Newcastle City Hall has been taken over by the Academy Music Group, Getintothis’ Megan Walder is level-headed about the news.
Last week saw Newcastle City Hall rebranded as O2 City Hall Newcastle following the venue being purchased Academy Music Group.
This transfer sees one of Newcastle’s first dedicated concert venues (opened 1927) become another addition to the award-winning venue management company.
The rebrand mirrors numerous instances across the country, as venues fight against closure with the backing of lucrative investment. O2 City Hall will be set to attract big touring names and will be expected to work in tandem with O2 Academy in the same city.
So whilst this 2,135 capacity venue is now more likely to be on the rounds of some of the bigger names, this writer isn’t sure that it’s something that we should be so joyous about.
O2 seems to be the most common prefix to music venues nowadays, and the fear of AMG monopolising music venues across the country is a real one. But with 35% of music venues closing in the UK, it is a difficult threat to oppose.
Real independent venues are struggling, and people in towns across the UK are tirelessly working to prevent this, work that can often go unnoticed.
But events like Independent Venue Week have seen our eyes drawn back to the reality and the true risk that these music meccas could be lost.
And it seems that locals aren’t too keen either, with one fan commenting on Facebook: “Please. Please. Please. Look after it. Do not remove the organ. Do not sell shite beer. Protect its Listed Building status. You have an absolute gem. So glad it has a new owner and will live on as an iconic venue.”
Time will tell.