We Love Newcastle

O2 Academy Newcastle’s history is rooted in entertainment, operating as a picture house throughout the Golden Age of cinema from 1912 until 1958 when it became the Majestic Ballroom. Young music fans would spend time dancing to the sounds of a live house band and special performances from the likes of Johnny Kidd and the Pirates. For a brief time in the 1960s the venue was known as the Top Rank, one of the many suites across the UK that had become popular dance halls, but as the sixties began to really start swinging, so did the Majestic and some of the biggest artists of the time played here. The Beatles (1963), The Kinks (1964), The Moody Blues (1965), The Who (1965), The Yardbirds (1965) and The Small Faces (1966) all appeared but in 1967 it closed. It would spend the next 38 years as a Bingo Hall until 2005.

On opening night, Friday 14 October, The Futureheads with their hearts and music rooted in the North East, played to a sell-out crowd alongside fellow locals and friends, Field Music and Kubicheck! A restoration of the original ceiling features, stairways, stage and balcony created a dramatic and atmospheric gig space and the first night was a standout success. Goldfrapp, Ian Brown, Blondie, Happy Mondays, Stereophonics, Human League and Maximo Park followed in the first few months and now a decade on, O2 Academy Newcastle continues to delight the city’s music fans. Highlights have included shows from The Specials, Slash, Amy Winehouse, Blur, Robert Plant, The Prodigy, Adele, Elbow, Arctic Monkeys, Foals and New Order. 

1963
The Beatles play twice this year when the venue is the Majestic. The band’s biggest selling hit ‘She Loves You’ is penned in a hotel room on their second visit
2005
The opening night of O2 Academy Newcastle takes place on 14 October. The Futureheads, Field Music and Kubicheck! play to an ecstatic sold-out crowd
2009
On 25 June, Blur play an exclusive gig ahead of their massive reunion shows which saw the Britpop legends headline Glastonbury and London’s Hyde Park
2012
Guns N’ Roses’ top-hatted guitar god, Slash, plays a solo gig, with tickets selling out in under ten minutes, the fastest selling show to date
2014
Led Zepplin frontman Robert Plant and his band the Sensational Space Shifters play a very special live show at the venue
2015
O2 Academy Newcastle is 10! The venue celebrates a decade with a gig featuring a ten band bill of local artists including Little Comets and Hyde & Beast