Documentary tells the tale of another threatened music venue, as part of Manchester Film Festival
This week, Antwerp Mansion announced it would be forced to close by the council, immediately prompting a petition to save the cult Rusholme nightclub.
It wouldn’t be the only music venue to shut up shop of late: recent years have seen the demise of Sankeys, Sound Control and Venus - reflecting a national decline of music locales owing to factors like societal changes, aggressive development and financial woes.
The Star and Garter is another institution under threat. In 2013, the government announced plans to extend and improve the North of England's rail system, which included expanding Manchester Piccadilly Station - beside which ‘the Star’ sits. The expansion would force the closure of the venue forever.
Initially tipped to begin in 2016, the ‘Northern Hub’ project is still to materialise, yet the venue has suffered with declining custom ever since. After all, who wants to frequent somewhere that’s soon to close?
Network Rail eventually chose to save the venue, but with major works on the station and at Mayfield set to envelop The Star for many years, its future looks uncertain.
Now, as it remains in limbo, an independent documentary telling the story of the Star has been selected to screen at Manchester Film Festival (MANIFF) - courtesy of filmmaker friends Adam Farkas and Alec Herron who, for two years, have explored what it means to run, attend and love an independent music venue with the threat of closure hanging over its head.
The Music Stops Here - the story of the Star and Garter will screen during MANIFF’s Documentary Shorts 2 event on Friday 2nd March at 8.25pm and is competing for the ‘Best Documentary Short’ festival award.
The Star has hosted some of the city's most iconic club nights and concerts since the late 1980s, including the world-famous Smiths and Morrissey Disco and quite possibly (probably) the first ever indie-disco, Smile. It is, as landlord Andy puts it, "the last truly independent music venue anyone will ever know in Manchester."
Tickets for the Documentary Shorts 2 event are available from the Manchester Film Festival website at £6: maniff.com/documentaries-2018.