Future Yard has quickly become one of the most talked about music venues in Merseyside and rightly so. The 350-capacity space at 75 Argyle Street, Birkenhead promises to be much more than just a music venue. Future Yard will also provide live industry training to budding creatives and will become a regional hub for artist development.
With no established music venues in Birkenhead, 2019’s Future Yard, two-day festival provided a taste of what could be over on the Wirral. Gig-goers from across Merseyside were attracted by the strong lineup which included a special, two-man performance by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark’s Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys. The festival also gave local, emerging musicians the chance to perform alongside acts who were thriving, like Evian Christ and She Drew The Gun.
Following the success of the festival, it was clear there was an appetite for a permanent venue and this year we’ll see Future Yard bring some of the most exciting national and international artists to Wirral, while providing support slots to local up and coming artists and bands.
The venue also boasts a light and airy bar, coffee shop & kitchen, open all day every day, serving vegan and veggie food, with local craft beers and boss coffee. Additionally, their garden area with bleachers has already proved to be a popular hangout during the sunny weather. Future Yard feels just like the bustling creative hub it set out to be.
COVID-19 has obviously had a huge impact on music venues such as Future Yard but they are committed to realising their vision for the new space.
“We believe that Future Yard is needed now, more than ever before,” says Future Yard co-founder Craig Pennington. “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.”
This past month Future Yard hosted touring exhibition, Super Cool Drawing Machine. Presented by Yuppies Music, the exhibition is a celebration of the visual art created by a host of internationally acclaimed, touring musicians. The exhibition featured paintings, photography, drawings, ceramics, digital instillations, recycled arts, sculpture and furniture. Hosting Super Cool Drawing Machine added another layer to the venue and one that we are likely to see explored again in the future.
Additionally, Future Yard recently announced PROPELLER, a new, artist-focused music programme. PROPELLER will provide access to quality studio space, personalised mentorship support, expert knowledge from leading industry minds and a vibrant peer to peer community for budding musicians. Their involvement in actively nurturing and supporting local musicians is arguably more important than ever with the challenges the on-going pandemic have had on the arts industry.
The PROPELLER membership programme is run by the Future Yard management team, alongside the mentors and team of supporting professionals, amassing years of relevant music industry experience. Project lead and mentor Cath Hurley said:
“Having worked with exciting and emerging talent for the past 15 years, it’s easy to spot where the disconnects lie in the pathway for regional talent who deserve to progress on to a world stage. Local scenes can often feel fragmented and disconnected within themselves, even before artists start working nationally and breaking out to international markets. Future Yard is creating a community where information and experience is shared freely and opportunities can be sought out and maximised in order to grow audiences and revenues.
Enabling talented musicians to build a viable career is at the heart of what we aim to do, whilst creating a safe and inclusive space for musicians to truly be themselves. We want artists to feel empowered, in control and supported in a community that celebrates their individuality and personality. The wider PROPELLER team is packed full of professionals that inspire us and have achieved great results with special artists. I can’t wait to introduce them to our growing community of local talent. Music in our region is so special and I can’t wait to hear so much of it thudding out of our rehearsal rooms and on to our stage.”
PROPELLER applications close on Monday 2nd August and you can find out more about the programme here.
As for the venue itself the schedule of gigs already lined up in 2021 offers an insight into the diverse lineup you can expect to watch here, with the likes of Orchestral Movements In The Dark, Henge, Tokky Horror and Sam Brookes and many more coming up over the next few months.
With live music making it’s long-awaited come back, Future Yard is set to be a bustling music hub this summer and far beyond.
Check out the Future Yard website for more information and gig listings.