These are just some of the comments from supporters and visitors to the savethePicket site received during the campaign.

Created 13 October 2003
Updated 10 October 2005

Check the Guestbook to see all the comments received during the campaign to save the Picket, sign in with your own.


I’m Colin, I run the dry bar program with the guys from the picket, just wana thank people who are showing us support even though we aren’t actually the picket, and we all feel its lost old and young! Keep up the good work and it will re open, the people will make it reopen!! After all it was the people of Liverpool who won capital of culture not the council!!!!

We miss you Mr Picket


It is vital to keep open a venue such as The Picket, how else can music thrive at grass roots level? It seems very strange that as Capital Of Culture 2008, Liverpool should be putting the future of The Picket in jeopardy, along with the development of it's most famous export: Music.
Jaki Florek

I played The Picket in the early nineties with a band called The Nice Party. I saw many gigs there, too. To the bands that played there and the people who went to see them, the Picket felt like it belong to them. That's what made it different to other venues.
Simon Sheard


I have visited the Picket on lots of occasions and it is part of Liverpool culture.

Being from the other side of the pennines i had never really graced the (flying) picket, and i have got to say that playing there a fortnight ago was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my musical career. thank you for all of the help, and MAY IT CONTINUE!!!!!!!!!!
gash hill


Like many people I have been going to The Picket for years, it is without doubt the most utilised venue in the city for two decades hosting a variety of local/ national and international bands. It will not be missed because it 'just ain't going to close and we all need to make sure of it. A Support The Picket rally needs to be organised NOW.. Goodluck I'll be there.
Joe Farrag

It would be hard to find a band that at some point hasn't had a great gig at the picket, either as performers or as members of the audience. Lets hope other bands and music lovers are not deprived of this facility.
The Quarter


Thank you.
yours eternally grateful, The Majority

The Picket was one of my favourite places in the Pool while I was there as a student in the mid-90's. The gigs were great, the bar was always welcoming and Phil Hayes was a gent whenever we bothered him for interviews and free stuff during our fledgling journo years. Liverpool Now continues to rock the most and despite now living across the water, I always check the line-ups, knowing the festival will unearth a "next big thing." THE PICKET MUST SURVIVE.
Nick Amies


My band have only been playing Live for about four months in Liverpool, and the picket is without doubt the best band venue in Liverpool. Not only did we have our best ever gigg there but the sound engineer (Neil) is spot on. I feel very privelidged to have played the venue and rub shoulders with some fantastic names that have played there. Lets just hope that some young upstart like myself will be able to say the same thing on a few years time.

"We have joined the fight to save the picket, as we believe it to be a very important centre piece to the liverpool music scene, and its culture. Instead of capital of culture, its more 'capital of vulture 's '. We can only hope some good comes from the campaign and the council or whoever see there is a valid reason for keeping the picket as it is, and not some luxury appartments. "


Capital of Culture? Why remove a cultural centrepiece when everyone is looking at Liverpool to lead the way. If Liverpool was awarded City of Sport, would Liverpool FC close down their academy?
Chris Shelley

Had some fine times in the Picket. Shame if it goes. The Picket is liverpools culture and heritage!
The Loft


IIt's typical of every government/council as long as they get money they don't care about what there doing to others. Also like Quiggins there shutin that down to make a shopin place or somthin. We played our second gig in The Picket an it was really amazin. Im happy that i actualy got to play there an want to play there alot more. DO NOT CLOSE THE PICKET

Good Luck,


I went to Uni in Liverpool 78 to 81. There's never been anywhere since like it. As I travel the country supporting 'Penetration' I see how vital to communities it is to have a place like the Picket. It should be supported by European money....... it's a crucial valve in the musical heart of the country.
Richard Jackson

The Picket needs to stay open, for all the new bands who wants a chance for the public to hear them. And more important, the Dry room, where youngsters can learn allsorts like playing the decks.


What's happening to The Picket is another example of the shortsighted, moneygrabbing mindset of the kind of people who care for little else than profit. Resist this closure for the sake of the local people who need this facility.
Mike Doyle

The Picket Is A Brilliant Venue and a much needed place, the day of it's closure would be a sad day so let's not let it come to that.


Hope the world is good to you - all the best for 2004 by the way.

That's the February gig now in our Guide.

Buy online at

At the end of 1982 myself and Phil Hayes had this vision of the Picket and recording studio, to be housed in what had been the Merseyside Police telephone exchange and garage. From the begining it generated much support and people were taken along by our enthusiasm, vision and commitment by supporting the picket and the numerous gigs that we promoted (what a fantastic time). In 2003/4 the year that Liverpool gained European City of Culture 2008, the picket is under threat of closure. Good Luck
John Beddows

I can Categorically say that over the years the Centre has played a role in the Development of Liverpool 's Black community. We at the Granby Toxteth Review support the retention of all grassroots/community venues. Good Luck
Dave Clay
Granby Toxteth Review

The Picket Is A Brilliant Venue and a much needed place, the day of it's closure would be a sad day so let's not let it come to that.

Myself and the band have many fond memories of The Picket and we would like to be able to continue making more memories in the coming years. The Picket is a place where bands can begin to make a difference. take this away from people and there is a piece taken from the heart of the liverpool music scene. All the best to everyone at The Picket.
Colin Creed

Places like the Picket need to exist. Too many decisions that affect us all are made without regard for our opinions -

Good luck. Good to see people making an effort to save something that 's clearly worth saving. Venues like the picket are the lifeblood of the live music scene in this country.

The picket is a well established venue for new bands to showcase there music. My band have not had the chance to play at the picket but would love to in the future, but this may not be possible for us or other up and coming groups. It would be a shame to loose such a venue

I hope you survive. All the members at liverpool's biggest wrestling federation send their best wishes in your fight to stay open.
with love, dme members.

The picket would be a tremenduous loss to Liverpools music scene. As lecturer I have witnessed the benefits to young people using the picket as part of their music course and they will not be able to experience the music industry in the real world outside of the college if this facility is taken away from them. I cannot stress the importance of this enough and Ihope that a rescue package can be achieved

Carol Duerden

I was shocked to hear of the proposed closure of the Picket and its associated activities. My name is Clive Langer and I have been a successful record producer for the last 25 years, working with Madness, Elvis Costello, Lloyd Cole, Dexys Midnight Runners, Hot House Flowers, David Bowie and Bush. My professional musical career began in Hope Street, Liverpool at the Art College with a band called Deaf School. Over the last 15 years my main stream of information about the Liverpool music scene has come through Phil Hayes and the Picket. Whenever I visit Liverpool I go to the Picket to find out about whats happening in the area, and get the news of the latest bands eg. The Coral. It does seem very odd to me that the City of Culture is closing one of it's cultural hotspots. At least from a Londoner's and adopted Scouser's point of view it would feel like there was a huge void of communication between one metropolis and another. Please think! Do not close the Picket, it is a very special place.
Yours sincerely,
Clive Langer.
I can't believe that there's a threat to the Picket. Four years to go to Capital of Culture status and Liverpool seems likely to lose a venue of crucial cultural significance. Please, please, don't do it".
Jimmy McGovern.

Message from Willy Russell
I dont know how or why The Picket is under threat- the complexities of funding bodies, support agencies, boards of management, just ends up leaving me rather baffled and bewildered. However, whatever the conflicting concerns and interests of the various parties, I do sincerely hope that all those involved with and affected by the threatened closure of the Picket will find time to pause and reflect upon (a) the loss of such a unique and valued cultural facility and (b) how such a loss would be perceived and indeed, reported- especially at a time when Liverpool is again firmly in the public gaze- not this time for its problems but rightly, because of its undoubted cultural achievements. Surely those of good will can come together and use their best endeavours to try and find a solution and a way forward. With all good wishes,
Yours sincerely,
Willy Russell.
if you remove the roots of so many peoples cultural beliefs it becomes borderline ethnic cleansing. its all well and good pumping money into shiny new arts centres but without the roots the tree will soon wither and die. even if the picket moved location it would be hard to see it as the same place (if that makes sense?) how about all these famous faces who show support for the picket uniting for a charity single? also,arent there enough names here to show support for a heritage lottery
MR Studio
Sounds like a bag of *** to me, I think local bands should do something to organise one big fund raiser at the venue, something to show the council how much people care about it etc... Feel free to visit our site, and e-mail us with any part that we can play in helping. Good Luck.
Big Dave
This can't happen, since the Lomax shut down we've only the Picket, Zanzibar and Masque left. I used to play The Picket when I was in a band because it was the only way to get valuable exposure, and the staff genuinely helped to get things sounding right for us, their main concern wasn't how many people we'd brought to drink at the bar.
Neil Grant
History repeats itself, first as tragedy (The Cavern 1973), second as farce (The Picket 2003).
Howard Paterson
Keep this venue open there are few enough good live music venues!!
Why shut this place down. Its a really good outlet for local music. Liverpool is meant to be the capital of culture 2008. THATS JUST OVER 4 YEARS AWAY. if it carries on like this (the picket shuts, quiggans goes.....) whats next, the zanzibar?? Heebie jeebies?? THE CAVERN??, there may well be a big chunk of culture missing by 2008. DON'T let it happen!! I'm in a band (xebra) we love the picket, its one of the best tidiest venues in liverpool.
Dave Taylor
During my time in Liverpool the Picket was a really important place to me. More than any other place it defined what Liverpool was about. Not just music either, it was a great place for any sort of event, I remember attending workshops on environmental issues there.
Richard Morris
I just read about this issue on the website and thought I'd drop by to show my support. Pulling down places like The Picket to build luxury apartments is not an act that befits the European capital of culture.
Canada is watching....
Message from Alan Bleasdale.
Liverpool, November 2003.
To Whom It May Concern
Please think very carefully about any decision made with regard to the potential closure of The Picket Music venue and The Pinball Wizard Studio.
As you know this organisation was one of the very few good things to develop and support people in Liverpool in the 1980’s. Wouldn’t there be a cruel irony if this “City of Culture” seemed to be helping to destroy part of the culture of the city?
Not the best of starts leading up to 2008…………
With all Best Wishes Alan Bleasdale.

Message from an ‘Ordinary Person’.

I’m not a famous musician and I never saw one play the Picket. The people I saw there, like the people I used to go with, were just lads from Liverpool out to have a go. I want to tell you what happened to me there. I saw a lad from my class emerge from behind the speaker cabinets where he’d been hiding with his electric guitar. He gazed up in disbelief at the vocalist, swinging upside down from the light rig, as if his dog was making the tea. Then he started to play a bit louder. I think he was realising: if you have a go, you can make things happen. Not necessarily a seven figure recording contract. Maybe just a room of 100 people having a good time. But that can be just as important. It will be a terrible loss if you let the place close.

That was 1993. Pearl Jam were making everyone gruff and wild. Since then I’ve taught university students in communist China. I’ve written about New Labour financing public services through PFI. I’ve interviewed bankers in the City of London. It can be a confusing world at times. But one thing I have learned is that good things are hard to get going. It’s never just a question of putting in the money. There are too many other variables. So when you have a good thing going, you need to look after it. The Picket is a really good thing. It’s not just a place where kids and young adults can find an outlet for their creative potential. It’s somewhere we can learn about how we fit into our city, where this famous culture we have twists and shouts and grows.

The rock stars who’ve come through there are beside the point, even if there have been loads of them. More important are the thousands of others who’ve been across that stage and learned about their own potential, about making people happy, and making sure you’ve got your act together before you stand up in front of a crowd of not necessarily sympathetic punters. Those people have gone off to do a whole world of different things. But they have taken those experiences with them, like a bag of charms, and spread them in small, important ways through the lives of the city and beyond.

To think that it might stop is so sad. Please do everything you can to keep it open,
Yours sincerely, Ben Sills.

We cannot believe that this is being allowed to happen. The picket has been at the forefront of live music in liverpool for ......well, forever! We had cultural vandalism with the cavern before in 1973.have we not learned our lesson from history? We hope it survives as it is one of our most respected cultural icons.without it the live music scene in the city will not be the same.there are entrants onto the live music scene almost daily.they come and go.we cant let that happen to the picket
Bill Heckle
Can't believe they could close the picket down. This was where I saw my first local gig, played many more, where my little brother got into live music at the dry bar nights, and where countless bands i know have recorded demo's. It's a great facility, unmatched in the city, and needs to stay.

Mike - Call to Order
Hi Phil sorry to hear about your possible closure. The Picket was great for giving local bands like ourselves the chance to perform at a well established venue with fantastic facilities and sound system when we first started. We would be interested in being involved with anything you may have planned in order to save The Picket. Good luck Keep the faith

The Clear
Best of luck in your campaign. Community-based music projects are vital for nurturing musical talent for people of all ages, and through that improving the whole mental and cultural health of the community.

Peter Michael Rowan
The closure of the picket must not be allowed to happen. It is one of the most important performing spaces in Liverpool.

Rick Juckes
As a citizen of Liverpool i am deeply saddened at the news that the picket may be closed down. It seems that since the city earned the title of Capital of Culture 2008 the council have been closing down everything that makes the city so cultural. Also as the grandson of one of the people who fought so hard to establish the picket in the 70 's as a place for unemployed people to go to socialise or find ways to make business, i will be well and truly devastated if it was to close down.


The Picket venue has provided so many local bands with gigs over the past 20 years. It would be a great shame to stop giving these bands the opportunity to play infront of other music fans. Please don't close the Picket down.

Ben Volynchook

TThey can't close down the picket, any venue that brings live music to the people is doing a great thing. If it was to be closed it could mean the end of live music in liverpool!!!!!

Mark Goodwin

i think the picket is a really good venue and we have played many good gigs there in the past, i think the venue is gettin kicked in the teeth as we have just won capital of culture 2008 which is meant to make liverpool better, surely closing down the picket is not a good option.
Andy from Ogun

the picket has helped us out before when we needed gigs. There have been many a good band played and will be many a good band play there in the future. It is one of the best venues to play in liverpool


I've been to countless gigs there over the years and it's a disgrace to try close it. Liverpool is a city of tremendous musical importance and the picket is a venue for cultivating new talent.

How can the "Capital of Culture" sustain such a loss to music - IT CAN'T. The picket is unique - people must do everything possible to stop this!

The metal band "Ornament" have played the picket a few times - but as the new guitarist - I haven't yet....

stephen H

The Picket has provided many of my students with an extremely valuable work placement experience for many years. The staff and management recognise the need to nurture and develop the talents of our future administrators, as well as our entertainers. Please don't let this important venue close down.

Drew Li,

Liverpool John Moores Uni

You form a band and then you play your first gig at the Picket, thats the law.
It is absolutly vital that we retain this right for all young and aspiring musicians who arn't ensnared in the karaoke madness of the pop idol phenomenon. This city would be a much poorer place without the good work of Phil and the gang.
On a personal level I've never had anything other than a fantastic show at the old place in both Pele and Amsterdam.
Talk about culture?....time to prove it.

Ian Prowse,


here we go again closing down more of liverpools heritage this should not be allowed to happen by the time 2008 comes round we will not any culture left in liverpool for people to come and see all the best for the campaign dont let this happen

Ian Hughes

BBC Liverpool

Wish I could help financially but just back from big operations & long intensive care

Stan (Liverpool Lullaby) Kelly

The following community based projects have used the studio since Jan 2002:

  • The Chinese Youth Orchestra
  • Hope Street Urban Women’s Project
  • The Transit Drug Rehabilitation Music Project
  • The Greenbank Project
  • The Princess Trust
  • The Everyman theatre
  • The Unity theatre
Please if there is anything you can do to stop the closure of The Picket Venue and Pinball Recording Studio do so now!

Frank Hawkins,


On behalf of myself and the band i would like to say that it would be a disgrace to loose such a great place. The Picket has been great for us to play and as we are there on the 30th October i just hope it ain't gonna be the last time we get to enjoy it. Lets hope the council pull there collective fingers out and do something about it. Capital of Culture eh?

Richie from


man, liverpool needs the picket. it's a great place for bands to get their first gig on a proper set up. i've seen loads and promoted several gigs there over the years. as we win capital of culture, another of the things that ARE our culture is under threat. save the bloody picket

Jules Bennett

The Picket has provided unequalled support to up and coming artists in cutting their live teeth. Virtually every major band to come out of Merseyside in the last two decades has had a start there. It is vital that this unique venue is allowed to continue its crucial role in the local music scene. Liverpool's Capital of Culture triumph was due largely to the city's musical heritage, so to lose one of our major music resources would be a tragedy.

Live Magazine

on behalf of the staff and the young people of interchill ( a young peoples community project in garston) we would like to support your campaign. it is vital that spaces like the picket are maintained. we look forward to continuing to colloborate with the picket for the benefit of all young people - whatever their age. keep the faith.

Steve Waterehouse

Used to work there, played there countless times (once w/a 21 piece group, surely the largest band to ever play there?). i was even at the very first gig there (Come in Tokio and Personal Column).

It would be vandalism to let it go now, after all that's gone on. And all the work that still needs doing...

Phil Hargreaves

I am a professional musician originally from Liverpool and know that the word Liverpool is always linked with music when mentioned to anyone. How can a city of culture allow such a grassroots established live music venue to disappear. Quite simply, it can not let it happen!..........

Good luck to The Picket! don't let live music die, because the cities culture dies with it.

John Reilly

The Picket is a fabulous resource and one that should be thriving, not being threatened. I'm delighted with the forthcoming collaboration with Philharmonic Hall to present concerts in he current aphiliated music season at the Picket - but nearly as "delighted" as I was when celebrating my 40th at the Picket earlier this year !

Long live the Picket ...

Simon Glinn

Liverpool losing the picket shows, again, how short sighted civic 'leaders' are in our city. This place has hosted every 'name' band to come out of our city in the past 15/20 years.

Phil Hayes has help and encouraged literally 100s of bands and has always done so with an eye to tomorrow not the extingencies of today. He knows that someone who is crap today will be better tomorrow and that you can't always tell who is going to be the 'best' so help them all. Big shame if it goes and stupid too

Steve Roberts

This venue MUST Survive! It is the Incubator for new bands, Stepping stone for up and coming bands, and the Welcoming Home for established bands. It is a Live Music Venue, a Theatre, an Exhibition Centre, and an Arts Venue, and is a Multicultural Keystone here in Liverpool, where people meet, learn, and become lifelong Friends. Thank You for 20 years of Enlightenment ! I look forward to the next 20 !

PJ (Paul James)

My brother James and I played our first show as VITO in the picket back in July 1998. Phil and Neil have always been great to us and we'll always appreciate their support. Nowadays we're still gigging as The Players in New York. The Picket means a lot to us and it will be a disaster if it closes. Keep the Picket open and support local talent


We've found it hard to find sensible grown-up disability-friendly venues in Liverpool for our work, until we discovered the Picket - just in time to find it in crisis! Disabled people need music & drama too. New Breed & the Picket can do that, & more - so what's the problem?

New Breed Theatre

The Picket is a unique facility, encouraging young people to participate in creative musical activities. It has contributed to the musical legacies of Liverpool and Merseyside and it would be a tragic loss for the Capital of Culture.

Sean Durney, Sons of Music

The Picket Ltd,
20 Oakbank Road,
Liverpool, L18 1HS.

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