Corn Exchange Hertford

We have heard a lot about music venues closing in the last few years. Before COVID, many venues were finding themselves under financial threat or due to unscrupulous developers building flats nearby and applying for noise orders. During the pandemic, they have faced unprecedented pressures, with a number sadly closing. So it is something to celebrate when a new venue (re)opens backed by an established team who have the expertise to make the venue work. In this case the team behind The Horn in St Albans, Adrian Bell and James McLaughlin and promoter Luke Hinton of Juicebox Live.

Corn Exchange Hertford

The opening party featured local singer/songwriter Ed Tattersall and covers band The Maida Vales and showcased the the kind of music that will be on offer. With plans to promote a mix of new music, local bands and covers bands. The formula works well for the Horn. The packed covers shows helping subsidise slower nights.

Personally, I wasn’t too bothered about seeing a covers band and left after a few songs. Ed on the other hand, I think is a great local musician and a really good choice for the opening night. But the night wasn’t really about music, it was about celebrating the venue and it was great to see so many locals coming out for the reopening. There had been rumours the building was going to be converted into flats. But the landlord decided to keep the building as a music venue. It was great to see so many enjoying the evening. This is what we missed when we were stuck in our houses last year.

For reopening, there has been a lot of work upgrading the venue. A new bar has been installed and it was great to see the Music Venue Trust lager on tap. The stage has been reworked with great new sound and lights. The stage is big enough to host larger bands that would struggle to fit on the Horn’s stage. As ‘Down At The Front’, the stage is a bit high for ‘down at the front’ photography. But it means there are great sight lines throughout the venue which is more important.

With such an established promotion team. I am certain the Corn Exchange will become an important venue for Hertfordshire’s music scene. Chatting to Luke last week, he mentioned there is potential to increase the capacity of the venue which would make it an attractive venue for established bands who might bypass the smaller Horn. With Dreadzone, The Wedding Present and Buzzocks booked in already. I am sure mid-sized new indie bands will be encouraged to come to Hertford. Very exciting times for Hertfordshire’s music scene.

Upcoming highlights

  • 11th February – Dreadzone
  • 18th February – Nubiyan Twist
  • 19th March – Trash Boat
  • 25th March – Buzzcocks
  • 16th April – The Wedding Present
  • 7th October – The South