The Well in Leeds is closing down…again


Back in March while we were on Blogger, we brought you the sad news of the closure of top Leeds gig venue The Well, despite a petition to prevent its closure and subsequent refurbishment to become a pub restaurant despite being situated outside the main bulk of the city centre. What we failed to mention afterwards was that its use as a gig venue was salvaged after Simon and Sharon Holgan stepped in, did the place out a little, and started bringing bands back in. Punters came flooding back, and it seemed The Well was once again a tight operation.

Depressingly, the Joseph’s Well complex owner Mr. Pullan has turned around to the venue’s current tenants and basically said he was decommissioning its use as a gig venue from the end of December onwards. This news has come suddenly, without warning, and almost certainly brings to an end 20 years of history. For good.

An excerpt from the statement from The Well Team can be read below:

“Hi all

It is very unfortunate news that we have to share with you all today. Sadly the Josephs Well building
owner Mr Pullan has chosen to revoke the right to use any part of the property as a concert room or for live music.

Why, after nearly 20 years of live music at The Well, Mr Pullan has decided he’d rather run his Josephs Well office complex without a music venue in the basement, we don’t know.

We have spent the last 6 months investing in the property and rebuilding this amazing live music venue. We are truly and utterly devastated. This is the end of The Well, or at least as you know it. We will be pulling out of business as of the end of December. A new venture may be put in place by another business in the future – but there goal cannot be to use the property as a live music venue. The Well will most likely sit empty or turn into a full time restaurant & public house.

In recent times, The Well hasn’t been in a stronger position as it is now, for someone to come along and take all of our hard work away is a major kick in the teeth.

We’ve explored every avenue to try contest the revocation of live music from the premises, but unfortunately there is nothing anyone can do. So it is a sad day to announce the closure of The Well live music venue in Leeds.”

You can read the statement in full here.

It’s a credit to the Holgans, who took over the venue in March, that they tried to keep live music going in this part of the city which has launched the careers of many a top band to pass through its doors. They put so much time and effort into revamping the venue, and its a shame their hard work is to be wasted as it is confirmed that the UK live music scene has taken a heavy hit here.

We’d like to repeat the call that more needs to be done to protect live music in this country. Sure, there possibly isn’t a lot that can be done to stop this greedy bastard getting his way, but too often we hear of venues going kaput, whether its The Well, or Leeds Rio’s, while others such as The Parish in Huddersfield and the 1 in 12 Club in Bradford have had to fight to stay open in the face of opposition such as safety laws or cannibalisation of the venue’s area by big business types. And that’s just local to us. I’m sure plenty of you can vouch for these sorts of issues, knowing full well that the people weighing us down have no concept of the strength of feeling we have for these places, where careers begin, where we as a community gather, and where we look back on as we reminisce about that show we’ll never forget.

Crowd surfers not club sandwiches!

So once again, We Must Obey sends our best wishes to all involved at The Well and thanks them for the hard work and the memories. Here’s hoping you bounce back in future.

Peter Clegg

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