Down a sloping street radiating off from Wakefield’s Westgate Road, Venue 23 is an independently run live music venue, recently taken over by new management after its original incarnation, Warehouse 23, closed its doors during the pandemic. It’s an unassuming, single-storey building, with gig posters dotted along the front wall. Inside, this 850 capacity venue has an industrial vibe, and is the ideal setting for cutting-edge local and international talent. The venue has, in years gone by, played host to high-profile gigs from hugely popular bands and artists; Joy Division, Kasabian, Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr and New Order founder Peter Hook have all graced its stage.
The takeover of the venue is a huge win for the city’s music scene, with the new management planning to modernise both the physical venue and its approach to programming: “It’s not just going to be about one genre. There’s going to be pop bands, unsigned bands and events. We’ll have indie nights, student nights, rock nights and a retro night, which Wakefield’s not had for many years.”
The gig venue is incredibly well situated, just a five-minute walk from Wakefield’s Westgate station and close to other major cultural draws in the city – including Neon Workshops, home to a gallery, shop and incredible courses in neon, The Theatre Royal Wakefield, dating back to 1894 and host to shows for families, fans of music, drama, comedy and more, and the Gissing Centre, childhood home of overlooked Victorian novelist George Gissing.
We look forward to seeing what the future holds for this great venue.