The Sands Centre might be closed but Carlisle’s entertainment scene is still thriving.
The city’s leisure and entertainment venue reopens until the end of September as it undergoes the last stage of its £27m redevelopment.
In the meantime, there’s no lack of events going on, whatever your taste.
Gig-goers can get their musical fix at The Old Fire Station on Peter Street with a host of concerts and shows in September.
They kick off with The Smiths Ltd on September 9, billed as ‘the ultimate tribute’ to Morrissey, Marr and co.
Perhaps the pick of the bunch comes the following night when Glenn Tilbrook, who with Chris Difford was one half of the legendary songwriter duo behind Squeeze, brings his solo tour to Carlisle.
Other highlights include comedian Carl Hutchinson on September 15 – last few tickets remaining for this one – The Commitments, featuring Dave Finnegan from the original 1991 film, and the spectacular Daniel Martinez Flamenco Company on September 29.
Will Morgan of The Old Fire Station said: “The range of events going on in the city is fantastic, even with the Sands temporarily closed, and we’re proud to be an integral part of making that happen.
“We hold over 200 music gigs and comedy shows every year so there’s something for everyone. Visit www.ofscarlisle.co.uk to find out more or to book.”
Elsewhere, Tullie House is always worth a visit with ongoing exhibitions The Pre-Raphaelites: Women In The Picture and Black Memories Matter.
On September 6, retired teacher turned author Mike Routledge gives his ‘The Misadventures of an Ordinary Man’ lunchtime talk ahead of the publication next April of his guide to accessible walks in the Lakes.
There will be more art on display around the corner at PR firm Intro’s base on Paternoster Row which hosts a pop-up solo exhibition of oil paintings called ‘It’s About Time’ by artist Gabrielle Sanderson from September 9 to 18.
A few yards away, Carlisle Cathedral, celebrating its 900th anniversary this year, has its own arts exhibition, Synergy, featuring works by the Carlisle Contemporary Arts group in the Fratry Hall until September 8.
On September 17 the cathedral welcomes crime authors Stuart MacBride and M W Craven to discuss their latest novels.
There’s also a literary event at nearby Cakes and Ales with The Tipsy Filly Book Club with actress and writer Tracy Whitwell on September 9.
The iconic Green Room Club hosts long-serving folk group The Houghton Weavers on September 10 and then stages Two’s Company, a new comedy drama by Gillian Duffy, on the 17th.
Back to the city’s gig scene, indie-folk artist Melanie Baker, who’s from the Lakes, brings her Covid-delayed show to The Source Collective in Denton Holme on September 12, followed five days later by alt rock duo Sustinere.
Stephen Higgs, portfolio holder for culture, heritage and leisure at Carlisle City Council, said: “The work on The Sands Centre redevelopment is progressing well and is scheduled for completion this autumn.
“Carlisle has an extensive events programme and has a lot to offer from a range of venues.
“Our Discover Carlisle website is updated with all local events and is the best place to find out what’s planned.
“Following the great success of the Summer International Market, we’re working with partners on Carlisle City of Lights, the Fireshow and our Christmas programme.”
Visit www.discovercarlisle.co.uk for more information on what is happening in the Border City.