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Safety and security - what do we do?

It goes without saying that the ongoing safety of our customers, staff and performers is of absolute paramount importance. So if you’re visiting one of our venues, please take a moment to read the below information.


Our management and security teams regularly review procedure and protocol with all staff. As with every live event, all arrangements are in continuous consultation and review with local authorities and the police. There are lots of things that go on behind the scenes, too: training exercises; new security measures – so please be patient if things take a little longer than you’re used to.

Your visit
Our venues are monitored at all times, but please can we ask for your help by arriving in good time, as we carry out security searches on entry.

Speak to us
If at any time you see or hear anything untoward, please speak to security – we’re here to help.

Travel light
Please plan ahead and do your best to travel as lightly as possible. As well as cloakroom facilities being limited, searches are in place, and we really don’t want to slow you down getting in. So if you really, really need to bring a bag, please make sure that it’s small (less than laptop size or a small handbag).

We are unable to receive any large bags over the size of a laptop bag and we don’t admit suitcases, so please don’t bring them. For those who travel a very long way, you can find out about storage facilities at all major train stations.

How do I book tickets?

Our booking partner is Ticketmaster, but be sure to use an official primary ticket seller and you’ll be fine. 

Is there a box office so I can book tickets in person?

Find out when and where we’re open by visiting our Contact page.

Can I still buy a ticket on the day of a show?

So long as they’re available, that’s no problem at all. You can book with Ticketmaster or come to the venue in person, our box office opening hours are on our Contact page. Club nights can be a bit different, though, so be sure to check with us.

Do you have a box office at the venue and where is it?

We do indeed, but opening hours vary. Check our venue's box office details on our Contact page. 

If an event is sold out, can I get a ticket?

Annoying, we know, but it normally means that all tickets are gone. Keep an eye on the event though, occasionally a few become available nearer the time. Follow our various social media channels to get the announcements as soon as they happen.

If I buy a ticket from someone outside, can I get in?

As tempting as it might be to buy one, touted tickets don’t help fans, artists or venues – and there’s a chance it might be invalid which would mean we couldn’t let you in. So sticking to reputable sellers is best for everyone.

I’ve bought my ticket on a ‘secondary site’, will I get in?

Hard to say. If it’s not from a legitimate source, it could still be cancelled on the day of the show, so – and sorry if this sounds a little dull – we recommend sticking to the official outlets.

If my ticket is seated, can I go in the standing area?

They’re allocated according to space, so depending what you bought, you’ll have to stick to your assigned area. At some venues, if your ticket says ‘freeflow’ for example, you can move around to find your best spot. Just get in touch if you’ve got any queries when you book.

Can I return or get a refund on my ticket?

‘Fraid not. Refunds only apply to shows that get cancelled or rescheduled, so ‘I changed my mind about going’ or ‘they didn’t play my favourite song’ sadly isn’t going to cut it.

Why is there a cost for an e-ticket?

Every ticket agent will have different arrangements, but these normally cover the cost of fulfilling the order. Do check their individual FAQs for more detail.

What is a booking fee and why is it charged?

We completely understand that no one likes additional fees but in our commitment to providing top-drawer customer service, we can at least explain them openly and honestly. 

Our goal is for every customer in every Academy Music Group venue to get the very best experience – naturally this requires a fair bit of resource.

The booking fee we charge applies to all tickets, including those purchased in person and helps fund the running of our box offices all year round, investment in ticketing technology, fraud-checking and security, hardware, staffing, IT, customer service, enabling 24-hour customer service support, and a whole lot more besides.

Such fees are now commonplace when buying tickets to live music, theatre and other events – as such, our costs are always calculated in line with industry standard, and broken down in detail for you before you buy. We appreciate your understanding. 

What is a restoration levy and why is it charged?

At most of our venues, Academy Music Group charges a per ticket venue restoration levy. This levy assists in preserving these buildings and improving the audience and artist experience. The restoration levy is:

£1.50 per ticket for O2 Forum Kentish Town, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire and O2 Academy Brixton (London)
£1.25 per ticket at O2 Victoria Warehouse Manchester
£0.75 per ticket for all other applicable venues

I haven’t received my tickets, what do I do?

They get sent out no less than three days before the event, but if you’re concerned about wayward tickets, get in touch with your ticket agent and have all your booking details to hand. Don’t forget to check your Ticketmaster account as well. 

Where do I collect my tickets?

Used Ticketmaster's box office collection option? Your tickets will be available at the front of house box office. Check the relevant Contact page for opening times. If you’ve booked through a different agent, you’ll need to pick up your tickets from the box office once doors have opened on the day of the show.

What do I need to bring to collect my tickets at the venue?

A copy of the booking confirmation, ID and the debit or credit card you used to buy them.

Someone else bought my tickets for me to collect, what do I need to do?

Just bring a Letter of Authorisation from whoever booked them for you, stating your name, the booking reference and the last four digits of the card they used to buy them.

Remember, some events may vary from time to time. For example, you might have bought tickets that say they are 'paperless', so the cardholder may need to arrive and actually be attending the show. Find out more about what you need to do for paperless events here

It’s easy to receive and transfer tickets directly to the friends and family you bought them for, right from your Ticketmaster account. You can read more about Ticket Transfer in Ticketmaster’s FAQ’s right here.

Someone else booked my tickets online, can I use them?

Potentially, but it’s always best to check. Occasionally, some events might need you to prove with photo ID that you’re the person named on the actual ticket, or you'll be asked for a Ticketmaster Letter of Authorisation

Or you might have bought tickets that say they are 'paperless', so the cardholder may need to arrive and actually be attending the show. Find out more about what you need to do for paperless events here

It’s easy to receive and transfer tickets directly to the friends and family you bought them for, right from your Ticketmaster account. You can read more about Ticket Transfer in Ticketmaster’s FAQ’s right here.


What if I’ve lost or damaged my ticket or they’ve been stolen?

Get in touch with whoever you booked with straight away – they can usually arrange replacements. Sadly, there’s not much the venue can do, though.

What is Ticketfast or an e-ticket or a mobile ticket?

If you book with Ticketmaster, Ticketfast, or e-tickets or mobile tickets, are their official electronic delivery methods. You’ll get one email confirming your order. From there, you'll need to head over to your Ticketmaster account and all the information you need will be right there. 

So you know, some Academy Music Group venues (excluding O2 Academy Bristol) still offer Ticketmaster's print at home tickets, but always check your order by logging into your Ticketmaster account to be sure. 

Can I show a screen-shot, or e-ticket or Ticketfast on my phone if I bought it online?

If your ticket is in the Ticketmaster mobile APP, and it’s the mobile version, then absolutely, yes, but we can’t accept screen-shots sorry.  

Otherwise, and because we have to scan everyone’s ticket, you have to print off your PDF ticket, if that's the delivery method you chose, and bring it to the show. Don’t forget to check your Ticketmaster account if you’re worried you haven’t received it, and remember to print each individual ticket if you have more than one.

We’re always looking at new ways and innovative technology to make ticketing easier and hassle free. To find out about which delivery service might work best for you, and how to manage your tickets, just head over to Ticketmaster’s FAQs to find out more. 

Can I share digital tickets with my friends who are coming with me?

Of course! You can do that through your Ticketmaster account. It’s just one of the options you’ll see on your ticket and only takes a few clicks. 

What’s a Ticketmaster digital ticket?

It’s a quick and easy way to receive and access the tickets you buy through your Ticketmaster account on your mobile.

Want to know more about your Ticketmaster’s ticket delivery options?

We’re always looking at new ways and innovative technology to make ticketing easier and hassle free. To find out about which delivery service might work best for you, and how to manage your tickets, just head over to Ticketmaster’s FAQs to find out more. 

I have a balcony ticket, does that mean I am allocated a seat?

Normally balcony seats are unreserved so it’s a first-come, first-served affair. There is additional standing room in some circumstances, though.

What’s the latest time I can turn up with my ticket?

It’s best to always check the door times so you don’t miss out. We’ll do our best to have opening times and information up on our website and social channels, too.

What does ‘stalls’ mean?

The stalls are downstairs in the auditorium.

I’ve got a VIP ticket, what does it get me?

We’ll have a limo waiting… Well, maybe not, but do check with the ticket agent when you book and they will provide you with details of what’s included.

Where can I find Ticketmaster's FAQs?

You’ll find Ticketmaster's right here

What is Priority Tickets?

O2 customers can get tickets 48 hours before shows go on general sale, but get in quick, once they're gone, they're gone. Find out more and register at Priority Tickets.

How do I find out which events have a Priority offer?

We’ll plug them on our website and social channels, and you can check O2’s Priority page for the latest information. Alternatively, if you’ve got an O2 phone, text PRIORITY to 2020 and check the O2 Academy app or the Priority app.

What’s the Priority queue?

Whenever possible, we’ll have a separate queue, just for O2 customers. Up to three of your mates can join you too. Our staff, and O2 Angels, will help guide you through. Just look out for the Priority Queue banners by the main entrance.

I’m on O2 but my friend’s aren’t, can they join me in the queue?

Yes; you can bring up to three people along with you, even if they’re not on O2.

What benefits are there being an O2 customer?

All sorts – visit our On O2 page to get the lowdown.

What’s the O2 Priority cloakroom offer?

If you’re an O2 customer, you can use our cloakroom for free! If you haven’t got it, just search Priority in your app store, you’ll find the offer under ‘Entertainment’ or look out for an O2 Angel who can help you with all our offers.

Can I buy Priority tickets in person from the box office?

Not in person, but everything is set up to make it oh-so-easy to do from your phone. If you're an O2 customer, download the Priority Tickets app from your app store. Not on O2? You'll find all the latest details for our venues on the O2 Academy app.

How do I get the Priority app?

It’s easy. Just go to the app store and download if for free for quick and easy access to Priority.

How can I access the Barclaycard Entertainment discount?

To access your Barclaycard Entertainment discount, please click the Barclaycard Customers button, by doing so you agree to accept (i) Barclaycard Entertainment terms and conditions, (ii) Ticketmaster UK Limited’s terms and conditions, as well as (iii) the applicable venue’s terms and conditions. Tickets are subject to availability, and are only available to UK Barclaycard holders only.


Is your venue accessible?

Yes, there is level access to the majority of our main auditoriums, just visit our Access page for more information. We work hard with Attitude Is Everything to continually improve acess for all our customers.

How do I book a wheelchair accessible space?

Give us a call or drop us an email for more details on wheelchair-accessible spaces at shows.

Are there facilities for deaf and hard of hearing customers?

Some of our box offices, but not all, have a mic, speaker, induction-loop system and lowered counters. Our staff will happily assist with anything they can, though, so best to check our Access page and find out what’s where at each of them.

Do you have accessible parking?

We don’t have any parking at all, unfortunately. We have full travel information and a guide to getting around the local area on our Access pages.

What’s an Access Card?

Our venues across the country accept the Access Card scheme from Nimbus Disability. For more information on the card and how to get one, visit the site.

Do you have a lift?

As many of our venues are listed, many built in the early 1900s, we unfortunately do not have a lift service at all of them, but do check the Access page of the venue you're visiting to find out what’s where at each of them.

What about toilets for people with disabilities?

There are toilets throughout the venue, and some of our venues have a dedicated, RADAR-key-accessible toilet. Please check our Access page before your visit for more information. Staff will happily assist if needed.

What about blind or visually impaired people?

Should you require braille or large print material, or need anything else at all for your visit, please let us know in advance. Just get in touch.

Can I bring my assistance dog?

Absolutely – we’ll even supervise them on request, just get in touch and let us know. 

I have an access requirement not listed, what should I do?

If you have any questions or an access requirement not included please just get in touch and we'll get back to you as quickly as we can. 

Is there a different age limit for each event?

Yes, so it’s always best to check in advance as it can range from ‘14s and over’ to ‘under 14s must be accompanied by an adult’, to ‘strictly over 18s only’ and so on. Some of our venues have a seated balcony - so for anyone under 14, you’re advised to book those please. Anyone younger, especially 8 years and under, it’s not advised, so please check the event before you buy and if you’re not sure, just get in touch. More details on age restrictions can be found in Venue Info.

I’m under 18, can I come by myself?

Sometimes, yes, but it depends on the event. So please check the age restrictions when you book.

What are Challenge 25 and No ID No Sale?

If you are lucky enough to look under 25 (but are 25 or older) you may be asked for ID.

How can I find out door times?

Your ticket should state a start time. As for curfew times and the like, we’ll keep you posted on our website and social channels if they're out of the ordinary. However, all timings are subject to change.

How can I prove my age/do I need ID?

Please bring a full or provisional driver’s licence or a PASS card as ID, and a valid passport will also be fine. Any fake IDs will be confiscated, sorry.

Our Glasgow venues only accept a full or provisional driver's licence, or a valid passport please.

Where can I find the running time of the show/event?

We’ll always keep you up to date on times and curfews if they’re out of the ordinary for seasoned gig goers (7pm-11pm) on our website and social channels.

Is there a cloakroom/will I get in with my bag/helmet/suitcase?

We have a cloakroom where we charge a small fee per item (although O2 customers can use it for free, to find out how click here). Obviously, the earlier you get there, the less busy it will be, but as long as you hold on to your ticket then it’s easy to get your stuff back. Maybe don’t come with your entire worldly possessions, though, it could take a while… but in all seriousness, please try and travel light as cloakroom facilities are limited, so if you really need to bring a bag at all - and we prefer you don't - please make sure that it is small (laptop size or small handbag only). We're unable to receive any large bags over the size of a laptop bag and we don’t admit suitcases, so please don’t bring them. For those who travel a very long way, you can find out about storage facilities at all major train stations.

What if I lose my cloakroom ticket?

Try not to! If you do, you’ll have to wait until the end of the event to identify your things. If you do unfortunately lose something, all our lost property contact details are on our Contact page.

I forgot to get my stuff out of the cloakroom after the show, what do I do?

Don’t worry, it happens. Just get in touch, check our Contact page to find out how.

Can I bring my own food and drink?

Sorry but no, and this includes chewing gum. We have bars, snack food and free drinking water available. Any bits you think you think you really need to bring for health purposes, just get in touch.

I lost something at the show?

Get in touch to see if we can help. You can report lost property on our Contact page.

Is there a cash point/can I pay on card?

We're sorry, but we don't have cash point machines, but most bars accept card payments – including Apple Pay.

Where can I smoke?

Certainly not inside the venue – that’s the law! But staff will direct you to a dedicated smoking area and can advise on times it’s open from and to. Make sure you’re of legal age to do so, obviously.

Can I smoke an e-cigarette or vape?

'Fraid not, but staff will direct you to a dedicated smoking area and can advise on times it’s open from and to. Make sure you’re of legal age to do so, obviously.

Can I crowd surf?

‘Fraid not, sorry. Crowd-surfing, drink-throwing, illegal smoking and other such things are likely to result in us bidding you goodnight and ejecting you from the venue… and no you won’t get the cash back on your tickets, so try and enjoy yourself sensibly, ok?!

Is there a dress code?

Not usually, but if you’re wearing head gear, football colours or some kind of mad fancy dress, you may be asked to take them off and store them in the cloakroom.

How can I give feedback or make a complaint before, during or after a show?

We prefer feedback from our audience than we do from our sound system so if you want to get in touch, check our Contact page or ask a member of security for the Duty Manager during a show.

Why do you remove the lids from bottled water?

It’s for your safety, and standard across most live events now.

Will it be loud?

Quite probably, but we’re happy to give out ear plugs if you ask for them. Just find a staff member during a show.

Do children need ear defenders / do you supply ear plugs?

Any young children or adults should speak to a staff member or ask for the Duty Manager ahead of the show. Anyone bringing children should be responsible for protecting their little ears – staff will happily provide ear plugs on request.

Can I bring my camera/iPad/selfie-stick?

Non-professional cameras are fine (no large lenses) but please don’t bring iPads or, god forbid, selfie-sticks because you’ll be asked to leave them in the cloakroom. Besides, it’s much more fun to enjoy the moment and not worry about Instagram bragging rights.

Can I leave the venue and come back again in between bands?

Afraid not, generally, we don’t do ‘pass outs’ or re-admittance if you leave the building.

Is there strobe lighting or pyrotechnics?

Most shows may use strobe lighting and smoke effects and there’s usually signage up to let you know. If this is an issue, please let a member of staff know.

Will I be able to buy merchandise at the show?

Usually, yes. If a band has some, it will be on sale at the merchandise counter.

Can I bring my medication with me?

If you think it’s absolutely necessary for the hours you’ll be in the venue then by all means. It’s probably best to have a sealed package of your prescribed medication and make it known to the Duty Manager – especially if it contains sharp needles and the like. If you have any special medical-related requirements, do let us know in advance, too.

Any reason why I wouldn’t get in?

Be nice and don’t do anything stupid, basically. We reserve the right to refuse admission without a reason, so if you appear drunk or behave inappropriately in the queue, we might refuse you entry without a refund. Also be aware that in some cities, drinking alcohol in the street or on public transport is against the law. Please remember that if you’re drinking alcohol in the queue in Glasgow, you may be refused entry. Our venues, from time to time, use breathalysers too and anyone under 18 suspected of consuming alcohol will not be admitted (and will not get a refund). Our terms and conditions and entry are here.

Can I buy a backstage pass/meet the band?

Sorry, but backstage is mostly just crew ferrying stuff back and forth. If you do see ‘meet and greet’ tickets or somesuch on sale, do check the full details before you buy them.

Where are you and what’s your address?

Our Venue Info section has all our details, click to find out more.

How do I get there by public transport, what’s the nearest travel stop?

Always check travel before you head out, you can find out everything you know about our local transport links and the easiest way to get to us, on our Venue Info page.

Is there parking nearby?

We strongly recommend using public transport whenever possible, but for details on local parking and other travel information click our Venue Info page.

Where can I leave my bicycle?

For tips on where to park your bike, visit our Venue Info travel section.

How do I get a job on the bar or cloakroom or in the box office?

We’re always after top-drawer bar staff, cloakroom attendants and people to work in our box office and help run a great venue. Previous experience is useful, but not essential so if you’re interested in applying, just head to our Work With Us page.