Stay at home orders are easing. Lonely nights are almost over. And now, just in time for our return to the dance floor, newly renovated, multi-faceted 3,500 capacity entertainment space Forum Birmingham is ready to open its doors and welcome world class DJs and live acts from across the live and electronic music spectrums.
Despite having witnessed some truly iconic moments in British music history, this storied building formerly known as The Ballroom has lain dormant and decaying for a decade. This sleeping beast has now been awoken by Global Venues who have extensively renovated and modernised the space ready for lockdown easing in late summer: Forum Birmingham is now set to become one of the UK’s landmark music venues – a must-attend for music lovers from all over the world.
Says Billy Chauhan of Global Venues, “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 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 unfussy but stylish industrial decor. The most important detail of all is the sound system which will see d&b audiotechnik install one of their highly regarded line array systems. Complementing this will be cutting edge visuals provided by local DMX Productions – the production team behind stages at Glastonbury and Global Gathering amongst others – which will include high resolution LED screens, special FX and immersive lighting to highlight the venue’s many bespoke features. All this makes Forum Birmingham one of highest spec venues in the UK and will create an unrivalled atmosphere.
The music will be expertly curated by a combination of dedicated in-house and red hot external promoters. It will encompass all shades of live and electronic music from a diverse mix of inimitable artists. National promoters already confirmed include AEG Presents, Goldenvoice, Kilimanjaro Live and Cream, with local Birmingham promoters Leftfoot, Shadow City and Foliée already working on their first events. Full line-ups will be revealed at the end of April along with a complete list of promotions.
The building itself has hallowed walls and has been the site of some unforgettable moments in music. From its early days as The Ballroom, it evolved into the Top Rank Suite in the 1960s and 70s and hosted iconic acts like Bob Marley & The Wailers and The Clash. In the 1980s it became the Hummingbird and hosted live shows from Nirvana, Sonic Youth and The Beastie Boys that still get talked about today; it closed its doors in 1994. The venue later had a spell in the 2000’s as Carling Academy Birmingham with the likes of Amy Winehouse and Ed Sheeran storming the stage and now it is reborn with a true counter culture spirit that will enable many more generations to say ‘I was there’.
Michael Kill – CEO Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) says “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.”
Forum can also announce their exclusive ticket partnership with Resident Advisor, with the influential online platform saying, “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.”
This exciting new chapter in the history of one of Birmingham’s most iconic venues is set to be the most thrilling yet.
Sign up for more information and pre-sale tickets here; forumbirmingham.uk