Music event licence granted for former psychiatric hospital

A former psychiatric hospital in Newsham Park could hold events all year round after a successful bid to extend its licence.

Liverpool Council’s licensing and gambling sub-committee has approved a variation of the terms held at the Grade II listed Victorian building that could allow operators to stage live events throughout the year.

Concerns had been raised by residents around the green space about the impact of noise coming from events run under the name Asylum, usually up to four times a year.

However the three-person panel gave the green light to applicant Kevin Midgley to potentially expand the operations following a hearing this morning.

The site on Newsham Drive was previously a psychiatric hospital and orphanage, but has remained largely vacant since the hospital closed in 1997. The building is now regularly used for ghost hunts and one-off music events, under a licence for just four Saturdays a year.

Mr Midgley told the committee the operation would seek to hold more events primarily around October, Halloween and Christmas, including a “scare event” akin to the Farmageddon experiences held in Ormskirk.

The applicant said he had met with the joint safety advisory group, including Merseyside Police and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, ahead of a major music event this Saturday.

Mr Midgley confirmed the fire service had requested a cap on attendees at 2,800 people, with a DJ set to be played in the courtyard until 10pm. Regarding the management of future events, the applicant said he had observed the Reminisce festival in St Helens and would seek to apply what he had learned into Asylum.

On the issue of drugs, Mr Midgley said dogs would patrol the site, with an amnesty bin on location that would be collected by police. He added, “We have tried to be as thorough as possible.”

It is expected Halloween events would run at the former hospital from 11 October until 5 November. The applicant said he had met with community members to quell fears about noise, which was welcomed by Cllr Steve Radford, who felt a cap on the number of large music events would be beneficial. 

The Stoneycroft ward member said he was grateful to Mr Midgley for engaging with the community ahead of time and praised the clean-ups that had taken place after previous events.

Regarding the lake around the park, the Asylum boss said tragedies around the Albert Dock had been acknowledged in the development of its safety planning. 


Why not follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Threads? You can also send story ideas or letters to the editor to