Socially distanced shows sell out as Esquires prepares for reopening
Members of acts including Levellers, Inspiral Carpets, Terrorvision and Bluetones are all set to play headline gigs.
Esquires will reopen its doors next week with its first gig since lockdown in March with dozens of sold out shows between now and the end of the year.
The Bedford venue has been preparing for reopening on Friday, November 6 and most of its socially distanced gigs sold out within hours of going on sale.
In the run-in to the end of the year, acts including Tom Hingley (Inspiral Carpets), Mark Morriss (Bluetones), Tony Wright (Terrorvision), Dave McPherson (InMe) and Mark Chadwick (Levellers) will all be headlining gigs.
Next Friday, Pearl Handled Revolver will headline.
Esquires owner Gareth Barber said: “We can't wait to open the doors again and get the sound system fired back up, it's been far too long.
“We've made some major changes to the building with the support of everyone through the Crowdfunder and can't wait for our customers to see them.”
Because of Government social distancing regulations, venues which have started to invite fans back inside have had to cut their capacity.
While the main room in Esquires can usually hold 270, for its socially distanced gigs this will be cut to 60 with fans seated.
As a result of this reduced capacity, many of the shows have sold out almost immediately after having gone on sale.
Mr Barber added: “So many of the shows sold out so quickly, we were taken aback.
“I just want to say a thank you to everyone who's bought tickets to these socially distanced events.
“Yes, it's going to be a little different for a while, but we are embracing it and pushing forward in the knowledge we have made the venue a safe space and have managed to book some quality artists in too.”
Earlier this month, Esquires was awarded more than £170,000 as part of the Government’s Cultural Recovery Grant Scheme. It also raised more than £50,000 through donations during its Crowdfunder appeal.
All of the money will help pay towards the impact of months of closure, ongoing costs and offset lost revenue caused by smaller capacities.
Don Broco were due to play a hometown gig at Esquires in November as part of the venue’s fundraising campaign. However, this gig is now due to take place next year with a date still to be confirmed.
Socially distanced gigs at Bedford Esquires between now and the end of 2020:
Friday, November 6 - Pearl Handled Revolver - SOLD OUT
Saturday, November 7 - Tom Hingley (Inspiral Carpets) - SOLD OUT
Sunday, November 8 - Vintage Stuff - SOLD OUT
Friday, November 13 - The Smyths - SOLD OUT
Saturday, November 14 - Mark Morriss (The Bluetones) - SOLD OUT
Thursday, November 19 - The Ouse Valley Singles Club - SOLD OUT
Friday, November 20 - The Ouse Valley Singles Club - SOLD OUT
Wednesday, November 25 - Tony Wright – Terrorvision
Friday, November 27 - Nigel Clark (Dodgy)
Saturday, November 28 - Kirk Brandon (Spear Of Destiny/Theatre Of Hate) - SOLD OUT
Friday, December 4 - Dave McPherson (InMe) + Basement Strippers
Saturday, December 5 - Adam James Urwin + Banton – Socially Distanced matinee show
Saturday, December 5 - Adam James Urwin + Banton - Socially Distanced evening show - SOLD OUT
Thursday, December 10 - Mark Chadwick (Levellers)
Friday, December 11 - Mark Chadwick (Levellers) - SOLD OUT
Thursday, December 17 - Ferocious Dog - SOLD OUT
Friday, December 18 - The Smyths - SOLD OUT