And finally… the gig economy
A new project in Leeds is looking to re-live the city’s most iconic live music performances through the Leodis online archive.
Hundreds of tickets which once secured entry to memorable shows by a host of music legends including The Beatles, Elton John and U2 have been collected and displayed on part of the Leeds-focused website.
Gig-goers of all ages are being encouraged to add their own stories to the site in a bid to build a permanent record of what is a key part of Leeds’ often understated musical heritage.
It’s a great idea: such projects provide a timeline not just of cultural growth, but show how the city’s built environment has provided the spaces to bring people together, and how those venues changed purposes over the years.
Among the landmark occasions commemorated in the archive is the night Beatlemania came to Leeds, an event which saw the Fab Four mobbed by fans as they played at The Odeon Theatre on The Headrow
Also in the mix is the ticket (pictured above) to Elton John’s gig at The Queens Hall on 19 June 1984. Formerly a tram and bus depot, the hall then hosted a number of huge events, and hosted the legendary Rocket Man as part of his European Express tour.
One attendee, who has added their story to Leodis, said: “It was the day I finished my O-Level exams, and I went with a school friend who had been given the tickets last minute by somebody who couldn’t go.
“The Queens Hall was a complete dump and got so hot during the gig that condensation rained down on us from the ceiling. Elton was mind-blowingly good. ” This is exactly the kind of on-the-ground, warts-and-all reportage you want from a cultural archive.
Librarians are particularly on the lookout for any tickets to:
- Roundhay Park Concerts including the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and Madonna
- The Who, Live at Leeds, 14 February 1970
- Jimi Hendrix, The Odeon – 5 April 1967
- The Sex Pistols at Leeds Polytechnic – 6 December 1976
- Nirvana, at The Duchess, 25 October 1989
- Oasis, at The Duchess, 12 April 1994
- Tom Jones, at The Brudenell, 31 August, 2021
Have any of those? You can just scan or photograph them, rather than sending them in.
Louise Birch, Leeds Libraries senior librarian, said: “The project came about as I was going through some of my own ticket stubs that I’d collected over the years, and I realised that many venues don’t actually issue physical tickets anymore.
“Leeds has hosted some of the biggest names in music over the years along with a thriving local gig scene and some incredible venues that have become a huge part of the city’s story.
“Every single one of these tickets also represents a unique memory for the person who went to that gig and what we really want is for people to share those memories and experiences and help us build a living, constantly evolving archive of live music in Leeds.”
The archive is free to view online at Leodis.