Doncaster venues which staged Arctic Monkeys and Ed Sheeran gigs struggling financially

Bosses running the Dome and the Leopard admit that the ongoing lockdown ban on live music is hitting them financially.

By David Kessen
Thursday, 9th July 2020, 5:00 pm

The Dome, which has hosted big name performers like the 1975 and Ed Sheeran, and the Leopard, whose previous shows have included the Arctic Monkeys, are both run by the Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust, and not been open to hold shows since March.

The Leopard has re-opened as a pub, but is till unable to hold shows, and bosses say they are now waiting to see how Government support will work.

Chris Hone, head of commercial development at its Doncaster Conferences, Catering and Events arm, said: “While we were pleased to be able to open The Leopard last weekend, welcoming customers back in a safe and socially distanced way, the reality is that we are a live music venue and without the ability to showcase local, regional and national musicians we will struggle financially.

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Arctic Monkeys played The Leopard before they were the big name they are now. Picture: Chris Etchells

“We were awarded small venue of the year by the Yorkshire Gig Guide Grassroots awards last year, recognising the integral role The Leopard plays in offering a platform for musicians from across the country to play live to a small audience.

“The Dome has a long history of music, comedy and cultural events and the ability to deliver these events and the secondary spend associated with attending the programme underpins the charitable work the parent company, DCLT, delivers within leisure, sports and physical activity across Doncaster.

“It is a big blow for venues like the Dome not to be able to host events, but we know public safety and the safety of our teams comes first.

“Support for the arts and culture is vital and our town has a thriving community who work in or enjoy participating in these types of activities. It was good to see the Chancellor announce a package of support for the arts. We’re now looking to see what this means for the teams in Doncaster.”

The Leopard pub, West Street, Doncaster

He said they and many other arts groups locally had changed the way that they operate to find new ways to engage with audiences.

During lockdown the Dome has been a base for the humanitarian response to covid-19.

Doncaster Dome.
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