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Venue Magazine dated 20-29 April 2007
|Type||Former weekly print magazine|
|Owner(s)||Northcliffe Newspapers Group|
|Publisher||Bristol United Press (BUP)|
|Editor-in-chief||David Higgitt (until May 2012)|
|Ceased publication||2012 (continued in online form)|
Venue was the listings magazine for the Bristol and Bath areas of the UK. It was founded in 1982 by journalists who had been working for another Bristol magazine, Out West, which had been consciously modelled on London's Time Out magazine.
Originally published fortnightly, Venue gained a reputation for the quality and authority of its coverage of the local arts and entertainments scene. It played a leading part in re-establishing Ashton Court Festival and was an early champion of the Bristol Sound in the early 1990s. It continued to play a significant role in nurturing and promoting local art, theatre, film and music until its closure in April 2012. Venue's last editor was the playwright Tom Wainwright.
Venue also had a reputation for investigative reporting of local issues, including health, policing, local politics and environmental matters. Venue also featured humour and satire which many found attractive, but which was occasionally criticised as puerile. Stand-up comedian Mark Watson and comedy scriptwriter Stephen Merchant both worked for Venue when they were younger. Author and reviewer Kim Newman contributed regularly. Another author, Eugene Byrne, one of the magazine's founders, remained involved with it as Consulting Editor until the magazine ceased publication.
In 2000 the company was sold to Bristol United Press (BUP), the company which runs the Bristol Evening Post and Western Daily Press newspapers. BUP in turn was owned by the Northcliffe Newspaper Group, part of the Daily Mail & General Trust group. The takeover by BUP was controversial with many readers, advertisers and staff, particularly because the conservative political outlook of the Daily Mail was very different to that of Venue.
In 2001, Venue magazine started to publish weekly, and, trading as Venue Publishing, the company diversified further in the years after this. It produced a successful controlled circulation lifestyle monthly, Folio (whose closure was announced in March 2013, with the April 2013 edition being its last published issue), as well as several annual guides including Eating Out West, Drinking Out West, Days Out West, a Student Guide for Bristol and Bath and a Festival Guide. Venue Publishing also undertook contract publishing, particularly for large local events such as the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta and the Bristol Harbour Festival. In 2005, Venue Publishing established an in-house design agency, Bang, offering design services to external clients.
The magazine was briefly associated with some other provincial listings magazines in the 1980s like Manchester's City Life, Southampton's Due South Magazine and The List which covers Edinburgh and Glasgow. Only the latter is still publishing.
On 22 February 2011, it was announced that Venue magazine would be closing and that the last issue would be number 962, to be sold on 16 March. Ten days later it was announced that, largely as a result of an enthusiastic public campaign to save Venue, the magazine would continue, albeit in a revised format; it would no longer be a paid-for weekly title - but instead merged with free monthly lifestyle magazine,Folio.
However, little more than a year later a further restructuring meant the end of the magazine in print. On Friday 13 April 2012 it was announced that the Venue title would become online-only with the loss of a number of staff, including publishing director Dave Higgitt. The last Venue monthly edition, number 980, was published in May 2012. Folio magazine continued solo until its last edition, number 219, was published dated April 2013. 
The Weekend 'Powered by Venue'
The Bristol Evening Post ceased its Saturday edition in April 2012. A month later on 25 May 2012, The Post launched a new 64-page lifestyle magazine, given away free with its Friday edition. This magazine carried many of the Venue listings, reviews and entertainment articles and was justifiably entitled The Weekend - Powered by Venue. From issue number 43 of The Weekend (15 March 2013), the 'powered by Venue' strapline was quietly dropped. The distinctive Venue logo continued to be seen in printed format each Wednesday, however, in a section of three or four pages in that day's Bristol edition of the free Metro (British newspaper), the section being headed "WHAT'S ON The week ahead with Venue". The Venue name still continued also on periodic publications such as Venue Festival Guide '13 and Eating Out West 2013/14, the latter title reflecting the title of the magazine's own predecessor.
The Venue website, one of the longest-running commercial websites in the UK, was originally set up in 1995. Since the demise of the printed Venue magazine, the website continues to include event listings, music, theatre and comedy reviews, selected features from the Bristol Post's Weekend supplement, several of the annual guides and includes a popular free personal advertisements section.
Venue Magazine Final Post.
The Venue website was closed by Local World at 11am on Friday November 29, 2013. Venue writers and photographers etc. published an open letter on the site which subsequently went viral and was picked up by Buzzfeed http://www.buzzfeed.com/jimwaterson/venue-magazine-is-closing-its-staff-just-published-a-spectac
- "Bristol's Venue listings magazine to close". BBC News. 22 February 2011. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
- "Bristol's Venue magazine saved from closure". BBC News. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
- "Bristol Evening Post axes more jobs and closes Saturday edition while Venue mag is shut". bristol-business.net. 13 April 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
- http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.venue.co.uk/features/21363-venue-the-last-post Venue: The Last Post
- Some material in this entry comes from an article published in Venue in July 2001 to mark its 500th edition.