This article was published in 2007.

In its 20-year history Bradford Rio has been one of the UK’s few through and through rock clubs, and the popular venue is now coming to Leeds!

Opening on the site of the old Heaven & Hell club (Merrion Street), the new venue, aptly named Rio's Leeds, will feature one large 1,000 capacity gig room and a smaller 400 capacity Live Lounge.

Venue owner Paul Sewell explains the opening of a second Rio's venue: “I wanted a new challenge, and I’m a Leeds boy myself so it will be a homecoming for me, I’m very excited and proud to be opening a venue in my home city”.

For the move to Leeds, Rio’s is ditching its rock image in favour of something more alternative, although it still aims to bring more stand-out touring bands to the city. In charge of bookings is Tony White, formerly bar manager of the world famous Camden Underworld in London.

Local bands will be given the opportunity to support the bigger acts, as well as have their music played in the plasma screens in the Live Lounge. The venue will also be available for hire.

The opening launch night is Friday, 6th April, with a host of well-known bands already booked to play from the Saturday onwards. To find out more about the venue, the opening night and the benefits of registering, visit and