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MJR acknowledges problems as Sheffield’s Plug avoids closure

24 July 2019

FOLLOWING THE MJR Group’s closure of 1,000-capacity The Assembly in Leamington Spa last month, which came amid concerns about the company’s late payments to promoters and suppliers (see LIVE UK issue 233), a second venue, Plug (1,200) in Sheffield, has suddenly closed.

Operated by MJR Group subsidiary Alchemy Plug Ltd, based in Bristol, the filing of Plug’s accounts for the year-ending 31 July 2018 are overdue and the company is in danger of being struck-off the register at Companies House,

However, MJR says Plug will shortly reopen, after an agreement was reached with the landlord.

Commenting exclusively to LIVE UK, MJR founder and principle owner Richard Buck says the company has worked through cashflow issues brought about, in part, by Fast & Furious Live entering administration at a time when it owed “a considerable” amount of money to MJR.

“This, coupled with commitments to other investments, regrettably had a knock-on effect, meaning it took longer than we would have liked to action payments,” says Buck.

He says MJR is grateful for the patience of those affected, which he says has enabled the company to reduce “outstanding monies back to a normal level”.

Earlier this month a “notice of peaceable re-entry” was placed outside the three-room Plug by its landlord, saying, “The landlord of the premises has today re-entered the premises under the re-entry provisions in the lease and the lease is now forfeit.”

The notice was then removed, with Buck telling LIVE UK,  “We are unable to comment further as we are currently resolving the situation. Shows will continue as advertised and we look forward to continuing the venue within Sheffield’s vibrant music scene.”

Themed on the wiring of the electrical fitting, Plug’s rooms are named Live, Earth and Neutral, with Prodigy and Patti Smith among acts to have performed there.

Shows listed on the venue’s website, and for which tickets remained on sale as LIVE UK went to print, include Ride in November and a handful of tribute acts.

Meanwhile, on a more positive note, Buck says MJR will begin programming live events at The Warehouse (1,000) in Leeds, Switch in Southampton (1,500), and plans to open a new venue in Birmingham later this year.

The company has also acquired theatrical production company Imagine This and entered into a two-year partnership to promote touring exhibition Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.

MJR had previously worked with Imagine This on a four-month run of the show Rip It Up at London’s Garrick Theatre (cap, 732). A Rip It Up – The 70s incarnation of the show will begin a UK tour in September.

“We are committed to the industry,” says Buck. “Trade has remained strong throughout and we are looking confidently towards to the future.”

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