O2 to call tune in Academy deal

Birmingham’s Carling Academy is to change its name after its owners reached a new partnership deal with mobile phone giant O2.

Under the deal, all O2 customers will be given priority access to tickets to all gigs staged at the venue up to 48 hours before they go on sale to the general public.

O2 customers could also be pushed to the front of the queue at gigs before being able to relax in special VIP areas.

There are also plans to give O2 customers access to exclusive live music from gigs, which they could download to their mobile phones.

The venue will be renamed O2 Academy Birmingham from January 1.

The Academy, which is classed as one of Birmingham’s best and most popular live music venues, is currently based in Dale End in the city centre but could move to the site of the former Dome nightclub in Bristol Street after its present home was earmarked for demolition to make way for a new £550 million development.