O2 Academy Birmingham
Exterior of venue, c.2010
|Former names||Original location:
The Top Rank Suite (1964-81)
Birmingham Academy (2000-02)
Carling Academy Birmingham (2002-08)
The Ballroom (2011-13)
The Night Out Theatre and Restaurant (1975-1981)
Dome II Nightclub (1981-2003)
O2 Academy Birmingham (2009-present)
Birmingham, West Midlands
B1 1DB England
52-54 Dale End
Birmingham, West Midlands
B4 7LS England
|Location||Birmingham City Centre|
|Owner||Academy Music Group|
|Capacity||3,009 (Main Academy)
600 (Academy 2)
250 (Academy 3)
|Renovated||1983-84, 1988, 1999, 2008-09|
History and former venue
In the late 1990s, the venue underwent refurbishment and, in 2000, re-opened as the Birmingham Academy. In 2002, it was then rebranded as the Carling Academy Birmingham.
On 6 November 2008, it was announced that O2 had purchased naming rights for all Live Nation's AMG venues, in a £22.5 million sponsorship deal, lasting until 2013. As a result, in line The O2's branding, the venue became of the O2 Academy Birmingham.
In September 2009, the O2 Academy moved to the site of the former Dome Nightclub located on Horsefair, Bristol Street., formerly 'The Night Out Theatre Restaurant'.The Night Out Theatre Restaurant The decision to move to a brand new venue was decided twofold. The former venue was unsuitable for the needs of a modern music venue and the building complex it resided in, along with the Oasis Centre above, was scheduled for demolition as part of a project called Martineau Galleries. The Used played the last ever Academy listed show at the Dale End Academy. Due to the credit crunch and reduced investment in buy to let projects the Martineau project was put on hold and until early 2013 the location continued as a music venue, the Birmingham Ballroom.
Editors headlined the Bristol Street opening night followed by The Twang, The Streets and Ocean Colour Scene. For these gigs, commemorative wristbands were given out as part of a marketing campaign by members of the marketing team known as O2 angels. Like the former Academy venue, the new venue has a multi-room operation with the main room having a capacity of 3,009 (of which there is a dedicated 600 capacity seated area) and two other rooms, the O2 Academy 2 with 600 and O2 Academy 3 with 250. However, in an improvement to the old academy, the venue has been designed to allow all three venues to be in use at the same time. with a dedicated queueing system and box office for each room. Therefore, the venue has a full capacity of 3,859.
To coincide with the launch of the Bristol St venue, the club night Propaganda moved from the Gatecrasher venue in Birmingham to the Academy on Friday 18 September 2009. This is now be a club night spread over all three academy rooms, playing a variety of indie/pop music. Subculture, a well known metal/rock club which was hosted at the Dale End academy moved to the new venue on 26 September 2009.
The O2 Academy Birmingham has three performance areas.
Academy1 which is by far the largest performance area in the complex, and has a total capacity of 3,009. There is a tiered-seating balcony, with its own bar, toilet and cloakroom facilities, which has a capacity of 600.
Academy2 is a smaller room, and caters for audiences of up to 600. In Academy2 there is standing room only, although there is a raised disabled viewing area.
Academy 3 is the smallest of the three stages, with a total capacity of 250.