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Near Future Information

WELCOME TO THE NEAR FUTURE

Presented by the team behind Future Yard Festival, Near Future will be a Pop-Up Music Venue and Birkenhead’s only dedicated live music space. The venue will be located at 75 Argyle Street, in a former nightclub at the heart of the town centre.

Initially showcasing a series of live events between 25th April and 20th June 2020, Near Future will present some of the most exciting emerging new artists from across the UK – and very special returning local icons.

Future Yard Festival 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.

Initially we’re starting with a pop-up venue and a fantastic run of shows this spring. When it all goes well, we’ll be doing everything in our power to make it permanent. This is the Near Future. This is just the start.

OMD – FIRST WIRRAL SHOW SINCE 1979

The first Wirral show from Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark since 1979 marks the announcement of the new venue. “This Pop-Up Venue from Future Yard offers an opportunity for the creative kids on Wirral to test their dreams out in reality, like OMD did 41 years ago,” said OMD’s Andy McCluskey.

The electronic pioneers – who are currently celebrating their 40th anniversary with a sold-out international tour, during which they’ve been labelled “Wirral’s Kraftwerk” by The Guardian – will take the opportunity to revisit the material they performed at their last show on the peninsula; at West Kirby Youth Club in August 1979.

Andy McCluskey: “We would like to celebrate as much as we can about the fact that the last time we played on Wirral, we were still a two-piece and we hadn’t even made our first album. We’d just been made an offer, we were about to go on tour with Gary Numan. Our world was about to change, but this was the closing of chapter one. So it will be nice now to reflect upon that moment again… ‘who would have known, 41 years later?’”

This performance by OMD, focusing on the moment which shaped their future career, shines a focus on the integral role of local music venues, as a space for artists to shape and hone their craft.

SOUND CHECK

Alongside the live events programme, the Near Future community music venue will offer an opportunity for local people to develop live audio and production skills, through Sound Check; a new industry training programme developed with leading national companies.

Following this initial pop-up, the ambition is to cement the venue as a permanent fixture in Birkenhead.

Future Yard – a not-for-profit CIC – was set up to utilise music to bring about meaningful social change in Birkenhead.

Future Yard’s Craig Pennington says, “With the venue, we want to create a place where amazing shows happen, where international touring acts share the stage with emerging local talent. But we also want to create a place where local people can learn the skills to develop new careers in live music; sound engineering, lighting design, event promotion. In the long run, we want to create a place where we develop and support new emerging artists.”

“We believe – and there are examples around the world that support this – 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.”

Details about the Sound Check programme will be released in the coming months. If you’re interested in hearing more about the programme, send us an email on submissions@futureyard.org.

VENUE INFORMATION

Near Future is a pop-venue in a former nightclub at 75 Argyle Street, Birkenhead. It is ideally situated for transport, just a 5-minute walk from Hamilton Square rail station and a 5-minute walk from Birkenhead bus station.

The pop-up period runs between 25th April and 20th June 2020. The full programme of shows will be announced over the coming weeks, with some very exciting shows planned.

The venue is on the ground floor and is full accessible for wheelchair users. If you have any specific requests around access or seating, please drop us a line on submissions@futureyard.org and we can arrange the adequate provision.

FUTURE YARD FESTIVAL

On 23rd and 24th August 2019, Future Yard festival took over Birkenhead under the glorious gaze of the bank holiday sun. Over 50 acts played across four stages at Birkenhead Town Hall, Birkenhead Priory and the Bloom Building, bringing together some of the most interesting emerging acts in the UK alongside the best emerging talent from the region.

Bill Ryder-Jones and Anna Calvi headlined successive nights of the festival, which also featured captivating shows from Nilüfer Yanya, Stella Donnelly, Squid, Queen Zee and lots more. Have a look back at the highlights from the festival here.