The former Odeon cinema will open its doors as new music venue, Bradford Live, in Autumn 2024, it has been announced.

The iconic 1930s building is undergoing a multi-million pound transformation to turn it into Bradford Live.

Now, developers can reveal the 3,800-capacity live music venue has officially opened its diary to event organisers and promoters.

Bradford Live will be handing the venue over to operator, the NEC Group, by mid-2024, before the group completes the final fit out in the following months.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The former Odeon building in the early days of its transformation into Bradford Live, an NEC-run music venue.The former Odeon building in the early days of its transformation into Bradford Live, an NEC-run music venue.

The launch season will start in Autumn 2024.

Visitors have been told to expect top music acts from the British, Asian, and international music scenes, comedians, and family entertainment.

People can now sign up to be the first to hear about the launch season and how to buy tickets.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A computer-generated image of the restored Odeon transformed into the Bradford Live music venue.A computer-generated image of the restored Odeon transformed into the Bradford Live music venue.

General manager Darren Moore said: “Talks with interested promoters have been well underway for months, so it is great to confirm that the venue's transformation is now at the phase where we are able to formally contract events

“In the coming months, we will start to reveal them subject to promoters’ announcement timelines, so watch this space! In the meantime, I encourage everyone to sign up to our mailing list, so they are the first to hear the latest news.”

Bradford Live has been described as ‘an icon reborn’ by the team.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Back when the building was The New VictoriaBack when the building was The New Victoria

It is projected to attract 300,000 visitors each year through an expected events calendar of more 200 events.

It will also have space for conferences, meetings, and banqueting.

There will also be a renaissance of the building’s beautiful 1930s ballroom, offering a 500-person capacity space.

The epic main auditorium will be reinstated to house an audience of over 3,000 fans.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Lee Craven, director of Bradford Live, said: “Our vision is to create a cultural hub for the region that will celebrate the city and venue’s heritage, whilst ensuring world-class event spaces for generations to come. It's been a long journey, but the launch season is now in sight.”

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, portfolio holder – regeneration, planning & transport at Bradford Council, said: "This is another important milestone for this amazing project that will help transform Bradford for many years to come.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The latest look inside the Bradford Live project as renovations continue The latest look inside the Bradford Live project as renovations continue (Image: Newsquest/Bradford Live)

“There’s been so much hard work to get to this point and knowing the launch season is moving ahead really brings home how exciting Bradford will be when we are UK City of Culture in 2025.”

This diary opening marks a significant milestone for operator, NEC Group.

The Group currently owns and operates NEC Birmingham, ICC Birmingham, Vox Conference Venue, Utilita Arena Birmingham and Resorts World Arena.

It also operates ticketing, catering and hospitality service brands.

Will there be food at Bradford Live?

Bradford Live will provide catering for different dietary requirements, including halal and vegan, from menus of à la carte dining through to street food. 

Premium hospitality will also be available, offering a variety of options to upgrade event experiences to include VIP seating areas and pre-show food and drinks.

To hear about the launch season and buying tickets, you can sign up to updates via

Delays to project

There has been a number of delays to the Bradford Live project so far. 

The project was once given an opening date of summer 2021 and was then pushed back to early 2024. 

Extra work was uncovered when the flooring on the balconies and foyers were found to have degraded too much to be saved.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Inside one of the foyersInside one of the foyers (Image: Newsquest)

These needed to be ripped up entirely and replaced.

Small amounts of asbestos had also been found, which further pushed the schedule back.

There were further challenges after a fire broke out in the roof space below the dome of the south turret.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Firefighters on the southern dome of the Odeon building in Bradford as fiore breaks out in the former Cinema

The auditorium is set to be made up of three floors with a capacity of 800 on the top balcony, 500 in the middle and the remaining crowds on the ground.

When questioned why the completion date keeps getting moved back, Chris Morrell, of Bradford Live, previously said: "The condition of the building has thrown up many surprises in a number of different ways.

"The original plan was to retain the original floors of the foyers but they have had to be replaced because the structure was not as strong as we had anticipated.

"It was more decayed than we had expected. We could have never determined that until we got into the building and the project started.

"The floor has to be removed before you can scaffold up onto the next level. The floors in the foyers and to the upper balcony have caused most of the delays."