Birkenhead is now the home of one of the most exciting new music venues in the UK, a building that re-imagines the role of a live music venue, providing live industry training and a regional hub for artist development.
FUTURE YARD, a brand-new, 300-capacity space, is now open at 75 Argyle Street. This new community venue will bring some of today’s most exciting new national and international artists to Wirral, while at the same time providing key early performance opportunities for emerging local musicians.
Right now, there is undoubtedly a hugely challenging time for live music venues nationally, as COVID-19 restrictions present the starkest of challenges. But we 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.”
Future Yard Festival, in 2019, proved that there is an audience for new music in Birkenhead. We want to create a place where we can present the best new artists all year round, not for just one weekend a year.
Birkenhead – and Wirral – is a place with music in its DNA, but its been too long since we’ve had a dedicated live music venue in our town. We believe that music venues are the maternity wards of creative culture. They are always the trailblazers, the first cultural flagpole when it comes to thinking about a place differently.
We believe that through utilising the power of music, we can change our town for the better, inspiring local people, creating life-changing opportunities and shaping a new music future.
THE FUTURE IS BIRKENHEAD
Our venue is run by Future Yard CIC – a non-profit focused on delivering Future Yard’s positive social and environmental impact, alongside realising our creative vision. As an organisation, we have committed to a long-term goal of becoming the first carbon-neutral grassroots music venue in the North of England, and one of the first in the UK.
Working in partnership with Liverpool John Moores University’s Low Carbon Eco-Innovatory, we have been shaping the long-term design of the building, its energy consumption and developing a range of policies in how the venue operates to achieve this goal.
You will find no single-use plastic stocked on our bars or on our artist riders.
In 2022 we published a Sustainability Roadmap for the venue, in partnership with LJMU’s Low Carbon Eco-Innovatory, to assess our impact on the environment and lay out ways in which we can reduce our carbon footprint and help achieve a more sustainable live music industry.
“We all have a responsibility to the environment,” says Future Yard CIC Director, Craig Pennington. “The touring live music industry has an acute sustainability problem. We are committed to ensuring that we create a place that has a net positive environmental impact, one that fundamentally takes carbon out of the atmosphere and plastic out of our oceans, not one that adds to the problem.”
Dr Ariel Edesess of LJMU’s Low Carbon Eco-Innovatory said; “By setting a standard of zero carbon in music and culture, we can send a message that this is something every one of us can contribute to – and have fun at the same time! Whilst it is no doubt a challenge for a music venue to be fully carbon neutral, by setting this mandate right from the start and learning how to achieve this, Future Yard is changing the standards and leading the way as we all navigate this new normal.”
Dr Simon Tucker, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Design at the Liverpool School of Art and Design, added; “We will look closely at all aspects of the venue and its operations, both the building itself and its systems, and how it is occupied and used now and in the future. We will assess and propose a range of approaches and options for achieving carbon neutrality in support of the aims of Future Yard.”