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How Liverpool’s iconic music venue Arts Club was saved

September 2023 saw a victory for the Liverpool music scene. After becoming another casualty of the strained entertainment industry, Arts Club, one of Liverpool’s legendary live music venues, was saved and reopened. Up until Tokyo Industries intervened, Arts Club appeared to be another victim of the many venues closing in Liverpool and throughout the UK.

Perhaps a small victory in the great scheme of things, but a very important one, Arts Club is back and has been thriving ever since. Established in 1928 as a social club, the Seel Street destination has transformed into a live music venue, hosting countless nights of jazz, rock, indie, and electronic beats, welcoming both legendary acts and emerging talents.

How Liverpool's iconic music venue Arts Club was saved
How Liverpool's iconic music venue Arts Club was saved

Liverpool’s music scene expressed a collective sigh when Academy Music Group, the venue’s then-operators, closed it in early 2023. The UK saw the closure of no fewer than 125 live music venues, accounting for 15.7% of all such spaces, and many lamented the addition of Arts Club to this fateful list.

Just when everything seemed lost, an unexpected source provided a savior. Taking over the site and re-establishing it as a vibrant live music destination, Manchester’s Tokyo Industries, the team behind the loud neighbours Gorilla, The Deaf Institute, and Factory251 venues, host massive events alongside local promoter Revo of EVOL and the likes of SJM and Live Nation.

How Liverpool's iconic music venue Arts Club was saved

Tokyo Industries’ David Roman said: 

“Arts Club has been great to reopen, with it being such a legendary venue in the city. I was part of AMG when they owned Arts Club so to be a part of re-opening it was something I leapt at. The feedback has been great amongst the tragic news of so many grass roots venues closing. Arts Club is an integral part of the Liverpool music scene so it’s a real triumph.”

“The Wombats and Two Door Cinema Club were amazing shows — thrusting Arts Club back onto the scene. Revo from EVOL has been putting on some stellar shows too — notably FESTEVOL with indie pioneers Peace. We have an ever growing programme of events, plus a run of club nights from September, with state of the art sound and lighting coupled with the biggest LED screen Liverpool has to offer.”

Both the 350-capacity loft space and the 550-capacity theatre room at The Arts Club feature modern sound, lighting, equipment, and screens. Later in 2024, the venue will host gigs from Pixey, Noisy, and The Luca State, and a host of other events are on the horizon.

David summarised: 

“Venues like this are SO important, giving grass roots bands the opportunity to support and play alongside some of the worlds biggest artists, and they are crucial to the development of the new range of talent in a medium to large venue. We work with promoters such as EVOL, SJM and Live Nation, who continuously source and book up and coming fresh talent and put on top quality gigs.”

You can check out all the listings of what’s on at Arts Club here.


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