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Electric Group boss says he’s not worried about possible boycott of all-new Leadmill venue

By | Published on Monday 18 July 2022

The Leadmill

The boss of live music company Electric Group has again defended his decision to take over the running of The Leadmill in Sheffield after acquiring the building that houses the popular venue, adding that rumours that artists and promoters are set to boycott the space once it’s under new management aren’t true.

The team currently running The Leadmill announced in March that they will basically be evicted when their current lease with The Electric Group – which acquired their building back in 2017 – comes up for renewal. That news has caused controversy within the music community in Sheffield and beyond, though The Electric Group has insisted that the venue will continue pretty much as before, just with a new management team in place.

Electric Group already runs venues in London and Bristol – Electric Brixton and SWX respectively – with a third one opening in Newcastle this autumn. The plan is to make The Leadmill the fourth venue in that network.

Again defending the decision to takeover the running of The Leadmill from the current management team, Electric Group CEO Dominic Madden told local newspaper The Star last week: “I am firmly committed to ensure that the Leadmill continues to thrive and play its part as a leading Sheffield music and arts venue”.

He added: “If you look beyond the headlines and social media campaign orchestrated by Leadmill management, which incorrectly paint me and my team as some faceless corporate group, and check our track record of operating music spaces and the type of work we do, I believe that music fans and stakeholders in the creative sector and wider community in Sheffield should rest assured that the Leadmill premises’ future is in safe hands”.

As for talk about artists and local promoters in Sheffield boycotting the venue once it’s under new management in solitary with the current Leadmill team, Madden went on: “Certainly, my discussions with national and influential local music promoters in Sheffield have given me full confidence that the venue will flourish under our management”.

It’s still not clear whether the venue will be able to continue operating under the name The Leadmill once the new management team is in place, and Madden told The Star that he couldn’t comment on that at this time.

Though the Electric Group started the process of trademarking the brand Electric Sheffield earlier this year, so presumably has a plan in place should it turn out that only the current management team are allowed to use the Leadmill name.