Venue’s fighting spirit

Venue, Bristol and Bath's listing magazine, faces closure

Last week the news broke that Venue, Bristol and Bath’s art and entertainment guide was to close. It was a sad day. The mag, which has been going since 1982, was a must read for many a year and a real agenda-setter. It told you what you should be listening to, watching, reading and just plain enjoying.

And then things started going wrong. People stopped buying it. I have to say, I was one of them. Sorry Venue. There were many reasons, the first being that as a Dad with a young family I wasn’t getting out and about as much as once I was.

But of course, that wasn’t the biggest reason. While I’m a true believer that the Internet won’t kill off print mags, for me it did in this case. I started using the internet to find out what was going on. I even used the Venue website. I suspect a lot of people did so as well. Especially those terrifying types known as the ‘younger generation’.

Then there were a few odd decisions. It’s a weekly listings mag and yet every issue covers two weekends. The result? You only have to buy it every fortnight. So it becomes even less of an essential purchase. Why not have your listings running from Wednesday to Wednesday so it only features one weekend?

Whatever the reason, Venue is about to die a death. Or is it? Today I picked up the latest issue, mainly due to the front cover. Just look at that. Isn’t it fantastic to see a magazine refusing to go quietly? I’ve closed mags before and it’s a torrid time. Usually, you just slip away without fanfare, sloping off to your next job. Venue has decided not to do this. Venue has decided to fight. They are campaigning for readers to save the mag’s skin, to buy subscriptions, to tell the world why loosing Venue would be a bad thing.

Good on ‘em, I say. Will it work? Well, we’ll soon find out, but for now, if you excuse me, I’m going to have a read of the latest issue.

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