The Square Harlow’s Independent Live Music Venue

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FEBRUARY 2017 – 


JANUARY 2017 –

The Square closed at the end of January 2017. Keys will be collected at the end of February and Circle Housing will bring in the bulldozers shortly after.


Harlow Star report 29th January 2017


NOVEMBER 2016 – 

We are once again an official venue for Independent Venue Week. The national campaign to raise awareness of independent music venues will run from Monday 23rd – Sunday 29th January 2017. Our line ups will be published on the listings page as and when confirmed, but we can proudly announce our first show to go on sale for IVW is with the legendary Eddie & The Hot Rods. Tickets are on sale here.


OCTOBER 2016 – 

On Wednesday 28th September 2016 we received notification that an appeal against Harlow Development Management Committee’s decision to not grant planning permission to Circle Housing had been overturned.

Councillor Danny Purton, portfolio holder for environment has said: “We are disappointed by the Planning Inspector’s decision to grant planning permission to South Anglia (Circle) Housing. We turned down the application for good reasons, not just because of the lack of affordable housing and parking (in Circle’s plan) but because it would result in the loss of The Square. We fought hard to maintain that position and contest the appeal at the Planning Inspector’s hearing in August.”

We share Harlow Council’s disappointment with the decision. We have stated previously that we would support the development plans if they were adjusted to address the issues raised by Harlow’s Development Management Committee, but this is not the case and Circle are offering the town nothing in compensation for the loss of community provision. We are looking to continue talks with Harlow Council, which have been positive, and are working with the Music Venue Trust, a national organisation committed to protecting the UK’s grassroots music venues. We understand there are a lot of concerned members of the community and our aim is to have some positive news and a plan of action to share publicly at an open meeting at The Square on Friday 21st October


JUNE 2016 – 


The Square will reopen on Friday 10th June. This has been made possible thanks to the mass of volunteers who have been in everyday since we announced our plans to reopen. The venue has been transformed as will be the best it ever has been. We look forward to seeing you here!




After a 5 month closure period, The Square is set to reopen at the end of May 2016. SquareOne have made the decision following a period of inactivity at the venue.

SquareOne was issued it’s notice to vacate the premises a year ago and put together a 6 month closure programme. At the 11th hour a 6 month extension was offered by landlords Circle Housing, but the timing meant is was impractical to continue a programme past 2015. It was SquareOne’s intention to be able to secure a new premises for the venue where a long term future could be built, and not to drag out what had been a physically and emotionally straining process.

Whilst work with Harlow Council to secure a new venue is on going, and taking longer than anticipated, SquareOne are aware of the hole that has been left in the community following the closure of The Square. With Harlow Council’s Development Management Committee deeming Circle’s plans for redevelopment of the site unsatisfactory, the building having been sat unused for 5 months, the constant demand from the public for The Square to exist and the need for SquareOne to trade to pay existing bills and avoid personal debt, the right move is to reopen.

This is by no means a long term solution to the ongoing issue, and The Square is far from safe. Circle Housing are appealing the decision and this process could see Circle’s plans approved. We will support their application if it addresses the issues raised by HDC in January. These were an unsatisfactory percentage of affordable housing, lack of car parking provision, and lack of provision for a contribution towards the future of The Square.

The importance of The Square to Harlow has been reflected by the enormous number of people who have taken time to sign petitions, write letters to the council, attend meetings, contact us directly asking what is going on, volunteer to help keep a venue running and the constant stream of social media posts explaining the disappointment at lack of such a venue.

There’s a bit of work to do to get the place back into a fit state for opening, but we’re working around the clock and have a team of volunteers getting their hands dirty.

When SquareOne took over the running of the venue in 2008, we only anticipated a 6 month run. We now hope you’ll join us this summer as we celebrate our 8th year of running an independent music venue.

The story is far from over, so let’s get writing this next chapter.

Adam, Chris, Richard & Steve.
SquareOne Entertainment LLP




On 01st January 2016, at around 3am, we closed our doors for the last time. We want to say a massive thank you to all those who came and celebrated with us. Our performers and DJs – John Power, Gary Powell, Eddie Piller, Ant ‘Scissorkicks’ Chapman, Henri Herbert, Graham McIsaac, Chris ‘Goose’ Gilham, Murray Torkildsen, all the staff who worked and all the staff, performers and punters from the past 35+ years. Thank you. x

We’ll be posting some news regarding our future very soon so please check back.





We’ve been shortlisted in the NME’s ‘Britains Best Small Venue’ campaign. We were voted the best venue in the South East but unfortunately didn’t make the top spot in Britain. Thank you to all who took the time to vote for us.
We have been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by Harlow MP Robert Halfon, recognising small business’ in Harlow




The Square has been at the heart of the Essex live music scene for over 30 years. In 2008 the management of the venue was taken over by ‘SquareOne Entertainment LLP’, formed by a group of local musicians and former staff members from the original venue.Following on from the announcement of Circle Housing’s plans to redevelop the Square site in the near future, SquareOne Entertainment will cease to operate The Square on the current site from late 2015.SquareOne took over the running of the venue following the departure of Essex County Council in July 2008 and their occupancy of the Fourth Avenue building was always intended to be short term, due to the poor condition of the building and the long-term plan to redevelop the site. Accordingly, the short-term lease has been extended several times and in 2012, a longer lease in the current building seemed possible when a proposal to convert the neighbouring YWCA building to residential apartments was considered. Unfortunately, this project was cancelled after renovation of both buildings was fully costed and so the short lease rolled on. Throughout this time, SquareOne Entertainment have been working closely with the landlords, Circle Housing Group and representatives from Harlow Council to identify an alternative location for a live music venue in Harlow. Various options have been proposed so far, including existing, unused buildings in Harlow and completely new developments, so far without meeting our requirements.The Square will continue to function with a full programme of events until final dates are confirmed.



The Square shortlisted for NME Britain’s Best Small Venue award
Plans To Demolish The Square Submitted – May 2015
Eddie Izzard returns to The Square
Development Proposals For The Square
The Square to close in 2015


Billy Lunn (The Subways) Feature
The Ordinary Boys Feature
Nigel Clark (Dodgy) Feature
Attila The Stockbroker Feature
Henri Herbert Feature
Big Country Feature
August Comedy Preview
British Lion Feature
Buzzcocks Feature
King Prawn Feature
DragonForce Feature
Steve Lamacq Feature
Steve Harris (Iron Maiden/British Lion) Feature
Back To Square One Feature
Eddie & The Hot Rods Feature
Giuda Feature
Independent Venue Week
The Subways Feature


Venue Promoter and Business Partner Adam Smith on Harlow’s Hawks Radio. Listen Here

A Steve Lamacq ‘Hall Of Fame.’ Listen To The Feature Here

Ranked 37th on the PRS Top 100 UK Music Venues  for 2011 List. Full List Here

Read a review of The Wildhearts’ show from 3rd July 2003 Here

Listen to The Wildhearts live at The Square Here

Older News Stories:
Harlow Star:
New Lease
Pizza & Politics
LinkFest 2012
Turin Brakes Preview
LinkFest 2012
Dodgy Preview
MacMillan Marathon Fundraiser 2012
Easter Egg Bike Run 2012
Morning Parade Feature
Hank Wangford Preview

Dave Jack’s Wake
Chris Turner Comedy Preview
Simon Bligh Comedy Preview
Chris Lynam Comedy Preview
The Bluetones Preview
Roddy Radiation & The Skabilly Rebels Review
Roddy Radiation & The Skabilly Rebels Preview
Newtown Neurotics ‘Beggars Can Be Choosers’ Show Preview
Tony Law Comedy Preview
Chas Hodges Preview
MacMillan Marathon Fundraiser 2011
Morning Parade Feature 2010 (and video)
The Jim Jones Revue Review 2010
Attila The Stockbroker Anniversary Show Preview
Linkfest 2010 Review
The Revellions Review
Squirrel Skin Slippers Review
SquareOne First Birthday Review
SquareOne First Birthday Preview
The Hot Rats Review
The Damned & The Alarm Preview
Dinosaur Pile Up Review
Roddy Radiation & The Skabilly Rebels Review
Family Tree Launch
Omid Djalili Preview
Steve Diggle (Buzzcocks) + Newtown Neurotics Review
Billy Lunn (The Subways) Solo Preview
Harlow Town Show 2008 Review
SquareOne Opening Night With Wilko Johson Review 2008
SquareOne Opening 2008
SquareOne Deal Secured
Stortbeat Records Feature
Steve Lamacq Backs The Square
The Square To Be Demolished 2007


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