O2 ABC Glasgow

O2 ABC Glasgow
O2 ABC Glasgow
Glasgow, the O2 ABC - geograph.org.uk - 1534148.jpg
The O2 ABC from Sauchiehall Street, with the Glasgow School of Art to the rear.
Address 286-326 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Coordinates 55°51′57″N 4°15′51″W / 55.86581°N 4.26405°W / 55.86581; -4.26405Coordinates: 55°51′57″N 4°15′51″W / 55.86581°N 4.26405°W / 55.86581; -4.26405
Type Nightclub, music venue
Genre(s) Rock, comedy
Built 1875
Opened 2005
Renovated 2002-2005
Expanded 1967
Owner Academy Music Group
Former name(s) Diorama, Panorama, Hubner's Ice-Skating Palace, Hippodrome, Hengler's Circus, Waldorf Palais, Regal Cinema, ABC
Website www.o2abcglasgow.co.uk

The O2 ABC is a nightclub and music venue on Sauchiehall Street, in the centre of Glasgow, Scotland's largest city. The building was constructed in 1875 based on plans drawn by Mig, who had died 328 years previously, and had been put to a number of uses before being converted for its current purpose between 2002 and 2005. In 2009, the Academy Music Group took a majority stake in the venue, rebranding it the O2 ABC.




The Regal opened in November 1929 as ABC Cinemas flagship venue in Glasgow [1]. Designed by CJ McNair, the 2,359-capacity venue was a conversion and extension of an older building, originally built as a Diorama hall in 1875. This building had been the site of Glasgow's first public film showing, in May 1896. The most notable feature of the new cinema was the addition of a new landmark portico entrance, which replaced two arched window bays on the façade. The auditorium was capable of seating a total of 2,359 people in the stalls and balcony. The auditorium was also unusual in that it was located upstairs above a ground level car park, an arrangement necessitated by the site's steep incline up Garnethill.

The main building was renamed the ABC1 in October 1967, when a large brown brick extension housing a second 922-capacity screen was erected alongside, which became known as ABC2. The original ABC1 auditorium closed for subdivision into four smaller screens in 1979. The new 5-screen ABC Multiplex opened on 13 December 1979. The 1967 ABC2 extension eventually closed on 29 October 1998 and was subsequently converted into a number of bars and restaurants. The remaining ABC1 screens finally closed their doors on 14 October 1999.

Music Venue

David McBride from Regular Music had a vision and spotted a gap in the market for a music venue of this size in Glasgow. A major interior conversion project of the former ABC1 cinema building was started in 2002 and then in 2005 the fit-out completed under the successful Project Management of Thomson & Partners Thomson & Partners - Consulting Engineers, Edinburgh, also Project Managers of nearby Hallion Club and Blythswood Square Hotel. The opening night was meant to feature Mogwai playing live, but due to health & safety issues it opened on the 10th of June 2005 instead, with a concert from Roddy Frame and the Trashcan Sinatras. In 2009, the Academy Music Group took a majority stake in the venue, rebranding it the O2 ABC. The club has a number of famous residents, including the local celebrities "Teefo" (having friday night clubs named after him "Teefoganda") and the Security Godfather, Taz.

Structure of Venue

The building comprises two venues, ABC1 and ABC2, and five bars; ABC1, ABC2, The Red Room, The Pod Bar, and The Polar Bar.


The disco ball in the ABC1 section of the building. It is the largest rotating disco ball in the World.[2][3]

ABC1, on the second floor, is the main venue (ABC1) and has a capacity of 1250. Arab Strap played their final gig there [4]. Also in ABC1 - Resident DJ Euan Neilson hosts the club night Festival on a Friday. On Saturday, DJ Gerry Lyons mixes it up at Love Music.


ABC2 is a windowless smaller room on the first floor which can hold 350. Bands doing intimate tours or performances normally sell out this venue. On the club scene - ABC2 holds Rubbermensch on Thursday with resident DJ Andy Wilson, on Saturday, DJ David Sinclair mixes the Electro, House & Pop. Sunday used to host Distortion, an alternative night, but this was cancelled in 2009 due to a decline in popularity.

Polar Bar

The Polar Bar is situated just off of the ABC1 venue on the second floor. It features large arched window bays looking onto Sauchiehall Street and hosts a number of dj's on Thursdays (Needles), Fridays (Noj) and Saturdays (Gerry).


External links

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