Iron Maiden’s Dickinson condemns small venue closures

Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson has condemned the closure of small music venues in the UK.

Manchester’s Roadhouse, Leeds’ Cockpit and The Arches in Glasgow are just a few of the venues that have been forced to close their doors in recent years – and with Cardiff music hot spot Dempseys now being turned into a sports bar, Dickinson says more should be done to protect smaller clubs.

He tells Wales Online: “Sadly that seems to be happening in a lot of places. It’s the gentrification of the city centre, the dodgy hangouts which are really cool which kids like.

“We wouldn’t have been able to start out if there hadn’t been venues like that. The good thing is you don’t need a lot to have a place where you can have a racket and have people turn up.

“Small venues are indispensable to bands – always have been and always will be. I think we miss a trick in this country and some countries in Europe do it better in that they protect their social infrastructure. And pubs and small venues are part of that social infrastructure.”

He adds: “Just because something would be worth X a square foot, that is a case of people who know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

“These are vital things and the reason why people come to a city centre is to keep it alive. And it not just people who want to drink posh lattes, there are other people in the world who have cultural needs and rock and roll is pretty fundamental to people’s lives these days.”

Last year, the Sir Charles Napier pub in Blackburn was saved from closure by rock and metal fans, making it the UK’s first community-owned rock venue.

Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford put his name behind the campaign and officially opened the venue last September.

He said: “It’s great, not only for music but for the community as well – it keeps the community together. You can’t beat these kind of venues.”

Meanwhile, Iron Maiden will embark on the European leg of their The Book Of Souls tour dates later this month. Find a full list of shows below.

Iron Maiden Book Of Souls European tour 2017

Apr 22: Antwerp Sportpaleis, Belgium
Apr 24: Oberhausen Konig Pilsener Arena, Germany
Apr 28: Frankfurt Festhalle, Germany
May 02: Hamburg Barclaycard Arena, Germany
May 04: Nottingham, Motorpoint Arena, UK
May 06: Dublin 3arena, Ireland
May 08: Manchester Arena, UK
May 10: Sheffield Arena, UK
May 11: Leeds First Direct Arena, UK
May 14: Newcastle Metro Radio Arena, UK
May 16: Glasgow SSE Hydro Arena, UK
May 17: Aberdeen AECC GE Oil & Gas Arena, UK
May 20: Liverpool Echo Arena, UK
May 21: Birmingham Barclaycard Arena, UK
May 24: Cardiff Motorpoint Arena, UK
May 27: London O2 Arena, UK

Why are all our music venues closing, and what can we do to stop it?

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.