Somerset’s latest music venue needs a name!
Standing in the shadow of Glastonbury Tor just a few miles away from the legendary Pyramid stage at Pilton, the new venue has been launched at the Somerset Retreat at Ashcott.
Run on behalf of military charity Afghan Heroes, the Retreat has already played host to several musical evenings but founder Denise Harris was determined to create a bigger and better venue for local bands.
“Apart from the obvious event just down the road at Glastonbury we don’t have too many live music venues in the area and judging by the response so far there is plenty of demand for some genuine entertainment all year round.
“Having completed the refurbishment of the bar and restaurant and welcomed our first former services resident to the Retreat it was clear we needed more space to put on live music and so we decided to upgrade the old skittle alley.”
Afghan Heroes has invited people to come up with a snappy name for the new venue with the best suggestion winning the star prize of a slap up meal for two in the Retreat’s critically acclaimed restaurant.
Denise said the charity had already put a great deal of thought into how the venue would operate.
“We said from the beginning we were keen on bringing our local skittle teams home to the Retreat so it was clear we couldn’t simply convert the whole alley just like that.”
Afghan Heroes decided to build a special folding stage at the far end of the skittle alley which can be pushed back against the wall leaving plenty of room for the diamond.
Denise commented: “We are really pleased to be able to run two different activities in the skittle alley as we can then appeal to our well established audience along with new generations of people keen to see the best local bands.
“All we need to do now is find a name for the place!”
The Somerset Retreat offers accommodation for up to half a dozen former services personnel to help them make the sometimes difficult transition back to Civvy Street..
Bumper weekend trade combined with brisk weekday turnover has helped transform the fortunes of the bar and restaurant – which was the subject of a massive refurbishment programme at the end of last year.
The charity has already taken on five full time and seven part-time staff and is actively recruiting additional front of house and waitress staff.