Brixton Academy, SW9 9SL
Officially the O2 Academy Brixton, this is a large music venue in Brixton. Originally built as a cinema in 1929 (the Astoria), both the interior and exterior of the building are lavish Art Deco, and it is Grade II listed.
The venue is very easy to find at night, since the distinctive entrance dome is picked out in bright green lights. Inside, the main stage can be seen from two areas: a lower floor which can hold up to 3,760 people, and an upper seated area. The total capacity for the venue is 4,921 according to their website. There are nine bars (including backstage), several of which are at the back of the main floor.
The cloakrooms charge £2 for each coat or bag; security is as friendly as it gets for a venue of this size. The bar staff will unfortunately insist on removing the lid from any water bottles they sell, and will claim that they're on camera the whole time and so couldn't slip you a lid even if they wanted to, usually while wearing an expression that suggests they've had this conversation thousands of times and they didn't enjoy it to start with. As of September 2009, the bottles concerned were 500ml Strathmore Still Spring Water.
The venue website states that there is wheelchair access via front-of-house (although no disabled backstage access), and a raised viewing gallery.
The floor of the main room slopes downwards towards the stage: while definitely improving the view, it can make navigating large crowds of somewhat unsteady people a bit trickier than it would be otherwise. There are toilets conveniently located to the side of the main room, which means you don't have to fight your way through the entire crowd whenever you need to go for a wee during a packed gig.
If you happening to be attending a dance music event, be aware that glowsticks (even electric ones) are banned, and this is actively policed inside the venue. Apparently this is a house rule due to people throwing them at the stage.