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INTERVIEW W/ The Jacaranda - Veso Mihaylov talks 2023 highlights, The Beatles last song & new Jacaranda Baltic venue!

You may have seen that one of Liverpool's most iconic bars and music venues, The Jacaranda, have opened up a brand new 400 capacity venue in The Baltic Triangle! This comes as the most recent milestone in what has been a huge 12 months for the Jacaranda brand. We sat down with their Head of Events Veso Mihaylov to talk about their 2023 highlights and the opening of the new Jacaranda Baltic venue.

Photo Credit: Ben Roberts / @polyphonicauk

Q. 2023 seemed like a huge year for The Jacaranda, how have you felt the last 12 months have been?

“It's been a fantastic year. The whole brand has done really well, we’ve been able to offer grassroots musicians their first chance to play and work with a lot more up and coming promoters to deliver like seven shows a week. I think we've only had about six or seven days throughout the whole year that we didn't have a show so there's probably over a thousand acts that played just the basement this year which is incredible in terms of what it means to the Liverpool music scene.

Then through the record shop we've managed to do a lot of exciting album launches and bring in a lot of high calibre international acts which also then points the spotlight on some of the smaller acts which, again, is great for the community music scene in the city”.

Q. What were some of your highlights from the year?

"Having The Hives in here was really cool and then their impromptu performance outside the venue was just very unexpected and very unique. When Miles Kane did his signing was another highlight, he did it in the bar area because he wanted to and ended up with people just having a few drinks. He got up on the tables and started playing acoustically and there’s not many record shops where you can just go and do that".

Q. What makes these album launches feel so special?

“It just feels very genuine, it feels like what you want an album launch to be rather than being very contrived.I think there's a lot more excitement because it's organic and it's real”.

Q. One of our personal highlights was the STONE EP launch in the basement - how was it to have those guys returning to the venue?

“It was fantastic because we have a long journey with STONE, in terms of the amount of times that they’ve played here and hung out here. They’re the next big thing that's going to come out of the city so it's amazing to have a small part in that. I think that's probably my highlight, you know, like being able to offer that much opportunity to everyone”.

The Beatles - 'Now and Then' Listening Party

Photo Credit: Jack Rowley / @obsolescencephoto

Q. On the flip side of being able to showcase grassroots artists, how was it to really explore The Jacaranda’s history and host the listening party of the new Beatles song?

“It was fascinating because we all know the history of The Jac and the Beatles but the fact that it's the last time you're going to hear anything they've created together made it so special. It was the first place that they ever played and so it felt things coming full circle. There's no way I can describe that moment because I saw four different generations of people crying, listening to John's voice coming on record for the last time. You could hear a pin drop, everyone just stood there waiting and the emotions that it provoked was just amazing.

There were 150 people that showed up from all different generations, you know, like there was an old man that could barely get into the building, and then there was a brand new baby…what other band could do that? It was very unique, it was perfect and I'll never be able to do anything like that again”.

Q. You’ve now opened up a new 400-capacity Jacaranda venue in the Baltic Triangle, was this something you’d been planning for a while?

“It was quite quick to be honest. I think we were kind of outgrowing Phase One a little bit and we wanted to do things on a larger scale. We have two shops which are a stone's throw away from each other so we thought it would make more sense if the other had a home in another creative space in the city. It just came out of nothing really but it made sense for everyone.

Q. How will the new venue in the Baltic differ from the original site here on Slater Street?

“Not much really. Obviously it's based inside the Caine’s brewery and there is the big courtyard there so maybe when we do stuff like record store day we might be able to utilise that and we might be able to do multi performance events because there's loads of different spaces in the building. So that'll be quite exciting to see where that goes. But apart from that, it's just a bigger capacity so there will be a higher calibre of artist”.

Shed Seven @ The Jacaranda Baltic

Photo Credit: Jack Rowley / @obsolescencephoto

Q. What are the added benefits of the new venue being based in the Baltic?

“It's super exciting because it is the creative sector of Liverpool at the moment, more so than the city centre. There's a lot of creative juice in the Baltic which makes it special, you know, there's Modern Sky, Sound City, Camp and Furnace, Content and loads more. There’s also a few other big venues so it's suited to those festival vibes or one day events.

Then from the customer point of view it’s really good because you've got the Baltic Market right opposite so you can go and get some food, then there's about 20 bars nearby that you can go to and you've got things like ARCains where you can go and play a few games or something. So, if you're coming with a family, maybe to see someone that is your son or your daughter's favourite act, you can see the event and then there's a whole kind of day out around the area too. I feel like it offers more of an experience. Everyone is feeling the financial strains at the moment, so if you were to do something that was special to you because you love the certain artist who’s playing, but you can tie it in with having a full fun day out it may be more worthwhile committing to than something that's just a 30 or 40 minute experience”.


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