Witch-themed music venue plan for Pendle

A fund-raising campaign to bring a witch-themed music venue to Pendle is taking off.
Spiderwood Farm logo. (s)Spiderwood Farm logo. (s)
Spiderwood Farm logo. (s)

Spiderwood Farm would be a cafe and barn concert venue like no other, according to live music lovers Jon Hanson and Hilary Howard.

The couple, who currently run The Railway pub in Bolton, need £600,000 to make their dream project a reality and are using funding platform Kickstarter to source the money.

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“We knew we would get laughed out of the bank asking for a loan that size and obviously if we managed to reach the target we wouldn’t have to pay anything back,” said Jon.

“We were supposed to be leaving The Railway at the end of January but it’s now looking like the end of March. We didn’t really have a plan for what we were going to do next. I’ve worked in music for years and so I would probably go and be a sound engineer.

“We’ve been here for nearly six years. We’ve worked 16 hours a day, seven days a week and have only had eight days off. It’s been shattering. Spiderwood Farm would be shown the same dedication but it would be different.”

Jon says the cafe would be perfect for walkers, tourists and regulars alike, with home-cooked food made using locally sourced produce.

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The barn concerts would boast a combined seating and standing capacity of 400 – 500 with top quality sound and lighting production and the promise of both big name bands as well as unearthed gems. The Railway has been nominated “Best Small Music Venue” by NME in the past and Jon wants Spiderwood Farm to follow the same live ethos, albeit on a slightly bigger scale.

“I’m involved in the sound, lighting, programming and coding videos, everything to do with the performances at The Railway.

“It is not like going to see a band in a pub, this is a full show.

“People have travelled from all over Europe to gigs here.

“Somebody even came from North Korea one Monday night to watch a gig before flying back the next day.

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“Our standards have always been high and they will continue to be.”

Despite The Railway’s success, Jon said it had been difficult at times with watching live music not exactly a popular pastime in the Bolton area.

He envisages no such problems in Pendle.

“We love the area. It really is the most beautiful place. It’s full of culture and history, people around here love their live music and we think it would be the perfect fit.

“We’ve seen a couple of places but there’s no point in going any further until we have the money.

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“The catchment area is fabulous as well with Nelson, Colne, Burnley, Barnoldswick, Earby, Clitheroe, Skipton, even Lancaster all nearby.

“We’re more than confident people would travel from all over to Spiderwood Farm.

“We will get the big names, the likes of Robert Plant.

“We just need people to have a bit of faith in us. If we do it, it will blow your mind.”

Anybody wanting to support the Spiderwood Farm proposal can visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/spiderwoodfarm/