O2 Academy Newcastle
The O2 Academy Newcastle (formerly the Carling Academy Newcastle) is a music venue in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It was opened on 14 October 2005 to an evening headlined by Sunderland band The Futureheads.
The venue was converted from a bingo hall in the summer of 2005 at a cost of four million pounds. The building had originally opened as the New Westgate Picture House in 1927 and later became the Majestic Ballroom. Its two-level auditorium has a capacity of almost 2,000 (standing and seating). The venue is operated by the Academy Music Group and sponsored by network operator O2. The venue was formerly known as "Carling Academy Newcastle", being rebranded following a multi-million pound deal between O2 and music promoter Live Nation.
There is also a smaller venue dubbed O2 Academy Newcastle 2. This venue is used for lesser known and up-and-coming acts. The smaller venue has a capacity of 400.
The venue previously hosted 'Bulletproof' every Saturday night which featured guest rock star DJs and live midnight sets from new and upcoming acts. Bulletproof featured live club sets from Kasabian, Bloc Party, Maxïmo Park and Hard-Fi among others.
On 6 November 2008, it was announced that Telefónica Europe (owners of the O2 network in the UK) had become the new sponsor of all Academy venues, in a deal with music promoter Live Nation. The deal, which lasts for five years, sees all venues rebranded "The O2 Academy", in line with Telefónica's purchase of the Millennium Dome (now The O2).
In November 2005 an Ian Brown concert was halted 3 songs into his set after event management noticed a 'strange dip' in the floor. The academy was shut for a brief period whilst work was carried out to make sure the floor didn't collapse.
- Sweney, Mark (2008-11-06). "O2 to sponsor Academy music venues". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 6 December 2008.
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