“One of Liverpool’s most famous music names will be at the heart of a
cultural quarter, which opens next month. The Picket has finally found a
new home after a two-year search. When the £1.5m Jamaica Street venue opens
on May 27 the Picket will be the base for a new culture zone in the city.
The area, recently named the Independent District, is being developed into
an event and festival site in the run-up to 2008 by organisation Love
Culture, working with the Picket and with support from city officials.
The original Picket in Hardman Street closed two years ago because of
debts. A Save the Picket campaign supported by names including Sir Paul
McCartney, the late John Peel and Joe Strummer, Elvis Costello, Pete
Townsend and Paul Weller failed, and the site is being redeveloped.
A licence has been granted for the new venue in an old printer’s in Jordan
Street, near the River Mersey.
Liverpool legends Deaf School have reformed to headline the official
opening event on Saturday 27th May, with support from brand new
local band The CB’s and DJ Stormin’ ‘the Cat’ Normin’.
Picket founder Philip Hayes said: “The past 12 monthshave been up and down.
We’ve found the availability of space in the city is limited; luxury
apartments are occupying lots of it. Long term we’d like the area to become
a locality for indigenous cultural organisations, we’re working with Love
Culture and the City council on that idea. We’d like to get the area
ring-fenced for local organisations and festivals. Our plan, which is being
well-received, would create a positive cultural legacy for the city and
would go a long way to addressing concerns that Capital of Culture has
become about property and investment in apartments.”
Jayne Casey, director of Love Culture, said: “The opening night represents
a milestone in our long journey, and a significant moment of opportunity
for a whole new generation of musicians and independent music promoters
who plan to make the Picket and the Independent District their own.”
Elvis Costello said: “It’s great to see the Picket back on the Liverpool
scene. It deserves your love and support, whether you’re in the
corridors of power or just walking in the door with a guitar in your hand.”
Liverpool City Council leader Warren Bradley, who has been in discussions
over the development of a new cultural quarter, added: “It’s great news for
Liverpool that the Picket is to reopen.