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Long Live York’s Music Scene?

music gig

Gigs, open mics and karaoke nights.

All these events fill the city with entertainment and dominate the nightlight every weekend and throughout the week.

In recent months York’s music scene seems to have been under fire with the loss of multiple big music venues in the city.

Fibbers have recently closed their doors, an emotional end of an era for everyone across York, as the infamous venue is no longer open to the public. The music venue issued this press release:

“Twenty-seven years and a couple of million tickets later one of the UK’s best, busiest and longest standing live music and club venues.”

Chris Sherrington from the Fulford Arms, one of the big music venues in the city, spoke about the issues:

“Prioritising the revamp of the city’s music scene is important for many reasons – Live Music and venues provide amazing cultural events and spaces for communities to come together, be entertained and develop for the future.”

The music culture in York has always been unique throughout the years, with a lot of smaller hidden music venues such as The Habbit and The Hop. However, York was also home to a few bigger venues, showcasing large artists. With the closure of Fibbers and a threat to the closure of The Crescent, how will the culture change in York?

Sherrington also explains his views of the current position of York’s music scene:

“There are constant risks with the high turnover of venues in York with the closure of Fibbers, The Duchess, Stereo and Woolpack in recent years as well as threats from developers to both The Crescent and ourselves and also the closure of clubs such as tramways, New York, and Post Office Club in the last 2 years.”

He continues:

“The loss of a 400-cap venue could seriously damage the music scene as its the next stepping stone for many upcoming bands as well as influential established acts, and without such a venue we run the risk of losing amazing talent and events to neighbouring cities like Leeds and Hull which can support this level of artist”

empty street

During a recent council meeting, the issue was brought to light. Harakit Boparai from the Crescent – one of the venues under threat of closure due to licensing – spoke at the meeting expressing his concern.

He told the counsellors:

“Our venue is surrounded by developers on three sides and recently a planning application has been submitted for the nursery next door to be converted into flats, which would undoubtedly lead to sound complaints and threaten our existence.”

After the discussion, a unanimous vote brought forward a notion to create a York Music Venues Network, which would help the decision being made to do with future dealings regarding the music culture in York.

With this initiative under play, there is hope that York’s music scene will live on and thrive in coming years!