The Scene Column: MK11 ready to rock with gigs and wings

Music reporter Vicki McCarthy looks forward to getting back to MK11.

At the time of writing this, we’ve just entered into Lockdown 2.0, I’m hoping by the time you read this we’ll be out of, or almost out of it. We can’t help but be optimistic.

With this positive outlook in mind, before lockdown, I caught up with Simon O’Brien, who co-owns local live music and sports venue MK11, based in Kiln Farm.

Like venues up and down the country, MK11 has been hit hard since March of this year, having had to cancel all events, lose its dedicated staff and see stock worth thousands of pounds go to waste.

Furthermore, MK11 was unfortunately unsuccessful in obtaining a grant from the Cultural Recovery Fund, so
they need our support more than ever when their doors reopen for music events.

When Simon and I spoke, I was looking forward to learning what plans they had in December and January, as the venue tentatively hosts a number of socially distanced gigs. So, what’s on the cards?

“Well, the plan is to reopen with local metallers Raging Speedhorn taking to the stage,” Simon smiled. “After that we hope to entice giggoers to a number of excellent tribute acts. Plus, a gig from MK’s legendary forest of fools.”

These gigs will be seated, people will be spaced apart, and the tickets will be available for matinée and
evening performances. Which allows a lot more people to enjoy the live music, with the restrictions in mind.

Sadly, the usual, delicious MK11 food menu won’t be available, as the kitchen remains closed, but Simon and his brother (and co-owner) Marc will be launching a new venture in the form of a street food truck onsite called Wingmania.

Simon explained, “Building upon the love that the MK11 chicken wings has garnered, we’ve really pushed the boat out with the food truck menu. With an exciting array of choices for chicken lovers, as well as offering some homemade vegan options too.”

Sounds scrummy! Looking ahead, Simon and Marc have booked a number of upcoming gigs, which are on sale now.

Due to the limited numbers, tickets for these matinée and evening shows could sell out fast, so book ahead to secure your seat and help support this fantastic local music venue.

So, I leave the final word to Simon, as we look to the future, what does he think?

“We just want people to come and give these socially distanced gigs a go. Yes, they will be a bit different to how we normally enjoy live music but come and give it a try.

“We’ll be using an app for ordering drinks as another method of keeping you all as safe as possible.

“Lockdown has been hard on everyone. All independent venues – not just us – need your support as we open up to limited numbers. If people don’t use us, they could very well lose us, it could happen to any of your favourite venues.

“So, let’s make the best of what we have!”

Book tickets via facebook.com/mk11music for the following shows:
Friday 11 December – Raging Speedhorn
Saturday 12 December – Simply Floyd (Pink Floyd tribute)
Friday 18 December – forest of fools
Saturday 19 December – Mad Mods and Englishman (Covers)
Sunday 27 December – Fleetingwood Mac (Fleetwood Mac tribute)
Friday 8 January – Wrong Jovi (Bon Jovi tribute)
Friday 16 January – Guns 2 Roses (Guns N’ Roses tribute)

This feature was published in the December 2020 + January 2021 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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