The Digbeth Institute was originally built as a methodist congregational chapel at the turn of the 1900’s. Designed by Arthur Harrison, it was officially opened on January 16, 1908 by the wife of the Pastor of Carrs Lane Church, John Henry Jowett, as an institutional church attached to Carr’s Lane Congregational Church.
People known to have made speeches at the Digbeth Institute include Neville Chamberlain, Henry Usborne, Florence L. Barclay and Herbert Hensley Henson.
In 1955, it was bought by Birmingham City Council and was used as a civic hall. It later became a music venue and over the last 30 years plus it has been an essential part of the Birmingham Live Music and Club scene until its untimely closure in 2008. This legendary venue has hosted bands like Pink Floyd, Joni Mitchell, the Human League, Arctic Monkeys and The Cure over the years.
It has been synonymous in the development of the British rave music and drum & bass scene, was the original home of Godskitchen and has played host to famous club nights such as Atomic Jam, Uproar, Slinky, Sundissential, Athletico, Ramshackle, Insurrection, Inukshuk, Atomic Jam and Panic. Many influential hip hop artists have also performed at Digbeth Institute including Redman and Keith Murray.
The venue was purchased by the MAMA & Company (formerly MAMA Group) and re-opened in late September 2010 as The Institute after a multi-million pound refurbishment which restored the buildings striking fascia, multi-roomed interior and period features.
It has three main areas, the 600 capacity Library area (formerly The Barfly) the 1,500 capacity Institute area, the top floor venue The Temple which will take 300 people, and a separate VIP area.
MAMA & Company hope to give the music lovers of the West Midlands a venue they can be truly proud of.