York Music Venue Network in partnership with the University of York and StreetLife presents ‘Archive All Areas - People, Places, Memories & Music’ - an interactive and growing exhibition celebrating music in the city, the people and places within it, and the memories and artefacts we associate with them.
Music venues are the home to our memories, creative hubs and community centres that enable and enrich our lives daily, yet they are often viewed with less importance than other cultural spaces. From the Rialto to Fibbers, the Willow and hundreds more, they have come and gone but their impact upon us lives on in our memories and ephemera.
This exhibition celebrates the region's current and historic venues, the artists, organisers and audiences that use them, and questions how and why we remember them.
Featuring content from the documentary 'So, which band is your boyfriend in?’, interactive displays, and a growing collection to which visitors are encouraged to bring their unique stories and items, Archive All Areas builds on the work of InterMusE, OurPlace and StreetLife’s Willow Community Project to capture York’s rich musical heritage.
There are opportunities to take part in current research. How do we evaluate the importance of grassroots music venues, their engagement, heritage, cultural and financial impact on communities? What can we discover about musical performance in York down through the centuries, and how have historic venues adapted to changing tastes and fashions over time? You can also help us by taking part in research about AI in music; ‘AI, What’s that Sound?' which poses questions about the digital, virtual and AI-enhanced future of music making and gig-going.
With workshops on archiving, merch production, and how to get into this evolving industry, the exhibition will also inspire and promote university research. We also want your views on new heritage trails which focus on the importance of historic music and queer spaces in York.
Chris Sherrington is co-founder of York Music Venue Network, DJ, Lighting Designer and Policy and Strategy Support for the charity Music Venue Trust. He has been promoting clubnights and gigs across York for the last 22 years and before setting up The Fulford Arms with Chris Tuke he worked at a variety of music venues across the city and founded the metropolitan music festival DV8Fest. He is dedicated to supporting music and the places that host it and promoting the creative talents of York. From Gary Numan & The Psychedelic Furs to Bull and The Howl and The Hum he is happiest standing at the back of a venue enjoying the magic of live music and worrying about the next show.
Rachel Cowgill is a Professor in Music at the School of Arts & Creative Technologies, University of York. She is also the University's Research Theme Champion for Creativity and leads the music strand of the StreetLife project, as well as the UK-US AHRC-funded research collaboration InterMusE and its sub-project OurPlace (with Professor Alan Dix of Swansea University's Computational Foundry). Rachel is a cultural-historical musicologist working on histories of live performance and community archiving. She is also a cellist, and advocate of equality, diversity and inclusion in music studies.
Dr Jenn Chubb is a Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of York. Jenn's research focuses on the interplay between science and society. To date, Jenn's work has focused heavily on the role of AI in the creative industries - in her project 'AI, what's that sound?', she explores approaches and public attitudes to the sonic framing of AI in narratives and stories. Her interests also include cultural impact, significance and future of music venues and music making with digital technology. Jenn is a musician, a strings and bass player in York band This House is Haunted. She is an advocate for women in DIY live music.
Suzy Harrison is a musician, photographer and filmmaker who has been involved in York's music scene since 2006. Over the years she has photographed hundreds of bands in local venues, reviewed York gigs, interviewed bands. She was previously the editor of a music webzine called Push to Fire which regularly included bands from York and beyond. Suzy also played trumpet and keys for five years in former ska/punk/reggae band - Copasetics, playing shows at venues including Stereo, The Duchess and Fibbers. Given her own experience in music, in 2014 she set out to make a documentary to share the stories of women and non-binary individuals in the UK's underground DIY music scenes. The result was an independently produced film called 'So, which band is your boyfriend in?'. The documentary looks at the positive aspects of being involved in music, challenges and barriers, and work that's taking place to make a change. She is currently working on a follow up project - a book of interviews and photographs. Alongside the inclusion of the short cut of her documentary within the exhibition, Suzy has also delved into her archives and contributed photographs from gigs in York from 2007 to the present day.
Yorgos Pachos is a White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities doctoral researcher at the Department of Archaeology, University of York in collaboration with the York Music Venue Network. His PhD project concerns the subcultural heritage importance of Grassroots Music Venues in Yorkshire. Previous research has focused on the role of physical space in the collective identity-making of DIY cultural-political spaces in times of lockdown.
As a Researcher for StreetLife, Lizzie Hodgson has delved into York's vibrant history of leisure and entertainment. Her research has focused on the city's ancient coaching inns, enchanting cinemas, and lively dance halls and nightclubs. She has previously worked at the York Mansion House where she developed her knowledge of the civic history of York.
The exhibition runs from 18th March - 20th April, downstairs at Streetlife Hub. It is free to attend and no booking is required. View opening times here.
Information about workshops and how to book those will be available here.