academy's such as Brixton currently enjoy. From Turin Brakes to heavy metal this gig spot attracts a wealth of different bands and acts.
You can usually find out who is going to be on by looking at the officaial carlingacademy.co.uk site, or by popping in and asking.
The ultra cool staff there are very friendly and seem to be in the know about who is playing and when.
I have had many a fun night in The Zodiac and have continued to have many a fun night there as the carling academy. Even though i am no longer a student.
For those who visited before it changed and hated it, i would suggest you give it one more chance.
Your shoes will no longer stick to the floor if you stand still for more than a nano second, and you will not find dirt streaks on your clothes from brushing against a wall.
Its a great fun night out where anything goes.. and you should just go with it too :)
The Zodiac is always buzzing with music lovers and keen drinkers. But it must be said that if you are ever planning a visit to the venue you must go on a Wednesday night. Fuzzy Ducks is a student night on Wednesdays that attracts both the Oxford University and Oxford Brookes students. Drinks are dirt cheap and the atmosphere is spectacular... The recent renovations have increased its capicity as well. Be sure to take student identity with you. Fuzzys was voted the easiest place to pull in the UK by FHM! Say no more.
This is the Ledgedary venue of oxford. dont be fooled by its tiny exterior, the zodiac is a premier venue boasting gigs from Rage against the machine, Wolfmother and Radiohead (part owners) where the shot the video for the massive hit single "creep".
with an upstairs and a down stair venue, the zodiac is able to have to gig on at the same time as well as on the off day, being a fantastic psedo club, hinging around the more alternative music scene.
the zodiac is also infamous for the wednesday night extravaganza known as Fuzzy Ducks, voted the "easiest place to pull in england" 97 by FHM. although not my scene, and total not in keeping with the rest of the zodiac.....it is one of the most popular nights in oxford and is an.......experience.
p.s as of the summer of 2007..the zodiac will be known as the carling zodiac, and has undergone some interior changes. we are assured that the ambience will be the same.
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