Venue Spotlight: Independent Venue Week Highlight Reel

Whether our team at Ents24 Headquarters are promoting events, attending gigs or are part of them, we've always been a huge supporter of Grassroots Music Venues.

Throughout the past few years, our Venue Spotlight Series has provided a different spin on how people view their local venues across the UK, as well as illustrating how vital they are to our culture and communities.

So, with 2019 well underway and Independent Venue Week just around the corner, we wanted to present you with a highlight reel that reflects on some of the venues that we've previously spoken to, and who are also taking part in Independent Venue Week 2019. Enjoy!


The Half Moon, Putney

What's been your proudest moment working at your venue?

We've recently (May 2018) had Pink Floyd's Nick Mason performing here for three nights under Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets. This was Nick's first live musical outing since Pink Floyd played at the 2005 Live 8 concert in London. Seeing Pink Floyd's legendary drummer on our stage, performing material from Pink Floyd's first two albums, was a unique experience and one that will live in my memory for a long time.

See full listings for ​The Half Moon here >>

Komedia, Bath

Has the venue ever been threatened with closure? If so, what could have been done to prevent it/support you?

In 2017, we ran a successful crowdfunding campaign which has supported the venue's integration with the local community, and we've seen lots of positive changes including partnerships with local organisations, increased ticket sales, and a general awareness about the importance of alternative mid-scale venues.

See full listings for ​Komedia Bath here >>

Night & Day Cafe, Manchester

Has the venue gone through any major changes since it opened (location, renovation, style of music etc)?

Improvements have been made from time to time absolutely, new bits and pieces, sprucing, updating, but essentially it's still a great looking long room with a really long bar and a spacious stage at one end. We are still sat at 26 Oldham Street, where the neighbourhood has grown up around us.

See full listings for ​Night & Day Cafe here >>

The Boileroom, Guildford

Has your venue ever been threatened with closure? If so, what could have been done to prevent it/support you?

Unfortunately so, a few years back. Better understanding of the cultural and community value of independent music venues, to avoid being treated like a late night bar or club. That and less one-sided discussion when it comes to residential dwellings near venues, as outlined by Music Venue Trust's exemplary Agent Of Change principle. Both would go a long way to making many great venues feel a lot more secure.

See full listings for The Boileroom here >>

The Horn, St Albans

Are there any interesting facts/stories about the venue that people might not know, but should?!

John Peel used to frequent The Horn. Kim Wilde used to work behind the bar. Paul Young had a residency at The Horn with his 'Streetband'. We have also got (potentially) the most photographed men's urinals on the circuit.

See full listings for The Horn here >>

Photo: Joe Curtis

The Windmill, Brixton

Are there any interesting facts/stories about the venue that people might not know, but should?!

We had the most amazing and proud Rottweiler called Ben, who lived on the roof (it's flat and the owners have an apartment above the venue, so its like an elevated yard) between 2007 and 2015. He built up a cult following, and he still has a page on Facebook, a beer named after him, and we also sell loads of 'Roof Dog' t-shirts.

See full listings for The Windmill here >>

The Joiners, Southampton

What's been your proudest moment working at your venue?

I don't think it's one moment per se, it's the everyday keeping a creative community hub alive and open all year round. We are a family of musicians, engineers, and promoters that put EVERYTHING into keeping the place open - a lot of times voluntarily.

So the venue as a whole is really a historical and culturally important place.

See full listings for The Joiners here >>

The Forum Music Centre, Darlington

Are there any interesting facts/stories about the venue that people might not know, but should?!

Not sure people should know this, or want to know, but the building used to be a Victorian Board School, and it is reported that the Headmaster was killed after being run over by a carriage. We often hear what we think is his long cane, which he also used as a walking stick, banging on the floor. Glasses rattle, and sometimes inexplicably shatter. I, plus others, have often felt cold breath at the back of our necks...

See full listings for The Forum Music Centre here >>

Exchange, Bristol

Has the venue gone through any major changes since it opened (location, renovation, style of music, etc)?

It's fair to say we have had a lot of changes over the years! Our program has changed from being predominantly clubs, to gigs. The closing of The Croft in 2013 mainly influenced this decision. In October 2016, we opened a coffee shop and we are now expanding the kitchen to offer a full vegetarian/vegan menu this month. Other exciting recent developments include Specialist Subject Records opening a record shop on the first floor of our building, and we also have Joe's Garage (rehearsal rooms and recording studio) in the basement.

See full listings for Exchange here >>

The Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth

Any infamous stories related to your venue you can tell us?

Oasis supposedly stole a mirror from our dressing rooms back in 1994. Also, Foo Fighters were confirmed to play a warm up show here, however, Dave Grohl lost his voice so the show was cancelled. They promised to come back, and we are still waiting to hear back on that one! Hurry up guys!

See full listings for The Wedgewood Rooms here >>

Work or run your own venue and want to know more about being featured in our Venue Spotlight Series? Just contact backstage@ents24.com.