Sheffield venue The Leadmill has announced that it is facing threat of closure next year due to its landlord issuing a notice of eviction. Artists and the music community have since rallied round to save it.
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First opening its doors in 1980, the venue and club has played host to early shows from Arctic Monkeys, Kings Of Leon and The Killers, and remains popular with live music fans and clubbers in the Steel City.
However, today (March 31) saw the venue – which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year – issuing a statement on its website explaining that it is being forced out of business.
“Today we have received some devastating news that in one year’s time, our Landlord is trying to evict us, forcing us to close,” the statement began.
“Since 1980 The Leadmill has spent millions of pounds on what was a derelict warehouse, transforming it into one of the U.K’s most respected venues where countless acts from across the globe have performed over the years,” it continued.
The team then asked people to show their support by “sharing this news and sharing your best memories that we can gather to help show them reasons why #WeCantLoseLeadmill”.
They signed off the statement with contact info for those wanting to know more about the situation.
Today we have received some devastating news that in 1 year's time, our Landlord is evicting us and forcing us to close.
Please show your support by sharing this news & sending us your best memories that we can gather to help display all the reasons why #WeCantLoseLeadmill pic.twitter.com/6pVKaTFJ4U
— The Leadmill (@Leadmill) March 31, 2022
Since the news broke, a number of musicians, gig-goers and friends of the venue have taken to social media to react to the news, with many calling to save the venue, and using the hashtag #WeCantLoseLeadmill to bring awareness to the news.
“Such a brilliant venue. Let’s do all we can to stop The @Leadmill from closing,” Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess tweeted, while The Subways wrote: “IN WHAT WORLD IS THIS ALLOWED TO HAPPEN? Unacceptable. A heritage site that needs saving!!!”
Louise Haigh, Labour MP for Sheffield Heeley, added: “Absolutely devastating news that our beloved Sheffield institution The @Leadmill has been given eviction notice by their landlord. #WecantLoseLeadmill and will fight all the way to save this historic Sheffield landmark.”
Such a brilliant venue. Let’s do all we can to stop The @Leadmill from closing https://t.co/0VeUfeBdMz
— Tim Burgess (@Tim_Burgess) March 31, 2022
IN WHAT WORLD IS THIS ALLOWED TO HAPPEN? Unacceptable. A heritage site that needs saving!!! https://t.co/M58PEnXVrp
— The Subways (@thesubways) March 31, 2022
Absolutely devastating news that our beloved Sheffield institution The @Leadmill has been given eviction notice by their landlord.#WecantLoseLeadmill and will fight all the way to save this historic Sheffield landmark https://t.co/Ks1b3i02ux
— Louise Haigh (@LouHaigh) March 31, 2022
“This venue was a part of bringing us up,” You Me At Six‘s Josh Franceschi tweeted. “So many great shows here. So many after show parties with our brothers n sisters from up north. We can’t lose this place.”
Sea Power wrote: “Terrible news about Sheffield @Leadmill We’ve played so many great gigs here, and we’re back again in 2 weeks time. Please share & send them your memories.”
“This venue has been part of our lives for almost 30 years,” Ash said of the news. “Always been a great place to play. Show them your support; let’s get @Leadmill trending.”
This venue was a part of bringing us up. So many great shows here. So many after show parties with our brothers n sisters from up north. We can’t lose this place https://t.co/clhNJTobyn
— Josh Franceschi (@joshmeatsix) March 31, 2022
Terrible news about Sheffield @Leadmill
We’ve played so many great gigs here, and we’re back again in 2 weeks time.
Please share & send them your memories. https://t.co/NpcIYqn0Fq
— Sea Power (@SeaPowerBand) March 31, 2022
This venue has been part of our lives for almost 30 years. Always been a great place to play. Show them your support; let's get @Leadmill trending. https://t.co/v8U2HcDmcl
— ASH (@ashofficial) March 31, 2022
Music Venue Trust CEO Mark Davyd also weighed in, calling for the council to “immediately implement an Asset of Community Value status on the premises as the first step in ensuring the venue is initially protected from closure.”
“MVT will be working to ensure that once protected from immediate threat, the long-term future is secured,” he continued.
“Once again, the issue of who owns the premises rises to front and centre of the campaign to protect, secure and improve the UK’s grassroots music venues. The answer is that not a single venue in the country, no matter how important, is safe until we Own Our Venues.”
Once again, the issue of who owns the premises rises to front and centre of the campaign to protect, secure and improve the UK’s grassroots music venues. The answer is that not a single venue in the country, no matter how important, is safe until we Own Our Venues
— Music Venue Trust (@musicvenuetrust) March 31, 2022
You can see more reactions to the news below:
No No No No No. Surely can’t let this happen. Would be devastating. https://t.co/lFSgaJMwOi
— Steve Lamacq (@steve_lamacq) March 31, 2022
This would be a terrible loss to culture in the UK. #WeCantLoseLeadmill https://t.co/l2U90Iot6H
— Joe Lycett (@joelycett) March 31, 2022
Erf – this would be a blow for culture 'Up North' – we can't have everything be so London-centric.. https://t.co/dzzX39qFss
— LoneLady (@LoneLadyHQ) March 31, 2022
This is such terrible news. The Leadmill is a huge part of Sheffields musical heritage. I think a stink needs kicking up about this. 🤬 https://t.co/g8UMlWp7pw
— Marc Riley ⚽️🍺🐳 (@marcrileydj) March 31, 2022
This is awful…#WeCantLoseLeadmill https://t.co/LsbypblWmH
— Beans on Toast (@beanstoast) March 31, 2022
This is such a great venue #wecantloseleadmill https://t.co/p1IlfdVDLF
— Nish Kumar (@MrNishKumar) March 31, 2022
I grew up going to this venue. I wouldn’t be making music if it wasn’t for the experiences I had at those gigs. Really gutted to hear this. https://t.co/9aAeZQ8xTA
— Rolo Tomassi (@rolotomassiband) March 31, 2022
A place that has been iconic for generations. I’ve seen metal there, Britpop, electronica, twee stuff, all sorts, I’ve even danced there too. And I don’t dance. It’s an institution, we can’t continue to allow these places to be shafted. #wecantloseleadmill https://t.co/MEdMCNS8II
— Benefits (@Benefitstheband) March 31, 2022
Right back from drinking after United matches in the 80's, to The Housemartins, to TBS a/shows, to the present day's line-up with Jacqui, this venue, their staff, management & punters have been the friendliest, the most supportive & quite frankly the best. We need this place open https://t.co/corWC8SRgD
— Paul Heaton (@PaulHeatonSolo) March 31, 2022
In 2020, The Leadmill was among the many venues in danger of permanently closing due to the shutdown of the live events industry at the hands of the coronavirus pandemic.
Reopening in September 2020, the venue offered their thanks to Arctic Monkeys after the band raised over £100,000 towards the venue’s survival through a charity raffle of Alex Turner’s guitar.
“That’s an insane amount of money and will go so far to securing not only the bricks and mortar of venues, but also their key members of staff,” Leadmill’s former general manager Rebecca Walker told NME.
“We so humbled and so grateful. We couldn’t thank the guys enough for listening to us and allowing us to reach out to them, but also just their generosity. To them, it’s just a guitar but to us it’s a lifeline – it’s a matter of whether a venue can stay open or not.”