Ex-prison becomes pop-up event venue

The former Lancaster Castle prison has been unveiled as a new pop-up events venue – and internationally-renowned DJs have been lined up to kick off the project.

Castle bosses were this week granted a 4am licence extension to host a club night and the two-floor, 450-capacity space will also be used for theatre productions and arts evenings.

Once occupied by convicted criminals, A Wing will be temporarily transformed into a club on the weekend of May 23-25, when Radio 1 DJ Rob Da Bank will top the bill.

A Wing organiser Richard Dyer said: “There’s been nothing like this and it’s a truly unique venue in Europe.

“It’s a chance to experience a venue like never before. It’s got mighty big thick walls so no sound can escape. It’s a temporary event space, which will be used by others for a lot of different types of events. We won’t be disturbing anyone, and there will be a good security presence inside the castle, and last entry will be 10.30pm, with no pass outs after that.

“At the end, we’ll have six of seven security guards on the hill ensuring everyone disperses properly.

“We’ll be promoting the hotels and businesses locally as well.”

Lancaster Castle events manager Francesca Lewis said she had met with Castle Hill residents, who were largely supportive of the event.

She said: “The castle is not becoming a nightclub – we are offering events experiences with performances, theatre and art – it’s not just going to be dance nights.

“We have to look at utilising the castle in as many ways as possible. This is a good thing for Lancaster. People will be staying in hotels, eating in restaurants, shopping in the city and then coming to our events at night so it should bring all-round benefits.”