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Academy Club to close its doors after 15 years of partying

By Hayden Fritzlaff 10 April 2018 0
Interior of nightclub, mirror balls hanging from roof

Photographer, Matt Sanford has been capturing Academy in all its glory for years.

Calvin Harris, Disclosure, Justice, Peking Duk, Ruby Rose, Muscles, T-Pain, Pendulum, Tkay Maidza, SAFIA. This might sound like your 2014 Falls Festival wishlist, but it’s also (part of) the long lineup of world-conquering acts that have graced the stage at Academy over the years.

And sadly, it’s a list that’s set to stop growing, with the announcement last week that the iconic club in the Canberra CBD will be shutting its doors at the end of April.

Rather than renewing the lease on the space and running the risk of losing the love, the venue’s managers outlined that closing down “felt right.”

“After 15 years of packed dance-floors and amazing memories, the team behind Academy has decided to flick the off switch on those big‘ol mirror balls once and for all,” reads a statement on Academy’s Facebook page, which has gone on to garner a groundswell of support for the club online.

“A huge thank to everyone that filled our dance-floor every week. You have allowed us to do something that we love… create a place to get wild each week and put on huge headline artists.”

Since opening its doors in 2003, the converted cinema space has been the focal point of many a night out in Canberra, sporting a multi-level dancefloor and the city’s biggest roster of touring DJs.

Photograph of Vera Blue performing in rainbow light

Vera Blue performing at Academy in 2017. Photo: Matt Sanford.

In recent years, Academy established itself as a promising venue for indie rock, pop and punk shows, with appearances from the likes of Dan Sultan, Press Club, Vera Blue, Stonefield, Hands Like Houses, and Asta.

Academy’s announcement is the latest in a long, unnerving string of venue closures around town in recent months. Following on from ANU Bar’s final shows in early 2017 came the closure of LoBrow and The Front, as well as a dire start to 2018 for The Phoenix that saw Canberra’s arts community banding together to save it.

But there are still plenty of reasons to be excited about heading out in Canberra. Keep your eye out for exciting live music developments at UC Refectory and ANU Pop-Up in the coming weeks. And if a night out in Civic is more your vibe, Mr Wolf, Escape Ferocity, and Degenerate & Six are all set to ramp up activity as the weather gets colder.

And fear not, there are still a bunch of opportunities to get down underneath the city’s dankest mirror balls. Head over to the Academy website for the lowdown on their final events (sadly sans foam parties).

Photograph of Pendulum DJ set

Drum and bass heavyweights, Pendulum are just one of the countless of acts to play Academy in its 15-year history. Photo: Matt Sanford.

What has been your favourite night out at Academy?

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