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We Went To Church

Just over a month ago, Church arose and Leeds went wild.

Students and residents took a collective gasp as the opening of Church, a new arts and music space, erupted all over social media. Previously home to the controversial ‘Halo’ nightclub, the resurrection of a new music space was met with both annoyance and excitement.

However, looking back on what has been an epic month of music and entertainment, Church has well and truly arisen, becoming a popular space in the Leeds scene.

The prelaunch, although faced with a few hiccups, presented firm favourites Circa Waves, along with local Leed’s band, Atlanta House, to an excited crowd. The architecture within the club is truly stunning and unlike any other, with even Kieran Shudall, the headliner’s frontman, announcing how excited he was to be playing in a Church.

BacktoBasics is the weekly club night, bringing big names from the legendary Ibiza club scene to the venue. This week, Fat Boy Slim is set to entertain crowds at a soon-to-be sold out show.

I spoke to Ben Thompson, the Marketing and Promotions manager at Church, about his hopes for the venue and how nightlife within the country has developed.

Obviously, Halo, which was based on the site prior to Church, had a huge reputation. What are your hopes for Church? How do you see the venue developing? What would you like Church to be known for?

“Halo did have a huge reputation as a student venue in Leeds, however our intentions for Church are to create something completely different. We aim to stand out as an arts and events space as opposed to a student venue, we have a wide range of events still to be announced that we hope will cater for everyone and attract people to the city from across the country.” 

Leeds is famed throughout the country for its crazy nightlife and clubbing scene. How do you see Church fitting into that? How will/do you hope it will change/alter the clubbing scene in Leeds/the north?

 “Leeds has always been a great city for its nightlife, with various venues and promoters in the city becoming iconic. We have had a great reaction to our first wave of club events and hope that that people continue to respond well to what we are doing here. Our aims are to support the cities iconic club heritage, whilst also creating a place for new projects to develop. With Church being the home of the countries longest standing club night ‘Back to Basics’ whilst also hosting events in affiliation with some of the biggest clubbing brands in Europe such as ‘Paradise’ & ‘Kaluki’.”

Do you think the closure of Fabric in London has made waves in how people think about clubs? Has it had an effect on the northern club scene?
“The closure of venues such as fabric have definitely had an impact on people’s perceptions of nightlife culture and the club scene, not just in the UK, but internationally. It is always a shame to see iconic institutions such as fabric come to closure, however it is also great to see so many people showing their support for the industry.  We hope that the opening of Church and other venues such as Hidden in Manchester can stand to show there is still positive movements being made to perpetuate clubbing culture in the north.” 
Oh, hi there. Wanna join our club

Words by Saffron Ward

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