Birmingham's newest music venue HMV Institute ready to open its doors
It has been a long time coming – but the HMV Institute finally opens its doors to music fans in Birmingham again this weekend.
After a £4 million refurbishment the Digbeth High Street venue – which combines former venues Sanctuary and the Birmingham Barfly – will have a total capacity of 2,400.
Backers hope it will rival city venues like the O2 Academy and the NEC.
Andy MacDonald, general manager the new venue, said: “We’ve tried to keep the personality of the place.
“It’s so much more than a classic black box club, they’ve tried to keep some of the history behind it, they’ve really tried to play on that and give it some character.”
He added: “I think one of its real benefits is its flexibility. There’s three live rooms and three club rooms which means we can cater for lots of different formats, whether it’s a one-room night or the full six rooms for bigger events.”
The building was originally a church constructed in 1908 and was later bought by the council and used as a civic hall.
It went on to become a popular music venue and, in the past, has played host to musical acts including Pink Floyd, The Cure and Joni Mitchell.
Names lined up for the venue already include Radio 1 star Annie Mac, Mark Ronson and Tinie Tempah.
The venue opens its doors on Saturday night.
Andy said: “We’ve got popular club night Chicks Dig Jerks doing one of the smaller rooms and The Holloways doing a live set. It’s going to be a good night.
“We’ve got a great calendar between now and Christmas and we’re looking forward to it.
“Birmingham’s been missing a venue of this size for quite some time now.”
The venue will have a main room with a capacity of 1,500, a second room – The Library – with a capacity of 600 and another 300-capacity room as well as smaller “chill out” rooms, bars and multi-function spaces.
Doors open on Saturday night from 10pm to 3am and entry is free before 11.30pm or £5 after.