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Electric Group details £1.5m refurb of former O2 Academy Newcastle

Independent music venue owner Electric Group has unveiled plans for the £1.5 million redevelopment of its newest acquisition NX, the former O2 Academy Newcastle.

Opening in October 2022, NX will be a “state-of-the-art 21st-century independent music venue”, to open in March 2022.

The company’s venue portfolio also includes Electric Brixton and SWX Bristol.

“After many years in the planning, I’m delighted to announce our exciting vision for the refurbishment of the O2 Academy Newcastle, which of course has a seminal history and we have the important task of curating the next stage of the venue’s development,” says Electric Group CEO Dominic Madden.

“NX will be a state-of-the-art 21st-century independent music venue. Our vision is to undertake a comprehensive refurbishment of the venue, with a focus on making the main room a more intimate gig experience, both for the music fan and the artist.

“Our vision is to undertake a comprehensive refurbishment, with a focus on making the main room a more intimate gig experience”

“Our plans include the creation of new standing mezzanine staircases on either side of the main room, and with access to an intimate standing platform within the existing balcony and with bars and access to a contained roof terrace for music fans to use.

“This redesign will improve sightlines for music fans and bring them closer to the stage. This 21st-century vision also fully respects the grandeur and history of the existing venue whilst putting the artist and fan experience front and centre of our plans.”

The live diary for NX is already open and is being overseen by Electric Group head of music Mike Weller.

“We operate with an independent mindset, shaping an easy and collaborative culture for promoters to embrace NX with as few financial strings attached as possible,” adds Madden.

“We will be investing substantially to make the venue production complete and we are focused on providing a perfect platform for shows so we can help promoters smash ticket sales.”

 


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Electric Brixton owner takes over Bristol’s SWX

The new owner of UK venue SWX is to work with local and national promoters to bring more live music to what it calls “the best 1,100-capacity room in Bristol”.

Electric Group, which also runs London’s 1,700-cap. Electric Brixton (formerly the Fridge) completed a deal for SWX last month after being impressed with its atmosphere, production and sightlines.

Backed by box-office and marketing support from TicketWeb, Electric Group will manage the SWX live diary from Brixton under its head of music, Mike Weller.

Dominic Madden, Electric Group co-founder, comments: “We operate with an independent mindset, shaping an easy and collaborative culture for promoters to embrace SWX with as few financial strings attached as possible.

“We are focused on providing a perfect platform for shows so we can help promoters smash ticket sales”

“Having invested substantially to make the venue production complete, we are focused on providing a perfect platform for shows so we can help promoters smash ticket sales.”

DHP Family and local promoter MJR have put several profile acts into SWX this year, including Thee Oh Sees, Ride and Django Django, with Aldous Harding, Saint Etienne and Beans on Toast and Skinny Lister coming up over the next few weeks.

SWX, on Nelson Street, is the latest incarnation of a music venue that started life as a Top Rank ballroom, hosting performances by luminaries including the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Cream and The Beach Boys. As well as live shows, it also hosts DJ nights (upcoming sets include Clean Bandit, Sigma and Sigala) and club nights, the latter of which attract more than a quarter of a million Bristol students to the venue annually.

“A venue’s success depends on the people that work there,” concludes Electric Group, a joint venture between Dominic Madden and River Island owners the Lewis family. “Electric Group is picking a team to underpin the live element of the business and support the fantastic staff already in place, led by a GM who has been at SWX for eight years.”

 


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