A list of artists who could play at Birmingham's Town Hall is being drawn up by council chiefs as the ambitious refurbishment project moves into its final phase next week.
Jazz artists, comedians and rock groups who favour small venues could be in line to perform at the Grade I listed building, set to officially open in October 2007.
Roger Burman, chairman of the Symphony Hall Trust which will run the venue, outlined his vision for the entertainment that will be staged at the Town Hall during the first sneak preview of the £34.7 million refurbishment programme yesterday.
The Town Hall is currently halfway though a two-year makeover which will see the building brought back to its former glory.
The refurbishment has already seen a 300-tonne concrete balcony dismantled, double-glazed acousticsensitive windows installed, and a new single-tier balcony put up.
The venue's original 1,500 capacity will be reduced to 900 once the works are completed early next year.
Birmingham City Council's ruling cabinet is set to formally agree the setting up of a joint Trust to run the Town Hall and Symphony Hall on Monday.
Mr Burman said: "As soon as we get the go-ahead we will be able to capitalise on some huge opportunities. It will be become a valuable building for the city as we do not currently have a venue of this size.
"We are hoping to bring jazz music into the hall, particularly at the time of Birmingham's jazz festival. We will also see classical artists, as well as ethnic groups and cultural music. We will also see comedy.
"The hall will have to pay for itself so I would expect to see popular performers."
Coun John Alden (Con Harborne), the cabinet member for leisure, sport and culture, said: "Our Town Hall originally opened as a public meeting place and concert hall for everyone to enjoy. It was a favourite venue of composer Felix Mendelssohn and novelist Charles Dickens, who gave public readings there.
"The Town Hall will re-open its doors next year and welcome back the people of Birmingham to a much-loved venue at the heart of the city.
"An exciting programme is being designed to have broad appeal and to suit all budgets, ages and cultures in the 21st century."
The building, which was built in 1834, closed its doors in 1996 for the refurbishment, which is being funded by the council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the European Regional Development Fund.
Barry Adams, the project architect, said: "This has been one of the most rewarding jobs that I have been involved in.
"The Town Hall is one of the most famous buildings in Birmingham and it has been enjoyable seeing it being brought back to life."
Wates Construction's project manager Tony Shenton said the refurbishment was due to be completed on time and on budget.
He added: "We have about 170 people working on the Town Hall each day, plus outside contractors renovating parts of the building that have been taken outside."
Mr Shenton said the most challenging job for his workers was putting in half inch thick double-glazing windows.
Specially-made blinds will cover the windows, adding to the state-of-the art acoustics in the building. A large stage entrance has also been built to ensure large instruments can get into the building.