Sheffield students fight to save struggling venue at the heart of the city’s arts scene

Sheffield students have organised a virtual gig in a fight to save a struggling venue in the heart of the city.

Plot 22, a live music and studio space on Exchange Street in the city centre, is at growing risk of permanent closure due to COVID-19.

University of Sheffield student, Hannah Youds, along with a group of fellow students, wants to bring attention to the impact of the pandemic on Sheffield’s creative scene and have set up a gofundme with a goal of £1,000.

Hannah said: “So many small venues have seen the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and even though we are only raising money for one venue, we hope that our event helps to raise awareness for all these venues.”

The students have organised the virtual fundraising gig that will take place at 6pm on 27 February. The event will showcase Sheffield’s budding musicians and anyone attending the concert will be asked to donate.

Plot 22 had been shut for 18 months before the pandemic hit due to noise complaints but was due to reopen on March 20 2020, the day that the national lockdown was announced.

The Sheffield venue has continued to operate where possible to provide artists with a safe space and has recently been commissioned to deliver creative provision to young people and vulnerable adults at risk of offending, as well as ex-offenders and people in recovery.

It was recognised as one of 30 music venues identified by the Music Venues Trust as being most at risk of permanent closure due to the crisis.

Plot 22 manager, Michael Thompson, said: “Being recognised as being in and at risk of closure is somewhat daunting but I think it was a recognition that there is something of value in what we do.

“It was a sort of relief to be recognised in this wider call for help.”

Visit the Facebook event to get involved with the virtual concert and find out how you can support Sheffield venues.




Written by Sophie Olejnik

Journalism student at The University of Sheffield.

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