Clapham Grand has announced a series of concerts and entertainment shows for the coming weeks as it prepares to officially open its refurbished top tier balcony for the first time in 15 years.
The 1,250-capacity London venue is one of 135 grassroots music venues to receive emergency funding as part of the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund and has raised £50,000 through various other initiatives.
The Grand's top balcony has been closed since Oasis last played the venue 15 years ago and increases its social distancing capacity by 100 to 400.
Musician Frank Turner, who raised £25,000 for the Save The Grand campaign through a livestream gig in June and performed a pilot show at the venue for 200 people in July, will return this Friday, September 18 for a set marking the reopening of the upper circle.
“I’m really happy to be continuing the journey out of lockdown in step with my friends at The Grand," said Turner. "After a fundraising stream and a historic pilot show, it’s great to be back to mark the re-opening up of the upper circle, and a show that is another milestone in the return of live music to the city and the venues that I love.”
We are incredibly proud to announce our first run of shows after lockdown
Ally Wolf, Clapham Grand
Other upcoming shows will see the venue host comedians such as Russell Howard and Jimmy Carr; Drag Superstar and Big Brother winner Courtney Act; UK Drag Race Winner The Vivienne, Baga Chipz, Louise Redknapp and a special screening of Mean Girls. The shows are building blocks to The Grand being able to "reopen consistently and rebuilding its business model to secure a long-term future".
Clapham Grand manager Ally Wolf said: “We are incredibly proud to announce our first run of shows after lockdown, and in the process to reopen our upper circle, which has been closed to customers for 15 years!
“We can’t think of a better way of doing this than by welcoming back Frank Turner to kick things off on the 18th September at our launch party. He’s been an incredible supporter of not just us - but grass roots venues nationwide during lockdown - with his spirit and determination to help our industry survive, playing a huge part in ensuring so many venues are still here today. After helping us raise £25k for Grand Aid - if anyone should be the first live act to play our restored Victorian Variety Hall’s reopening night it should be him!
“It is amazing to be open again - to not only be able to bring our wonderful team back to work, artists and performers back onto our stage - but more importantly audiences back to being entertained, safely of course."
He added: "We were purpose built for entertainment, for providing much needed escapism from everyday life, which is needed now more than ever. We look forward to welcoming everyone back through our doors again, for some very special shows showcasing everything The Clapham Grand is famous for, a palace of modern variety, and above all else fun.”