In 1982 the building had a multimillion-pound refurbishment to become the Academy Nightclub. The nightclub had one of very first water-cooled lasers and the first Karaoke bar in the UK. Acts included The Sisters of Mercy, Hawkwind, Brand New Heavies, Courtney Pine, JTQ and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Other acts known to have held concerts at the venue include Deep Purple, Canned Heat, T.Rex, Colosseum, Freedom, Joe Jammer and Slade.
The rise of rave culture in the 1990s spawned nights such as Fantasia, Wild Turkey and Parhelion. From 1997 until 2009 the venue was called the Opera House nightclub. In 1997, the dance night Slinky was launched and had many years of success there until its final event on 5 October 2013.
The Opera House was closed for a three million-pound refurbishment between November 2006 and June 2007, and officially reopened by Jo Whiley.
The Opera House was sold to AMG Group in July 2009 and rebranded as O2 Academy Bournemouth from September and now hosts a wide range of live music events alongside the traditional dance music events it became popular for.
O2 Academy Bournemouth, 570 Christchurch Rd, Bournemouth BH1 4BH
Yellow Buses travel between us in Boscombe to Poole, Castlepoint, Bournemouth, Christchurch via East Cliff (numbers 1c, 2, 24, 26, 26a, 33) and Wilts & Dorset buses (M2 and X3) cover Boscombe via routes to Poole, Southbourne and Salisbury.
All run regularly from Boscombe bus station, at the eastern entrance of the Sovereign Centre.
Night bus services also run from Boscombe bus station with Wilts & Dorset buses along to Poole and Southbourne.
Most buses are equipped with bus lowering systems and steps, for easier access.
We have two train stations nearby.
Accessible facilities can be found at National Rail.
For details, about entrance and exits, parking and drop off, step free access including ramps, height adjustable counters, indication loops, toilets (radar key), and staff support.
Pokesdown railway station is slightly closer at around 1,100 metres away. It’s serves local areas as well as on the South West main line from London Waterloo to Weymouth and Poole.
Smaller than Bournemouth, it has fewer facilities and is inaccessible to wheelchair users, so check before you travel.
Parking and by car
We’re are easy to get to from the M27 and A31 and A338.
If you’re driving, free on street parking can be found in the local area.
Hawkwood Road main car park is long stay, use postcode BH5 1BY for sat nav. It has two disabled parking bays and is around 300 metres away.
At weekends, the Sovereign Centre car park is just next door and is open until midnight on Friday and Saturday, charges apply.
Disabled parking and by car
Our main entrance is in a pedestrianised location, so please do get in touch with any questions for drop off.
Hawkwood Road main car park has two disabled parking bays and is around 300 metres away.
At weekends, the Sovereign Centre
car park is just next door and is open until midnight on Friday and Saturday with accessible parking bays and lifts. Charges apply.
Look out for bike racks in local streets.
Always plan your journey in advance.
Venue opening times
We’ll have opening times and curfew times if they’re out of the ordinary for seasoned gig-goers (7pm-11pm) on the event page of this website and on our social channels, too. All timings are subject to change, so check before you travel.
We have bars (of course), a cloakroom to leave your stuff and if you’re visiting us for the first time, just ask any of our friendly staff to show you the way. Please try and travel light as cloakroom facilities are limited, so if you really need to bring a bag, please make sure that it is small (laptop size or small handbag).