In 2020, The Empire closed it’s doors for the final time at it’s Far Gosford Street home during the COVID-19 lockdown rules.

The Empire, Far Gosford Street, Coventry

While writing, I always have music blasting across the house. I singing out of tune, dancing around, while making my hundredth coffee of the day. As much as I love my own private rituals, the best thing in life is going to a live show in a venue, ears ringing and hyped up high on notes.

When I moved to Coventry, 12 years ago, the venue go to venue was The Empire. People about how great it was, it had a great atmosphere and great bands performing. I was gutted I missed out on so many great nights out during this time, and now I have the chance to do it! Now I’m in a stronger position and so is the Empire, or should I now say, HMV Empire.

“To have that, that name associated with our venue is simply fantastic. They’re very, very keen to get involved in what’s happening in Coventry, in their centenary year.”

Phil Rooney, Empire Founder

Splitting my time between Coventry and Blackpool, I’m looking forward to is seeing who’s going to be performing. As the HMV Empire is opening, we’ll also be Celebrating Coventry being the UK’s City of Culture, as well as Coventry’s centenary.

Artist Impression of the new HMV Empire, Coventry

The next three years looks to be exciting for the former Empire, with a three-year long partnership with HMV, plus a bigger and better venue under construction. Their first show set for June, it’s time to crank things back up and look forward to what seems to be a great year.

As a music lover, I’m looking forward to seeing what the new venue has to offer, which bands will be performing. The thought of been back in the real world after a year of lockdowns, it’s all to forward to. What could be better than rocking live acts and alcohol to get the your groove on?

Photographs: Emily Tyler

Coventry Empire website:



  • Stuart Lauder

    When it comes to being creative, I will put my hand to everything and learn as much as I can. I love expressing myself in many different ways, whether it’s on paper, through a lens, or in a digital format. From storytelling to film-making, to creating music or designing a game or app I’m a multi-expressionist and I just enjoy working with different people and creating something to be proud of. I may off been in the industry for over 20 years now, but even now, there is always something new to learn, new technology to play with, explore and express myself in a new and challenging way.

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