Hebden Bridge Trades Club had to reschedule 65 shows five times due to pandemic

The Hebden Bridge Trades Club has always been more than just a music venue.

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 11:19 am
Updated Monday, 26th April 2021, 4:00 pm
Mal Campbell, the venue’s promoter
Mal Campbell, the venue’s promoter

When floods devastated the Calder Valley in 2015 and again in 2020, it became a focal point for the clean-up operation, and during its almost 100-year history the building has provided the backdrop for countless political campaigns and fundraising events.

All of which has made the events of the past 12 months even more difficult.

“I remember going in to take down all the posters for the gigs which weren’t going to happen. That’s when it really hit me,” said Mal Campbell, the venue’s promoter for the last decade.

“Normally when there is a crisis this is where people head to, but this time the doors were shut and there’s something very sad about that.”

Like many of the country’s music venues, the 200-capacity Trades Club spends what it earns in ticket receipts and when its income streams were cut off overnight by the pandemic, for a while the future looked uncertain.

“We decided to launch a crowd-funding appeal which was something we had never done before,” added Mr Campbell, who over the last year has rescheduled 65 shows five times.

“In 35 days we raised over £54,000, which was just incredible. It took away the worry of whether we would be able to reopen again, and also showed just how much people love this place.”

The Trades Club, which has also benefitted from money from the Cultural Recovery Fund, hopes to reopen in May with a series of socially distanced shows as well as a number of fundraising events.

“I think this is the first time since I was 12 years old that I’ve not been to one gig in a whole year,” added Mr Campbell.

“The world has been a lot greyer since the pandemic hit, but fingers crossed it is starting to feel like there might be some colour coming back into the world.”