A new live music and special events venue is being launched in Birmingham aiming to bring big-name acts to the city and a broad mix of great entertainment.
The Hub opens officially on April 5 with an exclusive DJ set from chart-topping JLS followed by an after-show party.
Acts including reggae legends Aswad, the Drifters, SKA legends Bad Manners and the fantastic Three Degrees as well as a series of UK number one tribute bands are also lined up.
Brothers Lawrence and Darren Barton, the Birmingham businessman behind The Hub, said one of the plans behind the new venue was aimed at the “forgotten generation” – people in their late-20s through to people in their 60s who enjoy the occasional night out but are short of choice in the city.
Lawrence Barton said: “The aim is to provide a dynamic new music venue which offers a broad cross-section of affordable live music to appeal to a mix of age groups and music genres on a regular basis, using a great space for live entertainment.
”It will be based in our Nightingale Club on Fridays where we have identified a gap in the market for a greater cross-section of live music and entertainment for anyone who wants to hear great live bands.”
Mr Barton, who already runs the Loft Lounge, Penthouse and Village Inn venues in Southside, took over the historic venue two years ago and has since seen the numbers of people using at the gay venue at weekends increase.
Darren Barton added: “We were talking about what was missing in the market and there is nothing really like this in Birmingham,” he said. “We are thinking about people who probably only want to go out three or four times a year, which is why the offer needs to be so diverse.
“It won’t always be the same people – those who come for a ska night might not come for a soul night – but there are a lot of people who will. There will be different genres all the time.”
The team at The Hub is currently working on securing some big names for the remainder of 2013 and 2014 and is also very keen to provide a platform for new, break-through musicians in the Midlands as part of the exploding B-town scene.
Simon Baker, Hub events co-ordinator, said: “Essex House, in Kent Street, home of the Hub, has superb staging facilities, a state-of-the-art sound and lighting rig, numerous bars, and large outdoor smoking areas on every floor.
“And the new venue is just two minutes away from secure parking, as well as having handy transport links, being close to the Midlands motorway network and just a few hundred yards from Birmingham New Street Station.
“It also provides a fantastic, contemporary space for promoters with a passion for music, fashion and urban living.
“The Hub offers a unique environment for live music in the city and because of its layout and venue size the Hub is able to give that special intimate connection between artist and audience, and yet is also big enough to generate some wild and crazy energy levels from the crowd. It’ll be a dynamic place to catch a live gig.”
The Hub will open to music fans on Friday nights as well as providing a mid-week venue for live bands. The rest of the week the venue returns to The Nightingale, Birmingham’s biggest gay super club.
Lawrence Barton, who sits on the board of Southside BID, said while having a strong gay offer, the area attracted people from all walks of life and there were opportunities to increase footfall.
He said: “There are an awful lot of people that come around here – going to the Hippodrome and the restaurants, but don’t come here. There is good parking and great facilities and places to eat around here, so we have a lot to give. Hopefully this is an opportunity for an audience that wouldn’t usually to start coming to Southside and see how much is has to offer.”