Ben Hicklin is the Head of Events at Nottingham canal side bar, restaurant and entertainment venue Binks Yard, and he kindly took time out to answer questions about the Binks Yard Sessions…
Thanks for the interview Ben, can you tell us a little bit about Binks Yard?
Launched in September 2022, all-day bar, restaurant, and entertainment venue, Binks Yard, is the first venue to open at 1, The Island Quarter. Named after local Victorian beer retailer Henry Binks, who operated in Nottingham in the late 19th century, the canal-side venue occupies the lower ground floor of the first building at The Island Quarter, one of the UK’s biggest ever regeneration projects.
It offers a wide range of craft beers (including several brewed locally) and cocktails as well as a food menu of tacos, wood-fired pizzas and breakfast dishes crafted by chef patron Laurence Henry.
What is the idea behind the Yard Sessions?
Yard Sessions is a brand-new music night which has been launched in support of East Midlands’ music talent, with performers given 100 percent of ticket sales – a rarity for many music events across the country.
It takes place on the first Thursday of each month on the Binks Yard outdoor terrace, which features our state-of-the art stage and sound system, and the East Midlands’ largest outdoor screen. Yard Sessions is open to any up-and-coming Nottingham or East Midlands-based music act, with all music tastes welcome. We’re really passionate about great music, so Yard Sessions is our way of helping to provide a platform for the many musicians across the county to share their music.
How does Yard Sessions work?
Each night will feature a headliner and two support slots. Tickets will cost £6, with all money from ticket sales given to each of the performing acts at a split of fifty percent to the headliner, and 25 percent to each support act. Doors will open at 7pm, with music running from 8pm until 10pm.
Why did you choose to launch Yard Sessions?
As a musician myself, I know firsthand how hard it can be – especially when starting out. The East Midlands is bursting with lots of fantastic talent, and we wanted to do our bit to support them. As a musician, one of the challenges many face is being able to get paid for their art, with musicians often only receiving a small fraction of ticket sales when performing at many venues. So, we decided to be the change we wanted to see in the industry.
What can people expect for Yard Sessions?
Fantastic music, brilliant food and all-round great vibes. In addition to three fantastic performances, the Yard Session nights will also feature a range of offers across food and drink too. The Binks Smoker will be in action, serving up a selection of tasty smoked meat and non-meat treats, including pulled pork cobs and Binks’ classic and dirty dogs.
Can you explain the experience a musician will have at Yard Sessions?
Each performer will get the chance to perform at Nottingham’s newest outdoor entertainment space where they’ll not only get to take advantage of our top of the range sound system and fantastic stage, but they’ll also get tech support from our brilliant sound and visual team too. All performers will get discounted food and receive 100 percent of ticket sales, with the headline act able to take home a maximum of £1,500 and each support £500 each.
Who do you have on the line-up for the next event?
Our next event will take place on Thursday, June 1 and we have a fantastic line-up. Headlining will be ethereal acoustic folk singer-songwriter, Ellie Stainsby, with indie pop singer-songwriter Josie Beth and folk-punk musician Ben Mark Smith as support acts.
Who is involved in organising this event?
This is an event which has been launched exclusively by Binks Yard.
Will this be a regular event and how do you see the idea developing?
Yes. Yard Sessions will take place during the first Thursday of each month up until September, when it’ll take a break during the winter months.
How can interested musicians make contact?
All musicians looking to perform should email [email protected] with details of their genre, a link to any of their material, and their preferred month for performing.
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