Legendary Leeds music venue, The Warehouse, has undergone a massive refurbishment and is set to re-launch as a brand-new live events space for the city later this month. Having played host to legendary club nights for over 40 years, the iconic space on Somers Street, will now cater for live events as well as club nights. Talent from across the UK and beyond will be welcomed to the venue to re-launch it as the home of eclectic music and performances in the heart of the city.
The venue will has a new live events element until 10pm, switching to various club nights after that time. With restrictions being lifted for hospitality from the 19th July, and plenty of acts and DJs booked to appear, management is confident that people will be flocking to the venue when it opens to experience what The Warehouse has become known for – being the epicentre of music and clubbing in the North of England. With a capacity of 600 for live music events, the team is keen to attract a mixture of both established and new acts that will appeal to those looking for something a little different and memorable in Leeds city centre. Confirmed live acts and DJs so far include Annie Mac, Alan Fizpartick and Richy Ahemd, Black Grape, Goldie Lookin Chain and Versatile. Opening week has already sold out, with events planned every single day.
Co-owner Will Habergham, says: "Post-COVID nightlife and venues have had to adapt. We have had to take a new direction. Traditional night clubs have had to diversify to survive, essentially offering a flexible space that can accommodate all sorts of events. In the conventional sense, nightclubs are no longer what they used to be, and unfortunately, many venues have been forced to close due to the pandemic.
There has definitely been a move towards bar culture and nightlife, as we know it, has changed. Whilst there is still a place for nightclubs, we think nightlife will be more event and experience-led, and due to the pandemic, for some students, it will be the first time they have ever even experienced a nightclub!"
Over the years, The Warehouse has welcomed some of the most iconic bands and DJs, including U2, Sugar Hill Gang, Stone Roses, Oasis, Greg Wilson, Mike Pickering and Fat Boy Slim. Initially a live music venue, it evolved into a club venue with legendary nights like SpeedQueen and Kaos still remaining treasured memories for those lucky enough to experience them. A refurbishment in 2010 returned the venue to its former glory and reinstated it as a celebrated house music venue.
Now the venue has come full circle to where it all began, with live events firmly at its core and club nights still very much on the agenda.
The New Normal
The team, which includes Will Habergham and Kirk Allen who are also part of events company, Running Wild, and Dan Ickowitz-Seidler who is also part of Propaganda, used lockdown productively, transforming the venue yet again to make space for their much-anticipated live events and club nights. The loft has been completely refurbished and now has a brand-new look. An Arts Council grant ensured the survival of The Warehouse post-lockdown and enabled the team to introduce necessary changes that would allow for better social distancing within the venue. A new booking agreement with promoters TEG MJR will see them overseeing the venue's live diary.
They were fortunate to have the opportunity to support local talent during lockdown, commissioning Leeds-based artist Mike Winnard, to produce art across six spaces throughout the venue and a mural on the outside of the building representing ‘bedroom DJs’.
Co-owner and live events organiser Dan Ickowitz-Seidler, continued: "We were keen to restore the legacy of The Warehouse as a fantastic live music venue as well as one of Leeds' most legendary nightclubs. We can't wait for people to see what we've done. We think there will be so much pent-up demand for live music and events after over a year without any. While events have attempted to go online during the pandemic, I think it's really made us all realise you just can't beat the experience and feeling of being in the room and witnessing an event in person. We're excited to get people back into our venue and witnessing some legendary events."