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Newly renovated 3,500-capacity Forum Birmingham to open

Forum Birmingham, a new 3,500 capacity entertainment space, is set to open its doors “in time for lockdown easing” this year.

The venue, which has been newly renovated by Global Venues, was formerly known as The Ballroom and has lain dormant for a decade.

Forum Birmingham, which has announced an exclusive ticketing partnership with Resident Advisor, has also confirmed it is working with promoters including AEG Presents, Goldenvoice, Kilimanjaro Live and Cream, as well as local Birmingham promoters Leftfoot, Shadow City and Foliee.

Full line-ups will be revealed at the end of April, which will include live and electronic music from a diverse mix of artists, along with a complete list of promotions.

Billy Chauhan, of Global Venues, said: “Prior to the pandemic, a quarter of a million people in the West Midlands worked in the culture, media and night time industries and the relaunch of this historic venue in Birmingham will help to refuel this damaged part of our local economy. We’re also extremely passionate about preserving Birmingham’s musical heritage and our work culminates with Forum Birmingham.”

Some of the building’s upgrades include restoration of the original woven wooden sprung dance floor, in addition to stripped back and newly polished concrete floors, a steel mezzanine for overarching views and industrial decor.

D&B Audiotechnik will install the sound system, while LED local company DMX Productions, the production team behind stages at Glastonbury and Global Gathering among others, will provide screens and immersive lighting.

Resident Advisor said in a statement: “In the current climate, it is heartening to see venues like this rising from the ashes and helping to preserve the UK’s musical heritage. Forum Birmingham will create prosperity in the local area and support the music and hospitality industries.

“Forum’s music programming is diverse, exciting and forward-facing and we are proud to be affiliated with such an epic musical offering. RA will provide Forum with its own branded white label platform through which tickets will be sold, as well as offering tickets through the main RA site.”

The building hosted iconic acts like Bob Marley & The Wailers and The Clash, as well as live shows from Nirvana, Sonic Youth and The Beastie Boys before closing its doors in 1994. The venue later had a spell in the 2000s as Carling Academy Birmingham with the likes of Amy Winehouse and Ed Sheeran taking to the stage.

Michael Kill, chief executive of Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), added: “The club scene is a huge part of British culture and heritage spanning decades. We need to preserve it so that future generations can share the experience and pursue careers and opportunities within this sector for years to come.

“At the moment our clubs are fighting to survive during the pandemic so it’s really inspirational that Forum Birmingham will reopen saving a cultural institution in the city and giving the local industry a much-needed shot of confidence.”