A new live music venue will open in Birkenhead this autumn called Future Yard.

The venue will follow guidelines in order to launch with ‘Near Normal’ – a series of socially-distanced and digitally streamed shows. Dates for gigs are already in place, starting with a limited capacity show from She Drew The Gun in September 2020. Full capacity shows will be introduced as of January 2021 in line with government guidelines, and will see performances from renowned artists such as Self Esteem, Orchestral Manouevres In The Dark; Black Country, New Road; Tocky Horror and many more.

With a capacity of 350 people, Future Yard aims to re-imagine the role of a live music venue. As well as providing live industry training, the venue also plans to be a regional hub for artist development. Run by Future Yard CIC, a nonprofit-focused organisation, the training and development at Future Yard will encourage artists to realise their creative vision; as well as provide a space for local young people to develop the skills needed to pursue careers in the international live music industry.

Future Yard is also working with LJMU’s Low Carbon Eco-Innovatory to become the first ever carbon neutral grassroots music venue in the UK. The team behind Future Yard are committed to achieve this goal, with Future Yard Founder Craig Pennington stating: “We all have a responsibility to the environment. The touring live music industry has an acute sustainability problem.

“We are committed to ensuring that we create a place that has a net positive environmental impact, one that fundamentally takes carbon out of the atmosphere and plastic out of our oceans, not one that adds to the problem.”  

Future Yard, which is located at 75 Argyle Street, will bring a new vibrance to the town of Birkenhead, offering gigs from internationally recognised artists both old and new. The new community venue will also provide key early performance opportunities for emerging local talent, as Liverpool and the North West are known for their ambitious new musicians. 

The unexpected announcement comes after months of uncertainty within the live music industry, after the COVID-19 crisis left many venues fighting to survive financially. Though measures continue to ease, and funds are being distributed from the government, the need to follow rules regarding social distancing is still proving difficult within the sector. Despite this, Future Yard Founder Craig Pennington and the team behind the Wirral venue are committed to accomplishing their vision.

Speaking on Future Yard, Pennington said: “We believe that Future Yard is needed now, more than ever before. True, it is a challenging time, but we believe the experience of lockdown has shown how powerful a community can be and we want to provide a space for our local community to come together. We’ve also seen an explosion in live streaming and digital performance, which has been hugely welcome and is here to stay, but this does not replace live music. People who love live music have acutely realised how important it is to them, how much of a role it plays in their lives. We’re committed to creating a new venue to champion and support new music in Birkenhead.” 

Wirral favourites She Drew The Gun will be the first band to perform at Future Yard on Saturday, September 19th. Vocalist Louisa Roach has commented on the new music venue, stating, “Now that I’ve seen the venue, I’m really excited about playing here. I really like what’s happening with the place: it’s great to have something like this on your doorstep. I can’t wait to be on the stage in Future Yard, and to have that interaction again. It’s a step in the right direction, until we can do things properly when we’re over this pandemic.”

A limited number of in-venue tickets will go on-sale Thursday, July 30th, at futureyard.org, along with the option of a digital ticket to enjoy a live stream of the show.

Commenting further on the ambition of Future Yard, Craig Pennington said,

“We believe that music can change the world. Music venues are the maternity wards of creative cultures. They can be the spark in re-imagining what a place means in the world, an instigator of change. Even before COVID, Future Yard – from our initial festival last August – had always been conceived as a way of bringing a new hope, new positivity, a new view of a potential future to Birkenhead. Our town has faced huge challenges in recent decades and COVID provides yet another: but it also provides an opportunity to rebuild. We believe that Future Yard can play a key role in the recovery, providing opportunities for our young people, bringing hope and a new vision for our future.”

More socially-distanced and digitally-streamed shows for Autumn 2020 will be announced in the coming weeks. 

2021 Full capacity live shows on sale now:

23rd February – Black Country, New Road 

20th March – Tokky Horror 

26th March – Bye Louis…Building Stories    

1st April – Talk Show, PVA

2nd April – Self Esteem, BABii 

3rd April – Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

9th April – Douglas Dare