Friday, October 10, 2003

VENUES UNDER THREAT: This sad email is currently doing the rounds:

I am writing to you because of your generous support of the Picket venue and your continuing commitment to the city and people of Liverpool. The Management Committee of the Peoples Centre in Liverpool has decided to sell its Hardman Street building. This could mean the closure of the Picket venue, the Pinball Wizard recording studio and the cessation of the Dry Bar gigs for people under 18.
On a personal level, I am devastated by the possibility. As a Liverpudlian I am equally concerned about the impact the loss of these cultural facilities and events will have upon the City.
The Picket has existed for 20 years, putting on gigs for local bands, providing recording facilities and advice for new bands, and benefit concerts for a wide range of community organisations. It is difficult for me to accept that just as we have received the accolade 'European Capital of Culture' and the City appears to be striding forward, our cultural facilities cannot be sustained.
For further information please go to contains a page titled 'Milestones' that highlights some of the gigs, events and developments that have taken place at the venue.
I have also attached some details of how the Picket and its staff supported Liverpool's bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2008. I honestly believe the Picket and its associated activities have made a great contribution to this City's cultural life, enhancing Liverpool's music industry and improving opportunities for local musicians. I am urgently exploring options to help rescue the venue and studio and therefore have approached many people in all walks of life, who have offered their support.

Now, we have some issues with the Picket ourselves - if you look at its save the picket website, you'll get a taste of how it seems happy to take the credit for anything musically-related that's happened in the city in the last thirty years, although really for the last five years the 'Picket clique' hasn't really done very much of national note (I'll bet the Zanzibar are raising an eyebrow at the liberal sprinkling of Bandwagon acts on their milestones page), but it is a nice venue, and it deserves to be saved. Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise - it might be a chance for the venue to start again and focus itself as a proper music venue rather than the slightly worthy community centre with a backline its become in the past few years.

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