What Happened

The Guardian national newspaper devoted its back page to an article on the Picket campaign on 22nd March 2004

Back page of Guardian 22 March 04

The events that led to relocation


The Council of Management of the Peoples Centre decided formally at its meeting on 22nd October 2003 to 'realise its assets'- i.e. sell its Hardman Street building.

See two ic Liverpool reports HERE and HERE
See a BBC report HERE

The Picket has existed for 20 years, putting on gigs for local bands, providing recording facilities and advice for new bands, and benefit concerts for a wide range of community organisations:

  • See the interview from Move Out magazine and the comments from visitors to this site.
  • Our list of milestones highlights some of the gigs, events and developments that have taken place at the venue over the last two decades.
  • We have a set of photo galleries showing key events.

The decision to sell the Hardman Street building threatened the loss to the people of Liverpool and beyond, of the following:

  • A professional music venue for new and established bands
  • A professional recording studio-'Pinball Wizard'
  • 'Dry Bar' gigs, for under 18's
  • The Liverpool Now annual music festival
  • 20 years of music industry experience.
  • An 'open door' advice service for musicians, bands and the local community
  • Dedicated and professional staff, genuinely committed to the City and people of Liverpool.

Many people in all walks of life were outraged and concerned about this decision and its possible consequences. See the messages from across the U.K. and from as far away as Japan, North America and Australia in our guestbook.

Support for the Picket included the following:

  • FIVE Save the Picket gigs- local bands.
  • MEDIA- the Guardian, the Echo, BBC TV and Radio.
  • CELEBS- from the industry, financial donations.
  • POLITICIANS- Louise Ellman MP raised the issue in the House of Commons debate on Liverpool Capital of Culture. Mike Storey on BBC Radio Merseyside. Department of Culture Media and Sport recognised the value of the Pickets work in statements to the general public.
  • LIVERPOOL PEOPLE- Financial donations for the Ents licence, practical help.
  • ARTS ORGANISATIONS- A wide variety of Arts and Music industry organisations have supported our campaign.


Click HERE for a document listing the numerous bands and acts who have performed at the Picket over the last 20 years put together by Neil Robinson.

Click HERE for the Echo account at icLiverpool.

Images below from the December 2003 savethepicket gig,

Icicle "The City belongs to the People"
Over the river the sunset melts
Across the city rooftops...
Up here on Hardman Street
The romance of the Liverpool night
Flows like mercury...
Rolling down an alleyway
A rhythm comes, a drumbeat,

And the howl of an electric guitar
Dragging you into its dream world...
saving the picket
This is the reason for living tonight
This music, this heartbeat,
This room full of voices,
Song and smoke,
Of wild words, dance and laughter...
And the bright eyes in a hundred heads,
The glimmer of souls, the reason...
For this is what the city means,
This night, this sound, these people.

Jeff Young, December 2003
John Power and Bandit

Click HERE for a gallery of photos by Dave Evans

The Picket has existed for 20 years, putting on gigs for local bands, providing recording facilities and advice for new bands, and benefit concerts for a wide range of community organisations.

The Picket/Peoples Centre is a Grade 2 listed Victorian building, just around the corner from Paul McCartney's LIPA and the Art College John Lennon attended.

The Venue and Studio were opened in 1980's to create some real, positive alternatives to unemployment, heroin and desperation.

Since opening the staff have created a professional live music venue, a community access recording studio, 'Dry Bar' gigs for under 18's, an open door advice service for local bands and musicians and the Liverpool Now; High and Dry Festival.

Back to savethePicket home page


This is an archive of messages in support of the Picket
Look at our
guestbook too.

Message from Pete Townshend

Click picture for message Pete with Pinball speakers

Message from Liverpool Writers

John Fay, (Coronation Street, Clocking Off, Kirkby Response Theatre),
Carmel Morgan, (Coronation Street, Royle Family; Trustee of Liverpool Festival of Comedy),
Roy Boulter, (Brookside, Hollyoaks; former member of The Farm; director of Hurricane Films).
Click picture for message
Liverpool writers

Message from Fran Healey, Travis

Click picture for message Travis at the Manchester Apollo

Message from Phil Hayes

Click picture for message Phil with Damon Albarn

Message from Pete Wylie

Click picture for message Pete Wylie at the Picket


Back to INDEX

Philip Hayes,
The Picket Ltd,
20 Oakbank Road,
Liverpool, L18 1HS.
mobile 07913 853 104
home 0151 733 9067
work0151 708 5318
Email philiphayesmusic@hotmail.co.uk

This site created 06 October 2003
Last update 26 September 2005

webmaster Steve Little
title photograph by Dave Evans

The Picket acknowledges the support of Liverpool City Council,
the Arts Council of England,
Liverpool Culture Company,
the National Foundation for Youth Music.

Guestbook by TheGuestBook.com