O2 Academy Birmingham: Origins, Gigs in 2022 & What To Expect

The O2 Academy Birmingham, located at 16 18 Horsefair, just minutes from Birmingham city centre, is a legendary space that can collectively hold up to 3,859 guests and hosts over 500 events annually. 

This West Midlands venue has housed some of the most sensational local and international artists, including Blondie, Imagine Dragons, Bloc Party, The Pretty Reckless and Conan Gray. 

Discover everything you need to know about the O2 Academy music venue prior to your visit. 

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O2 Academy Contact Information

Address: 16 18 Horsefair, Birmingham B1 1DB, United Kingdom
Email: mail@o2academybirmingham.co.uk
Telephone: 0844 121 622 8250
Website: o2academybirmingham.co.uk

The Origins Of The O2 Academy Birmingham 

The Birmingham Academy first opened its doors in 2000 in Dale End and for 10 years brought the people of West Midlands live music like never before.

The venue in Dale End was rich in musical history showcasing the best of local and international artists. It first opened in 1964 as The Ballroom and then The Top Rank Suite.  

Following 20 years as The Top Rank Suite, the venue was rebranded and became known as The Hummingbird. This ushered in the first taste of a club night featuring house music before closing its doors in 1994.

By 2009, The Academy Music Group had purchased the O2 Academy and relocated to Horsefair, the heart of the city’s nightlife, where it has remained and solidified its reputation as a premium music venue. 

Fun fact: The Academy Music Group is a top owner of music venues in the United Kingdom with a total of 26 venues to its name. 

What Type Of Entertainment Does The O2 Academy Host? 

From gigs to stand-up comedy, the Birmingham Academy has something for everyone. 

Here are the forms of entertainment on offer: 

  • Live concerts: Live music brought to you by a host of local and international artists.
  • Comedy shows: Laugh until your tummy hurts with local and international comedians. 
  • Club nights: Grab your dancing shoes as you party the night away with Propaganda, the UK’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll club night. 

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Unmissable Performances To Look Forward To For The Rest of 2022 

This year has already seen some of the most breathtaking live music acts to date, including Charli XCX, Bloc Party, and George Ezra. 

But do not fret if you missed any of these performances as the gig guide below comprises even more unforgettable names in the business. 

So whether you love intoxicating beats (did I mention Charli XCX?), epic guitar riffs or mushy, sing-along ballads then you’ve come to the right place. 

Here are some of the unmissable performances at O 2 Academy for June: 

DatesType of Event and Artist 
1st June Live concert: NBA Leather Tour featuring Action Bronson & The Alchemist plus Earl Sweatshirt
2nd JuneLive concert: KennyHoopla
3rd JuneLive concert: Roachford (Academy 2) Live concert: Eighty Eight Miles (Academy 3) 
6th June Live concert: Conan Gray 
7th June Live concert: Run The Jewels 
11th June Live concert: LP 
14th JuneLive concert: TLC
17th June Live concert: MOTE
18th June Live concert: Leon Bridges 
21st JuneLive concert: KALEO: Fight Or Flight Tour 
22nd JuneLive concert: Khruangbin 
23rd June Live concert: SNUFF
24th June Live concert: The Wonder Stuff performing Never Loved Elvis 
25th JuneLive concert: Waterparks Live concert: Devout… Depeche Mode Tribute (Academy 3) 
26th JuneLive concert: Phoebe Bridges 

If the gigs for the month of June still don’t tickle your fancy, here is a list of powerful performances for the rest of 2022:

DatesType of Event and Artist 
17th JulyLive concert: The Kid LAROI: End of the World Tour
29th JulyLive concert: The Main Event 
23rd October Live concert: The Wombats 
27th OctoberLive concert: Thomas Headon 
30th October Live concert: The Pretty Reckless 
10th December Live concert: Kehlani 

Check out this complete list of upcoming events and secure a balcony ticket for the best seat in the house.

Pro tip: The Main Event is a must-see show that features some of the most fabulous names in drag queen history. 

Frequently Asked Questions about The O2 Academy

Here are some common questions that you may want to have a peek through before your visit:

1. How Do I Book Tickets? 

Booking a ticket is easy! 

Simply visit the O2 Academy Birmingham website and select the show you would like to attend. Once you have selected the show you can opt to buy tickets through Ticketmaster, the official booking partner of the Birmingham Academy. 

Tickets can also be purchased through the Box Office. However, due to Covid-19, the Box Office is closed until further notice. 

Note: the varying auditoriums offer different seating/standing arrangements. Should you wish to stay seated, purchase a balcony ticket to avoid disappointment!

2. Which Entrance Should I Look For Upon My Arrival? 

One of the unique things about this venue is that it is made up of 3 auditoriums which offer varying seating: 

  • O2 Academy: The main auditorium with a seated balcony and a capacity of 3,009
  • O2 Academy2 Birmingham: A dedicated balcony area that can hold up to 600 guests 
  • O2 Academy3 Birmingham: The smallest of the bunch with a capacity of 250

So, the entrance depends on the auditorium you have bought a ticket for. Each auditorium has an entrance which can be located from Bristol Street. 

If you’re coming from Irving St simply turn left onto Bristol Street.

3. Are There Parking Bays Available? 

There are no dedicated parking bays. However, you have a few options:

  • On Bow Street and Irving Street, you will find a limited number of parking bays. 
  • 600 metres from the venue you can find the Mailbox car park with 16 bays available. 

Pro tip: When leaving the venue remember that standard parking tariffs apply so keep some change handy. 

4. What Are Public Transport Options Available?

With Birmingham New Street just a stone’s throw away from the O2 and parking limited you may want to take advantage of the following options:

By Bus:
The city of Birmingham offers many bus terminals including New Street and Broad Street.
The following stop right outside the venue: 

  • 61, 63 – Birmingham, Selly Oak, Northfield & Longbridge
  • 146 – Birmingham, Redditch via Cotteridge
  • X64 – Birmingham-Woodgate

By Train:
The Birmingham New St train station is located about 500 metres from the O2 Academy Birmingham. So if you take the Southside exit you’d be a few short minutes away from the venue.  

Be sure to use the Network West Midlands Journey Planner to map out your journey and ensure you make the most of the public transport options available to ensure safe travels.

5. Is The O2 Academy Presently Open For Events? 

The O2 Academy Birmingham is indeed open for events! 
The opening and closing times are subject to change and will be available on the event page of the website.

Fun fact: This state of the art venue is available for hire. With the varying sizes of the main auditorium, O2 Academy2 and O2 Academy3 Birmingham it’s the perfect venue for just about any occasion.  

6. Do I Need A COVID Pass To Enter The Premises? 

A Covid-19 pass is not needed upon your visit. 

7. Does The O2 Academy Have Accessible Facilities? 

The Birmingham Academy is accessible to all with level access to most of the auditoriums.

This includes the main room where the bigger artists like The Kid LAROI and George Ezra entertain fans. 

It is a guide-dog-friendly venue and offers one free ticket should you need to be accompanied by a companion (be sure to have your Access Card available for this step).

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Restaurants Near The O2 Academy Birmingham

There is something about food that just compliments the notion of a night out featuring live music.

Whether it’s the sound of a guitar singing through your body or the booze flowing from the bars, The Birmingham Academy has to offer in each auditorium (with 2 in the main room) making customer service swift.

Whilst Birmingham city centre is buzzing with a variety of eateries you may want to consider these mouth-watering restaurants

1. Gaijin Sushi

  • Address: 78 Bristol St, Birmingham B5 7AH, United Kingdom
  • Contact number: 0044 121 448 4250
  • Website: https://www.gaijinsushi.co.uk/
  • Opening times: Mon-Tues: closed, Wed-Fri: 5pm-10pm, Sat: 1pm-10pm & Sun: 1pm-8pm.
  • Price range: ££
  • Cuisine: The finest of the Asian flavours including seafood and bespoke sushi 

2. The Meat Shack 

  • Address: 17 Thorp St, Birmingham B5 4AT, United Kingdom
  • Contact number: 0044 775 691 3454
  • Website: https://themeatshack.co.uk/ 
  • Opening times: Sun-Wed: closed, Thurs-Fri: 5pm-10pm & Sat: 12pm-10pm
  • Price range:  ££
  • Cuisine: An ode to an American burger bar with world-class customer service

3. @pizza Grand Central 

  • Address: Unit 33, Grand Central, Birmingham B2 4BF, United Kingdom
  • Contact number: 0044 121 274 2836
  • Website: https://www.atpizza.com/grandcentral
  • Opening times: Mon-Thurs: 12pm-9pm, Fri-Sat: 12pm-10pm & Sun: 12pm-7pm
  • Price range: £
  • Cuisine: The Italian gift from the Gods – pizza, pizza, pizza!