Located on the north side of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex‘s campus, the Concert Hall is one of the most important venues in the BJCC campus’ portfolio. Thanks to its versatility, the Concert Hall has hosted a wide range of concerts, exhibitions, theatrical performances and more over the past 50 years.
We took a closer look to see what makes the BJCC Concert Hall so impressive.
About the BJCC Concert Hall
Built in 1973, the Concert Hall was designed to offer an intimate performance experience to each guest—which is impressive, considering the venue can hold 2,835 attendees! Thanks to the seating arrangements—influenced by the Berlin Concert Hall—guests feel closer to the stage (and performances!) than other venues.
Fun Fact: Alex Lacey, one of the first chairmen of the BJCC, made sure that the Concert Hall and the BJCC Theatre were the first two venues built after the exhibition halls. Lacey was worried that the Concert Hall and Theatre wouldn’t be built if the Coliseum (now Legacy Arena) was built first, and wanted to prioritize having a venue for arts, symphonic music and live performances in The Magic City.
Inside the Concert Hall, performances take place on an 84 by 88-foot stage—which can be extended by removing the first six rows of seats. Behind the 24-foot tall proscenium arch, an intricate grid system of “old school” ropes and pulleys control the curtains, raise and lower backdrops and more. The 105-foot tall grid makes the Concert Hall the tallest building on the BJCC campus!
The Concert Hall can host almost any performance
From rock concerts to Broadway shows, corporate gatherings to comedy shows, the Concert Hall be altered to fit the needs of each event thanks to a wide range of adjustable features. Some of the lesser-known capabilities include:
- The first six rows of seating can be removed in order to extend the stage for larger performances.
- Acoustic panels throughout the Hall can be adjusted to “tune” the room.
- The facility is outfitted with a portable organ that can be moved on and off stage.
Some events are so extravagant that they require special treatment. For instance, dozens of seats were removed from the orchestra level to widen the aisles for The Lion King, allowing the large animal-costumed cast to run up the aisles and onto the stage. During opening night in 1974, a special ramp had to be built in order to get an elephant into the Concert Hall!
Fun Fact: Jean Rosenthal, a pioneer of theatrical lighting design, worked on the initial lighting design of the Concert Hall, but unfortunately passed away before it was completed.
Notable Performances and Visitors
With a wide variety of shows across all genres of music and theatre, it’s no surprise that the Concert Hall has hosted countless famous performers and several distinguished guests—including President Gerald Ford! Notable performances include:
- Comedians like Robin Williams, Tyler Perry, Adam Sandler and Jerry Seinfeld.
- Musicians and bands like Ray Charles, Steely Dan, Van Morrison, Chicago, the Charlie Daniels Band, the Avett Brothers, Harry Connick Jr, Barenaked Ladies, Natalie Merchant and Harry Connick, Jr.
- Theatrical performances of Wicked, Book of Mormon, Warhorse, Hamilton, The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, The Nutcracker and more!
As a mid-sized concert venue, the Concert Hall has been a popular “stepping stone” for artists transitioning from performing in small clubs to stadiums. For example, on January 24, 2003, British rock band Coldplay performed at the BJCC Concert Hall on the band’s first U.S. Tour. Promoting their second album, A Rush of Blood to the Head, Coldplay went on to explode in popularity over the next several months. Click here to view the band’s setlist from their performance at the BJCC Concert Hall.
Get your tix to these upcoming performances at the BJCC Concert Hall 🎟️
- Intocable Evolucion Tour 2023
- Sept. 3rd at 7:00PM — Tickets
- Raphael Saadiq Revisits Tony! Toni! Tone!
- Sept 21st at 8:00PM — Tickets
- Black Jacket Symphony Presents Whitney Houston’s “Whitney”
- Sept. 29th at 8:00PM — Tickets
- Gracias Christmas Cantata
- Oct. 7th at 7:00PM — Tickets
- Mean Girls Presented by Broadway in Birmingham
- Oct. 17th through 22nd — Tickets
- Kirk Franklin: The Reunion Tour
- Oct 26th at 8:00PM — Tickets
- Matt Rife: ProbleMATTic World Tour
- Oct. 29th at 5:00PM + Nov. 3rd at 8:00PM — SOLD OUT
- Grupo Frontera
- Nov. 3rd at 7:00PM — Tickets
- Encanto: The Singalong Film Concert
- Nov. 7th at 6:00PM — Tickets
- To Kill A Mockingbird presented by Broadway in Birmingham
- Nov. 14th through Nov. 19th — Tickets
- Peppa Pig’s Sing-Along Party! Tour
- Nov. 27th at 6:00PM — Tickets
- Leanne Morgan
- Nov. 30th and Dec. 1st at 7:00PM — Tickets (Dec. 1 SOLD OUT)
- Johnny Cash: The Official Concert Experience presented by Broadway in Birmingham
- Dec. 3rd at 6:30PM — Tickets on sale soon
What performances have you seen at the BJCC Concert Hall? Tag @thebjcc to let them know!