The Leadmill raises £11,000 auctioning memorabilia amid coronavirus pandemic

Written by Phoebe Davis

The iconic Leadmill club has raised £11,000 from an online auction of memorabilia to support the venue amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Items sold included a custom guitar signed by the Arctic Monkeys, made from the old Leadmill dancefloor, for £7200.

A coffin that was used to take the lead singer of Royal Blood onstage during their 2014 Halloween show was also sold for £500.

The coffin used to carry Royal Blood lead singer, Mike Kerr, onstage in 2014

Other items included signed posters, photographs from big-name artists such as Biffy Clyro, Greenday and George Ezra. There was even a bottle of Leadmill branded Henderson’s Relish.

Beth Okogba, promotions manager for The Leadmill, said: “The support has been outstanding. It’s been incredible to see how many people support the venue. So many memories have been made here.”

The auction was set up by The Leadmill team when the venue was forced to close following the lockdown in March, before government funding and furlough schemes were announced.

Ms Okogba said: “We wanted to secure some money for the staff through this and make sure the business didn’t collapse.

“Independent venues across the UK may be struggling and not make it out of this so we wanted to give it a good shot.”

But, government funding and the auction will still not cover the costs to keep the club going.

In a bid to raise more funds and secure the club’s future, the Leadmill team are also running live streams of their most popular club nights like their renowned Friday indie night, Everything Now.

Money raised from the streams will be divided equally between supporting the club and the DJ’s performing.

But, Ms Okogba said, the DJ’s have been mostly donating the money they earn directly to charities that are supporting people through the coronavirus pandemic. One DJ donated the money to the NHS ward where his wife works in Sheffield.  

The Leadmill is one of many iconic independent music venues in the UK

This year is the 40th anniversary of the landmark Sheffield club opening in 1980 and Ms Okogba said it was great to be reminded how much the venue means to the community in Sheffield.

“Sometimes we forget as it is where we work and where we see our family everyday, but for some people they have met their partners there.

“You have seen people saying we want to help you get through this and we will throw you a big party at the end.”

Ms Okogba added that the fantastic response to the auction means they will be going through the club’s memorabilia with a view to running another auction.

For those who didn’t get the chance to pick up a slice of Leadmill history this time, there may yet be another chance.  

Written by Phoebe Davis

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