Music News

Headliner and Enter Shikari team up to redevelop grassroots venue The Pioneer

Headliner has teamed up with chart-topping British rock band Enter Shikari to launch Headliner Spaces, a joint-venture to revitalise St. Albans grassroots venue The Pioneer.

Originally launched as a charity back in 1941 for young evacuees during World War II, The Pioneer moved to its current site in 1961, becoming a hub for local musical talent with legendary ‘60s rock outfit The Zombies forming at the venue. It is also the site of the UK’s oldest indoor skate park and has gone on to become a regular gigging spot locals Enter Shikari, as well as hosting early gigs by the likes of Gallows, Bring Me The Horizon, and many others.

Headliner Spaces was set up by Headliner and Enter Shikari not only with the aim of reinstating The Pioneer Club as a touring-circuit grassroots venue, but also to have a wider reach into the community and transform the site into a creative and cultural hub. As such, the venue will also accommodate a rehearsal space and world class Dolby Atmos recording studio, as well as providing education, training, and experience for aspiring artists, live music crew and recording technicians.

The venue will also accommodate a rehearsal space and world class Dolby Atmos studio.

Headliner Spaces has already overseen the renovation of the venue (including installation of a new bar – The Suet Yard – in partnership with Signature Brew) and the studio build, with more plans for the near future.

The Pioneer / Headliner Spaces will formally launch on Thursday, September 7 with an event at the venue. Keep an eye on for more details.

To raise further funds for the project, Enter Shikari have also donated some prizes of great historical value for a special charity raffle.

So, if you want to own Chris’s bass or Rou's Kaos Pad, as played in the Sorry You’re Not A Winner and Anything Can Happen… videos, or Rory’s Common Dreads-era Gibson SG (as seen in the Sssnakepit video), all you need to do is enter at the Enter Shikari website.

The Pioneer will provide education, training, and experience for aspiring artists, crew and technicians.

The band have also released a St Albans-themed charity T-shirt, with all proceeds donated to The Pioneer registered charity to support Headliner Spaces and other endeavours. Each shirt sold also counts as one raffle entry.

Earlier this year, Enter Shikari notched up their first ever UK No. 1 album with their seventh record A Kiss For The Whole World. Previously, the group enjoyed five Top 10 LPs: 2007 debut Take to the Skies (4), 2012’s A Flash Flood of Colour (4), 2015 release The Mindsweep (6), 2017’s The Spark (5) and 2020 LP Nothing Is True And Everything Is Possible (2).

Band photo by Paul Harries