Sheffield musicians and promoters stress need for supporting independent music venues

“The venue may have come to an end, but the memories will live on” was the muchloved pub and music venue, the Harley’s final message when it was forced to announce immediate closure earlier this month. The memories they speak of are graced with big names like Helena Hauff and Artwork, along with numerous smaller gigs and midweek events which have been appreciated by its many visitors over the years. 

The pub, club, hotel and restaurant said its immediate closure was down to mounting financial pressures which meant the business was no longer viable, surprising many Sheffield music fans and musicians.

The closure has now sparked a call for further support of independent music venues by some of Sheffield’s musicians and event organisers.

Barnaby Dulley, chair of Sheffield Reggae Society and wellknown face on the Sheffield music scene spoke of the value of taking the Harleys closure as a reminder of the importance of supporting local music venues, he said: “Independent venues are vital for the scene, music is best experienced live and a lot of genres require smaller venues that are willing to put on an event for perhaps smaller crowds. They help stimulate the scene. 

Smaller venues like the Harley have been vital to not only supporting musicians but also bringing fresh faces onto the scene. The frontman of the DJ collaboration, Steel Selektions, Ollie Parker said: “The Harley was great because it allowed us to put on events with extremely low overheads, which is obviously crucial to small promoters with no money. 

We need these small to midcapacity venues more around Sheffield as they provide an intimate setting but still allow us to sell a fair few tickets.” 

With the loss of the Harley has come the opening of a new venue, Dryad Works in Parkwood Road, Sheffield. Chimpo and Spooky were among the first DJ’s to perform at the venue’s first night last Thursday. 


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