A TEENAGE music fan fed up with having to travel to Liverpool and Manchester for gigs has launched a petition to open a concert venue in Chester.
City pubs and bars regularly host up-and-coming talent but Rachael Farrington believes Chester desperately needs somewhere bigger and with the potential to attract top names.
She said: “Although many of the wonderful pubs have some great artists performing many of them don’t allow under 18s and if they do most of us feel a bit intimidated so a specialised space for concerts would be much more appealing.”
Rachael, 17, of Cholmondeley, has set up an online petition and hopes to show Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) how much support there would be for a larger venue.
She has already received good luck messages and suggestions of suitable buildings – including the former Gaumont Palace cinema which is now a bingo hall.
Rachael also believes the addition of a music venue could help pump money into the city’s economy.
She said: “When I go to a concert in Manchester I go for the day, do a bit of shopping before then a meal and then go to the venue.
“If Chester had a venue I’d do the same there. Chester is also in a great location to draw people in from nearby rural towns and villages to come and enjoy the culture, shops and dining on offer in the city.
“I’m not trying to take away artists from the pubs around Chester, I’m trying to get some kind of space so bigger bands are encouraged to come and perform.”
Rachael hopes her petition will encourage CWaC to explore the options for a bigger music venue and believes Chester could easily sustain one.
“I think it might take a bit of time to build up a solid reputation in order to attract big artists to use Chester as part of their UK tour.
“I started this not really knowing what I wanted to achieve. I just wanted to tell the council that a lot of people want to have a larger music venue so artists might notice our city and have somewhere to perform if they do.
“What I’m hoping now is the council will just take the time to look into it. I understand such a project is a huge undertaking, you have to think about the huge start-up costs, security, licences, band bookings and ticket sales but perhaps the council could look into sponsorship.
“Chester has a university full of students, countless high schools and a lot more people who would love to see their favourite bands come to Chester.”
l ANYONE who want s to sign the petition should go to cmttpublic. cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?ID=76