THE OWNERS of a new live music venue in Ayr can’t wait for the day the familiar sound of gigs return – and would love to be chosen for a test event.

Venue 38 is the new club which has replaced Madisons, which has been refurbished to take shape into a new all-purpose spot for bands to


Ayr Advertiser:

Club boss James Bunten, 55, has an ambitious vision to turn the Carrick Street premises into a gig space Ayr can be proud of.

He wants Venue 38 on the circuit for upcoming bands, making it the King Tut’s of Ayr, but in the year where coronavirus has put an end to indoor gigs, these plans will be put on hold.

James told the Advertiser: “It’s frustrating right now because you can really see the potential here.

“We have the ability to hold up to 800 people for gigs. This could put Ayr on the map for live music.

“We’ve increased the seating we’ve put tables in for the first time.

“We’ve got a huge light system, a new PA, there is going to be lighting desk and a mixing desk, with plans to get a sound engineer on board.

Ayr Advertiser:

“We want to promote grass roots music, the start-ups, the bands who don’t have access to a PA system like this.

“We can give them that platform.

James bought the club with his partner Tracey McGregor at the start of the year, and admits he was close to “jumping over the viaduct” when he had to cancel more than 40 gigs.

Ayr Advertiser:

The pair managed to squeeze just six weekends out of their investment with promising early signs as bands lined up to play and a singing competition was a success.

Now he is left waiting for government guidelines to change to allow gigs to go ahead.

And the musician can’t understand how stripped back acoustic gigs can’t be possible whilst pubs are allowed to remain open.

James said: “We’re a member of the Music Venue Trust. I’ve been a musician all of my days and still playing. There is a real sense of frustration at the moment.

“We have worked out that with 120 people we could be completely socially distant within the guidelines.

Ayr Advertiser:

“If it would be allowed we would be up for being a test event.

“There are hundreds of

musicians who aren’t getting anything right now.

“They are just sitting in the house and they have had no help.”

But defiant James says he is ready and prepared to see Venue 38 take off.

He added: “We just can’t wait to get back up and running.

“It’s going to be tough but we’re not the only venue with these issues.”