Inverness venue Ironworks shuts doors for the final time

Inverness venue Ironworks shut its doors for the final time yesterday (February 4).

The 1,000 capacity venue was the only purpose-built entertainment venue of its kind in the Scottish city and is set to be demolished after 15 years of operation to make way for a £30million hotel.

Its final weekend was marked with two shows by Scottish bands, with Glasgow’s Twin Atlantic playing on Friday (February 4) and Elephant Sessions headlining the venue’s last-ever show last night (February 5).

Twin Atlantic played the venue 13 times throughout their career, starting with a last minute support slot opening for Biffy Clyro back in 2008. I remember the lights going down the first time we played the Ironworks. No-one had ever heard of us, no-one had any right to be excited that we walking on stage, but we got a reception as if we were the headline band,” frontman Sam McTrusty told the BBC.

“As much as I am sure they were buzzing for Biffy, that little moment basically sparked a career in music for us.”

Twin Atlantic
Twin Atlantic CREDIT: Roberto Ricciuti/Redferns

Photographer Paul Campbell, who had worked at the venue since its beginnings, said its demise would be felt widely. “The end of the Ironworks is not just about the loss of the building, it’s the loss of jobs that go with it.

“For many of the crew and staff it was regular work. With the loss of the venue it means there will be less live music gigs for crew to work on in the area.”

He added: “Over the years the Ironworks has seen some big names on its stage as well as giving a platform to young and upcoming local bands.

“The creative industries and the arts are being hit hard just now, not just from the pandemic but from funding cuts in general. With these cuts comes further job losses for a much wider community.”

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