Iconic Sheffield music venue The Leadmill has announced that it is close to defeat in a battle to remain open following the financial struggles of the Covid-19 pandemic. The venue’s landlord has issued a notice of eviction, and in response, artists and music lovers across the country have begun action to save the beloved site.
The Leadmill first opened in 1980, and over its first thirty years, it grew from strength to strength, housing early gigs from the likes of Arctic Monkeys, The Stone Roses and Coldplay.
The venue remains a popular site for some fantastic gigs, but following the hardships of the pandemic, it is now facing a very real risk of being put out of business. Yesterday (March 31st), the managers of the venue posted on their website to explain the current situation.
“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.
It continued: “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.”
The team then asked people to show their support for the legendary venue by “sharing this news and sharing your best memories that we can gather to help show them reasons why #WeCantLoseLeadmill”.
Since the news broke, several musicians, gig-goers and friends of the venue have taken to social media to react to the sad news calling for an effort to save the venue from collapse. The current message is to spread awareness by using the hashtag #WeCantLoseLeadmill.
“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 an eviction notice by their landlord. #WecantLoseLeadmill and will fight all the way to save this historic Sheffield landmark.”
“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.”
Music Venue Trust CEO Mark Davyd also chimed 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.”