Venue acquired

Corn Exchange rebranded O2 Academy after sale

Jay Rayner

Celebrity chef Jay Rayner at the Corn Exchange in May 2019 (pic: Terry Murden)

Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange is being taken over by the company which runs O2 Academy venues across the UK.

Academy Music Group (AMG) has invested in a new sound and lighting system as part of plans to bring more concerts to the 3,000 capacity site in Chesser.

The category B listed building, dating back to 1909, has been transformed into a regular venue on the conference, concert and dinner circuit by Marco’s Leisure.

It has hosted a number of high profile events such as the Scotland Food and Drink annual dinner and a number of award schemes, including the Scottish Beer Awards. It was also a rallying point for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party.

It kicked off an era of live music with a sell-out show by Blur in 1999.

Other major acts to perform at the venue include Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro, Oasis, Coldplay, Faithless, Arctic Monkeys, Garbage, Grace Jones, Radiohead, Paulo Nutini, Pulp and Calvin Harris.

The venue will be rebranded as the O2 Academy. Graham Walters, chief operating officer, Academy Music Group, said, “We’ve been keen to expand our O2 Academy brand in Scotland for some time and we’re delighted to now be in Edinburgh.

“We see huge potential with this venue, it fits with our ethos of investing in heritage buildings, with the right capacity of 3,000 to bring world-class entertainment to the city.”

Paul DeMarco, managing director, Marco’s Leisure, said, “When Marco’s Leisure bought the Corn Exchange in Chesser 22 years ago, we started with a plan to be Edinburgh’s go-to concert venue.

“We are happy to pass on the baton to the top professionals in the live music industry who will ensure it continues to play a major role in Scotland’s events industry for many more years to come”.

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