Top UK live venue award for Sheffield’s Leadmill

Taking the lead: The Leadmill celebrates 31 years of being in the music business this year.
Taking the lead: The Leadmill celebrates 31 years of being in the music business this year.
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ONE of Sheffield’s longest-established nightlife destinations – The Leadmill – has been crowned the best live music venue of its size in the UK.

It landed the silverware for Best Venue Teamwork – Major Club at the Live UK Music Business Awards seeing off Nottingham’s Rock City and London’s Koko.

The 31-year-old club gained a coveted reputation for hosting landmark shows by some of the world’s biggest emerging acts down the years, including Oasis, Muse and Coldplay.

It lost some ground when rival venues such as Plug emerged five years ago and more recently the former Roxy nightclub opened as part of the expanding Academy group.

But in the past year particularly The Leadmill has re-established itself as a key address in the north’s touring schedule for many highly rated bands in recent times.

General manager Rupert Dell collected the award during a ceremony at London’s Radisson Blu Portman Hotel.

“We are massively proud to win the most prestigious award in the live music industry,” he said.

“Thanks to all the live music fans who come to the gigs and all the Leadmill staff who work so hard to make every gig special.”

Created by the publisher of LIVE UK – the only magazine dedicated to the companies and individuals behind the business of contemporary live music – the Live Music Business Awards recognise excellence and talent among promoters, venue operators, festival organisers and agents, through to artiste managers, brand impact and record label partnerships. 

The Leadmill’s upsurge in popularity as a live music venue, both with bands and fans, coincided with the return of Rupert to the venue as boss. He had been the main band booker at the venue prior to a spell as a concert promoter.

The Leadmill has previously won awards but this latest one is significant, not least in the face of economic changes that have seen many venues across the country rebrand or close.

“It’s down to public votes,” added Rupert. “We were nominated by music industry peers and then the public voted. The 10 nominees were whittled down to three and we came top.

“I can’t think of another regional venue that’s been going this long. Sheffield should be proud. Here’s to another 31 years of great quality live music at the Leadmill.”

* Sheffield music star Paul Carrack has picked up a Smooth Award for being the most played artist on the Smooth Radio station.

The Crookes-born former Squeeze and Mike & The Mechanics man returns to play a hometown show at Sheffield City Hall on December 17.