Carling Academy Birmingham

The O2 Academy Birmingham is a music venue in Birmingham, England.

History & Former Venue

The former venue of the O2 Academy (Carling Academy) was known in the 1980s and 1990s as the Hummingbird and previously the site of the Rank Ballroom. The venue underwent refurbishment in the late 1990s and opened as the Birmingham Academy in 2000, being rebranded as the "Carling Academy" two years later. 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 promotor Live Nation. The deal, which lasts for five years, sees all venues rebranded "The O2 Academy", in line with Telefónica's rebrand of the Millennium Dome (now The O2).

In September 2009, The O2 Academy Birmingham moved to the site of the former Dome Nightclub located on Horsefair, Bristol Street. 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, located above it) was scheduled for demolition as part of a project called Martineau Galleries. Due to the credit crunch and reduced investment in buy to let projects the project has been put on hold. The Used played the last ever Academy listed show at the Dale End Academy. Editors headlined the 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 fomer 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 September 26, 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.

Academy 2 is a smaller room, and caters for audiences of up to 600. In Academy 2 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 289.