Bedford’s much-loved live music venue, Esquires, has announced that it will be reopening its doors in November, eight months after lockdown.
The socially distanced shows are being announced on their social media platforms today, with the first, by Pearl Handled Revolver, selling out in under two hours.
Capacity of the main stage has reduced from 280 to 60 and tickets are being sold in ‘four people bubbles’ to comply with government guidelines.
In a statement on their social media pages, the Esquires team said, “These past months have been incredibly testing for everyone, not just us.
“It’s been made all the more bearable by the love and support we have felt from the community around the venue and your encouragement.
“We want to see you all again and believe that we can run seated, socially distanced events in a safe and controlled environment.
“Opening back up will help secure the jobs of the staff as furlough ends and we hope it will kick start the road to recovery as we await the decision over our application to the Cultural Recovery Fund from Arts Council England.”
The venue is announcing a run of weekend shows throughout November and December, starting with Bedford-based Pearl Handled Revolver on Friday 6 November and Tom Hingley (former Inspiral Carpets front man) on Saturday 7th.
“The time felt right to try and re-engage with our customers and try and get ourselves back on the horse,” Esquires’ owner, Gareth Barber, told the Bedford Independent.
“It’s been a long, sometimes dark eight months, but having attended some socially distanced shows recently, we feel we can run some quality events, socially distanced and more importantly safely.
“We can’t wait to fire the sound system up again and get back to doing what we do best.”
Due to the nature of the performances, Esquires’ crowdfunder gold and silver cards, along with pledger legend cards will not be able to be used for these socially distanced shows, but the venue confirmed they would come into effect as soon as it returns to a level normality.