Last year during lockdown, Docks Beers invited the community to celebrate Great Grimsby Day online by sharing drawings, photos, graphics, music, dance and videos which showcased our beautiful town in a positive creative way. To celebrate this year’s Great Grimsby Day, we hosted our first art exhibition called ‘YOU are Great Grimsby’ featuring around 60 pieces submitted 12 months ago, created by many talented local artists and community members. It showcased many great pieces from local schools, photographers, poets, Lego fans, graphic designers, musicians and artists. We even had make up artists using models to present amazing Grimsby themed body and face art, and a local artist taught children how to draw.
Over the course of the two days, over 600 people attended, and for many of them, it was the first time they’d set foot inside the Academy. We’d like to thank everyone who submitted a piece – you helped us showcase how great Grimsby really is. We would also like to say thank you to Dan and Lindsey from the Grimbarians, Dale Mackie and Paint The Town Proud who assisted us getting the exhibition set up. This free event was an overwhelming success so we’ll definitely be doing another art exhibition in the future.
We are set for an exciting period of live music over the next few months. After memorable performances from The Sherlocks, Stereo MCs and The Hoosiers last year, 2022 is going to be the year of non socially-distanced audiences and we’ve already seen 90s brit pop act Space play a sold-out show and Orphan Boy, Grimsby’s much-loved indie band, will headline two further sell-out shows in April. And with Dom Pipkin, October Drift, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, Beans on Toast and Oh My God It’s The Church also coming to Grimsby, it’s going to be the year that puts the Academy firmly on the music venue map! Have a look at our upcoming gigs (link below) and check out our YouTube channel. We have recently uploaded several gig videos. See if you can spot yourself in the crowd and make sure you LIKE and SUBSCRIBE to be the first to see the latest uploads.
Docks Academy isn’t just a place for live music though. The very first performance at the Church was stand-up comedy with Lloyd Griffith and since then we’ve welcomed comedians who are household names including Russell Kane and Rosie Jones, and established the very popular monthly Red Herring Comedy Club which sells out every show. Our night of variety and burlesque dance, ‘Beerlesque’ has also proved immensely popular with each quarterly show selling out months in advance. In January we branched out into theatre for the first time when we had two nights of ‘Bouncers’, the acclaimed John Godber play and our next show features Luke Wright, an award-winning spoken word performer who regularly supports the legendary John Cooper Clark. This will be the first time the Academy has hosted a poet so we are looking forward to another art-form taking centre stage. Over the coming weeks, expect to see an even more varied artistic programme…
It’s been a long journey to make Docks Academy wheelchair accessible. But the venue is moving in the right direction and we’re hopeful that a lift will be installed by the end of 2022. It remains our highest priority to make the venue a safe and accessible space for all. We want to be inclusive for everyone living with a disability – and not just the visible ones. We’d like to thank everyone in the community who have voiced their frustration and thoughts around our accessibility issue – this has provided us with a greater understanding and a foundation to seek greater support and much needed funding. The team is working hard to make this happen.
We’re keenly aware that everyone has missed live music and friends over the last two years. But live music venue isn’t just about the shows – it’s about bringing people together, celebrating that moment, that band, that artist, that song, together. In January the Docks Academy was part of a nationwide campaign to help music fans Come Together and #ReviveLive.
The campaign was organized by Music Venue Trust who teamed up with The National Lottery to help to Revive Live music in grassroots music venues across the UK with a fantastic line up of tours, one off events and special performances by bands and solo artists. And it was all about bringing friends and communities back together!
Docks Academy was lucky enough to be offered a gig with the brilliant Liverpool band, Red Rum Club, who were paid for by the campaign and tickets were also subsidised so Academy customers who played the National Lottery could book one ticket and invite one friend for free. Every ticket, every show – all as a thank you to National Lottery players for supporting the return of grassroots music. We want to say a massive thank you to both National Lottery and MVT for putting on a brilliant show. The Red Rum Club gig was one of the best yet at the Academy and you can see videos of it on our youtube channel.
Finally, we’d like to take the opportunity to thank Arts Council of England for supporting Docks Academy throughout the pandemic. The Cultural Recovery Funding we have received has allowed us to keep the doors of our independent venue open, and continue to deliver a high-calibre of culture and creativity to the people of North East Lincolnshire. Without their financial support, Docks Academy wouldn’t be open today.