Leadmill archives exhibition opens to celebrate 43 years of music memorabilia

One of Sheffield’s best live music venues has this week launched an exhibition of memorabilia dating from the last 43 years.

The display of signed set-lists, unseen photographs and merchandise from many of the iconic artists that have played at The Leadmill are featured in the exhibition which takes place until Thursday.

Since the Leadmill Road venue’s opening in 1980, the former flour mill has hosted some of the country’s most renowned artists, like Arctic Monkeys, Pulp, Lewis Capaldi and Coldplay, and is a finalist for ‘Grassroots venue: Spirit of the Scene’ 2023 Music Week Awards.

The exhibition included videos from numerous artists who have played at and supported The Leadmill, resisting its closure. In one video Sheffield comedian, actor and activist, Suzy Eddie Izzard described The Leadmill as “the heart of Sheffield” and “an intrinsic part of the city’s culture”.

Last year, The Leadmill was given an eviction notice, which consequently started the #wecantloseleadmill campaign. It attracted massive celebrity support, from Joe Lycett to Jeremy Corbyn, and the petition to “Save The Leadmill” gained over 46,000 signatures.

In another video interview displayed, singer and songwriter, Lucy Spraggan said “Without The Leadmill, music and Sheffield does not thrive as a whole. If we lose The Leadmill, there won’t be anything else remotely like it”.

A London company, The Electric Group, bought the building in 2017 and last year registered the trademark to change the name from The Leadmill to Electric Sheffield.

The Electric Group promised that they would invest in the venue and keep it as the music hub Sheffield loves.

The extensive history of The Leadmill seen in the archives shows the immense community impact the venue has had, hosting a diverse range of live music, comedy, club events, theatre and film for a diverse range of people.

Written by Freya Vye

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