Under threat Sheffield venue saved after music fans raise tens of thousands

A popular Sheffield music venue and artists’ hub has been saved from closure thanks to music fans raising tens of thousands of pounds to support it during the lockdown.

Monday, 15th February 2021, 9:38 am

Dryad Works in Parkwood Springs is one of Sheffield’s most popular event spaces, with renowned DJs travelling form afar to perform at its nights.

It also provides space for artists to collaborate and work together, and since its foundation in October 2019 has quickly established itself as a major part of Sheffield’s independent and DIY music scene.

However, less than two years after it opened, consecutive lockdowns blighted the venue and left it unable to open its doors. The lack of income, coupled with ongoing cost of overheads, meant it faced permenant closure.

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Joe (top right) and others at Dryad Works when it was lit up red in August. Photo by Rhys Belding/Blueshift Studios

It was one of the thirty venues placed on the Music Venue Trust’s ‘at risk’ list along with fellow Sheffield live music and studio space Plot 22.

Yesterday, (February 11), founder Joe Taylor announced that thanks to the efforts of fans of the venue more than £40,000 has been raised to secure the future of Dryad Works.

Joe said: “Over the last year it's been a very long and emotional journey for everyone involved with the venue but this crowdfunder and the support and commitment we've had from the local community and the wider UK music community is without a doubt the most amazing and inspiring thing we have ever witnessed.

Dryad Works in Parkwood Springs. Photo by Eddy Highton.

“We take great pride in what we do here at Dryad Works and our DIY ethos has meant we've regularly took on tasks ourselves and got stuck in.

“What we have found during this campaign is that the public and those who are passionate about their nightlife and the culture of their city also have a wonderful DIY ethos as they have really took it upon themselves to get stuck in and fight for their venue.

“We cannot begin to express our gratitude and thanks to all the supporters and donations from across the world and we are absolutely blow away by achieving our target with just one day to go.

“The amount of support we've had from Sheffield City Council is also something we would like to specifically mention and without that, our story today would not be one of survival."It goes without saying that The Music Venue Trust and Crowdfunder have been absolutely crucial throughout our journey and the teams over there have been working round the clock to ensure every venue, including ours is secure and can reopen safely in future.

Joe Taylor (left) with Dryad Works staff.

“From everyone here at Dryad Works we thank you from the very bottom of our hearts and hope to continue a bright and secure future at our 'home on the hill' in Parkwood Springs for many more years to come.”

The crowdfunder is still active until the 31st of March, giving you a chance to support the venue and get merchandise in return.

Dryad Works now has a new target of £50,000, which will help them adapt and develop into a future proof Grassroots Music Venue. Head here to donate.

Dryad Works in Parkwood Springs. Photo by Eddy Highton.

The fundraising campaign followed a number of other Music Venue Trust events, including the #LightItInRed campaign last August. This event saw at risk venues bathed in red light to highlight the crisis the music industry faces.

Joe and the Dryad Works team have also worked to promote safe nightlife and parties, working with police to prevent illegal raves during lockdown.