A music venue for teenagers is all set to celebrate its first birthday by launching a new programme of events.
The Venue, which was created by Wigan Youth Zone this time last year to give older teenagers somewhere to go, has joined forces with The Old Courts, which is also celebrating its second birthday, to launch a live music programme which they hope will help nurture the town’s music scene.
The event on Friday will start with a reception for its patrons and their children before The Venue is opened to the public for an evening of live performances.
Taking to the stage will be Katie Rodes, Owen Bolton, The Archives before a headline set from Lyon Road.
The event has been organised by The Venue’s manager Andy Nicholls and Lindsey Holding, an events programmer from The Old Courts.
Andy said: “We are trying to create something where teenagers can come down and have a bit of fun and also learn something while they are down here as well. So there is this new kind of programme that we are initiating as of Friday.
“There is going to be loads of different ideas on the Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and that is where Lindsey has been an absolute star and has put this programme together.
“There are 16 or 17 year olds out there who want venues to perform at but the pubs and the clubs can’t accept them because they are not 18, so I thought what an awesome platform, let’s get them out there to do that, with a view to once they have done a bit here then they can go and play at The Old Courts.
“We’ve done bits before but it wasn’t all the time but Lindsey suggested we have something on a Thursday, a Friday and a Saturday so that every week they know there will be a live band on the Friday, or every Saturday there is some kind of theme with a view them to learning something.
“We feel that having a concrete thing in place we feel that will be awesome because people will know what to expect.”
The new programme will include a live music night on Fridays which will start with an open mic session, followed by live performances and ending with a DJ session from the performers.
Saturdays will alternate music nights, including a cheesy pop night and a metal and punk night and in a few weeks they will launch a series of events on a Thursday night where industry experts and inspirational speakers will be invited to attend.
Thursdays nights will also be themed and will include a fashion pop-up centre, a ports night and a games night.
Lindsey said: “For the launch we will have two young musicians who come to the Youth Zone, Katie and Owen, then we have a band called The Archives on and they actually applied to play at The Old Courts but they are too young. Lyon Road will headline, they are doing really well.
“I have had a few bands get in touch who want to play but they can’t because they are too young. It was always a bit frustrating because they are really good but they couldn’t play so working with The Venue is really good because we can all work together and we can help them.
“I think the thing for us is it is helping the existing bands we’ve had on but it is also nurturing new talent and encouraging people to get stuck in.
“We want them to feel like they have ownership of The Venue as well really. They should feel like it is their place to come and they should feel comfortable.
“If they already have an interest in something we are doing like the fashion or sports events then hopefully it will help them form further what they want to do but in a relaxed, fun environment.”
The birthday event will start at 6pm at The Venue on Parson’s Walk and entry is 50p.