Yorkshire independent grassroots venue set to be evicted but will remain “full stream ahead”

By Charlie Fenton

28 May 2024

Credit MakeNoiseStudios

Yorkshire based grassroots venue, Make Noise Studios, are set to be forced out of their 14 year home this year to make way for a large residential development. 

Richard Allott, Make Noise Studios Operations Manager, said: “Everything is up in the air at the moment. “We are a small venue that doesn’t get a lot of business.” 

“We’ve been looking at a few places but everywhere seems to asking for too much.” 

Make Noise Studios are an independent venue based in Sheffield. They were founded as Practice Sheffield in 2010.

The venue has two recording studios, seven rehearsal studios, a live music venue with a licensed bar and a music teaching academy. 

Around 60-70 artists a week head to the studios to record, rehearse, and play at the venue.

The music ecosystem had to resort to borrowing money and received private investments to allow for them to move to a new location. The new location is yet to be confirmed. 

Richard said borrowing money “is the only way” Make Noise can “survive”. 

Adding: “We have very little savings and reserves so for this move to happen it is going to be tough.”

The venue holds a vibrant community of budding musicians who can utilise the practice rooms, in-house producers with recording booths, and play grassroots gigs where the public can come and watch for free. 

“We wouldn’t see the same footfall if it wasn’t for our pay what you can system,” said Richard.

“Our philosophy is to make music accessible for everyone, we are all about giving bands a platform.” 

The venue attracts over 13,000 attendees annually, adding over £1 million to the local economy. 

The venue found out about the possibility of eviction 18 months ago but it was only confirmed last week, giving the studios 2 weeks notice to find a new location and begin preparing to move.

The building will be knocked down with a residential complex being built in its place.

Richard believes the community they have built over the previous 14 years will be lost when they eventually move.

“We will lose a piece of musical heritage when it closes. We will be losing the artist wall which is covered signatures and stickers from all the musicians who have plyed there.” 

“We have discussed taking and moving the bricks, but we will be losing a real sense of community.” 

Richard wishes more people would come and support up-and-coming artists believing it would keep more small venue alive.

“Especially in Sheffield, all those who came out to watch the Arctic Monkeys last year when they played Hillsborough Park, if just a few of them came and enjoyed some grassroots live music, there would be more bands just like them coming through. 

“We’ll be starting open and full steam ahead until we have to close.” 

Feedback is campaigning alongside the Music Venue Trust to keep as many grassroots venues open as possible. You can sign the petition here.

Find out more about Feedback’s #dontlosegrassroots campaign here.

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