Tag Archives: woking


Volunteering for us

As we reopen we will need to increase our current ‘small but mighty’ volunteer team.

We are looking for people who want to support their local community, enjoy the variety that working in a community led arts & cultural space brings and support our values and work ethic.

The commitment can be as little as one hour a week (street teams/leafleting) roles in venue (events/bar/lighting/sound/door/community/safeguarding/volunteer support) or working on our fundraising, marketing & strategic aims.

We have a committed, friendly, hard working team, free gig & events access, opportunity to learn about working in a grassroots live music venue & training on lighting, sound, event management, community business & community support. Mentoring. Referral routes for career progression.

If you are interested in being part of the Phoenix/Fiery Bird team initially contact phoenixculturalcentre@yahoo.co.uk for a job description, application form and further information about the application & induction process.

Some of our roles will require DBS clearance.

About Us

Phoenix Cultural Centre CIC

OUR AIMS – What the Phoenix Centre is about.

To provide a live music, cultural and grassroots arts venue in Woking run by and for the people of Woking to

  • bring great touring music of every genre 
  • Provide a platform for local original bands to play
  • be a place where people of all ages, backgrounds and genders can enjoy, socialise and express their own creativity
  • Give learning, training and employment opportunities in creative industries, hospitality, arts and community to everyone
  • Promote equality, diversity and wellbeing

OUR VALUES – Our ethos and principles – we seek to promote equality in music and related industries, wellbeing for all and to celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of our town. A non profit welcoming community venue business run by the community for the community

Brief History of Phoenix Cultural Centre

In 2008 local musician and community worker Elaine McGinty ran music nights in and around the area to support charities like Oxfam, The Robyn Higgins Trust etc She also wrote the proposal for what became the now annual Party In The Park adopted by Woking Borough Council in 2012 where she ran the main stage showcasing Woking bands. 

In 2010 a regular night was set up The Lovely Music Night taking excellent original live music to various locations around Woking, but restricted by no live music venue here. Teaming up with bandmate and co-founder Joe Buckley, who had been involved in running venues and workshops across London and Cambridge and based on her experience in community work in Surrey as well as both being musicians in various bands, they saw a need for a live music venue that also served as a cultural centre to unite people from different parts of and bring an alternative social space to Woking, with the unique identity of a non affiliated community run space as part of the regeneration . Music is a common language with no barriers and through they saw a way that people can identify with each other and build a community venue that puts its profits back into supporting health, wellbeing and new talent who had no venue to play, a beacon for equality in music and training future creative industry practitioners.

In 2013 a local shop landlord lent the project a shop in Goldsworth Rd for 6 months that turned into 5 years as a small acoustic venue. In 2014 the full council accepted a petition for the project to be assisted to a permanent site in Woking Town Centre. The Phoenix Cultural Centre CIC was registered as a community interest company in 2015. The small premises hosted a variety of music activities from beginners, workshops to album launches, book launches, computer, confidence and workplace training, support groups, poetry, writing and much more. As well as this Streetlive, Food Festival, Sheerwater Festival & Busking live music was provided by Phoenix CIC on the street, music in dementia care homes, WWF Earth Hour, The Lightbox and their own festival Phoenix Rising in Woking Park every year. 

In March 2016 Woking Borough offered the lease on Quake nightclub until March 2020 as a temporary venue. Lease negotiations were completed in March 2018. We had the venue for two years but was closed by Covid. We had an offer of a permanent space to move into but WBC went into debt and couldn’t complete their landlord works. WBC recommended trying to gain funding for Your Fund Surrey who took two years to review the bid and despite recommendation, rejected it. At this point ECOWorld offered to save us from closure by using  a large space in Goldsworth Rd as a meanwhile space that we are opening in October 2023 for three years. We have three years to prove that this is needed and wanted in Woking Town Centre. We have a great music & cultural heritage here, we want to make a great future too for many generations. 

Useful links to related organisations

We are members of or connected to

Music Venues Alliance (Music Venues Trust)

Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum (SMEF) 

Royal Society of Arts (RSA)

School of Social Entrepreneurs (SSE)

Community Business Leaders Programme – Power to Change

One For All Community Business Leaders UK Support 

Clore Experienced Social Leaders Alumni


We are open!

ECOWorld London offered us this great building and made it safe for the community, our volunteers turned it from an office into a vibrant community space & live music venue in three weeks!

Have a look at the process & our great opening event!

With gigs and events well under way come and find out more about our unique, welcoming, space in the heart of Woking Town Centre!


So excited to share our latest press release!

Green light for Phoenix Cultural Centre’s new temporary venue at 32 Goldsworth Road

Planning permission has been granted for Phoenix Cultural Centre CIC’s new temporary home at 32 Goldsworth Road in Woking. Set to open its doors in Autumn 2023, 32 Goldsworth Road will be the centre’s home, with the Cultural Centre recently signing the lease for up to 3 years ahead of EcoWorld redeveloping the site.

The 2,000 sqm space, let on a peppercorn rent, is being refurbished by EcoWorld to make the space accessible and fit for purpose. The space will be an exciting new venue for the Woking community, housing the Fiery Bird Live Music venue which will host live entertainment for up to 250 people. Phoenix Cultural Centre CIC will also hire workspaces for social enterprise startups, and event spaces for community, cultural and health workshops and events and activities for all ages.

Phoenix Cultural Centre CIC is a non-profit, community-led organisation dedicated to supporting and promoting community cohesion & wellbeing, opportunities in the arts and the creative economy in Woking Borough and beyond. The centre has been providing a platform for emerging artists and cultural practitioners to showcase their work and connect with audiences since 2010, from original music showcases, paid busking, festivals, family days, cultural events, gigs, health and wellbeing events, workshops, and poetry nights.

Phoenix Cultural Centre CIC has plans for an exciting programme in the new venue with UK touring acts, local music and comedy nights of diverse genres and their own workshops and events. They will also offer training and employment opportunities, reinstate partnerships working with SEN adults, colleges and widen their outreach programme with the intention to be a space where other organisations and groups can widen their impact, help people develop ideas and run activities for visitors all ages.

The organisation is also in talks with several partners interested in using the space, including The Jam exhibition, which, following its successful run at Somerset House in London, the Cunard Building in Liverpool and Brighton will be taking space at 32 Goldsworth Road to house the biggest exhibition to date encompassing not only The Jam, but also The Style Council and Paul Weller’s solo career.

Phoenix Cultural Centre CIC exists to enable the community to be part of a vibrant and inclusive cultural hub that fosters creativity, innovation, and social engagement and celebrates diversity, promotes dialogue, and inspires positive change. Drawing on their experience as residents and in community development, learning and the arts as well as working with other local and UK wide community ventures, Phoenix Cultural Centre CIC hopes to demonstrate the benefits a dedicated space like this can bring to people’s wellbeing, health, and economy.

Elaine McGinty, CEO of Phoenix Cultural Centre CIC, said: “We are excited to start the work to get the venue ready to open and offering performance opportunities from beginners to the touring artists, for all ages and members of the community, both groups and individuals to enjoy and make happen here in Woking. This is a community venue, its success depends on the support of the community who can be involved and shape how they want their community venue to be”

Lisa Gledhill, Managing Director of Development at EcoWorld, said: “We are delighted with this significant milestone for Phoenix Cultural Centre. The green light for their new temporary home at 32 Goldsworth Road will allow Phoenix Cultural Centre to continue their vital work for the community and become a fantastic cultural hub for Woking. We’re looking forward to the next stage of this journey with Phoenix Cultural Centre and other local organisations to help safeguard Woking’s cultural future .”

Look out for more new soon…..

Old News

August Showcase

Our Fiery Bird Showcases continue at The Junction Coffee Shop, Woking on Sunday 7th August from 1pm – 4pm, live music from The Velveteen Orkestra, Mili & Bertie and The Hedge Inspectors.

No stranger to our venues we welcome back The Velveteen Orkestra purveyors of quality alternative folk noir rock and roll. Always a treat.

Alternative pop duo Mili & Bertie are influenced by the likes of Crowded House and Starsailor, the pair bring an authentic and contemporary sound that is somewhat reminiscent of an older era of mainstream pop.

The Hedge Inspectors describe themselves as Acoustic noise makers, with original songs inspired by ‘true’ events.

👇 For more information and to have listen click below 👇

The Velveteen Orkestra Mili & BertieThe Hedge Inspectors

In association with Graham Steel Music Company and Arts Council England

Old News

Monthly Showcase

Our monthly Sunday afternoon Fiery Bird Showcase continues at The Junction Coffee Shop, Woking on Sunday 3rd July 1pm – 4pm, with live music from Tu-Kay & Ryan, Moonlight Foxes and Will Samson.

Acoustic duo Tu-Kay & Ryan are passionate about making music with a positive message.
They are all about rich harmonies and creating a genuine connection with those who come to see them through the universal truths within their songs.

Will Samson is an alternative acoustic upbeat folk singer songwriter who is well known for his protest songs.
Will’s influences include Billy Bragg, Bob Dylan, Frank Turner, Gerry Cinnamon and Woody Guthrie to name a few.

Moonlight Foxes are an award-winning duo based on the Berkshire/Hampshire borders. 
Fay Freemantle and Alan Lovegrove have been performing separately for more than 20 years in various musical incarnations and genres.

👇 For more information and to have listen click below 👇

Tu-Kay & RyanWill SamsonMoonlight Foxes

Old News

Open Mic & Showcase Events are back!

Every Monday night from 7.30 to 10pm come down to the Junction Coffee Shop.
Acoustic set up – back line will be provided if required.
All abilities welcome in our traditional Phoenix/Fiery Bird atmosphere
Entry fee is by donation – whatever you can spare.
Whatever your style or level come join us to watch, listen or indeed to join in the fun.
Tea & coffee will be available.
Microphones will be sanitised after each performance.
To find the Junction Coffee Shop turn left out of the station (town side) and you’ll find it on the right! 18 High St, Woking GU21 6BW
Please take our short survey https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/R7KXQL2

Showcase nights

We kick off on Sunday 1st May from 1 to 4pm with a Spoken Word Showcase bringing together a wonderful selection of beautiful humans.
Pete Cox an artist, poet and the creator and curator of Innerverse.
Tara Bernadette Egan an expressive poet, thought provoking and instantly relatable.
Then no strangers to the Fiery Bird we welcome Elaine McGinty and Joe Buckley who bring poetry to music.
Elaine is a poet/musician/community activist, Joe is a musician and composer. They started working together in 2010 in the IPO Mob which became Phoenix Chroi, whose songs were based on Elaine’s poetry and in 2019 they started performing as a duo where Joe’s bass lines accompany Elaine’s poetry.

Old News

Culture Recovery Fund Award

We are very excited to hear that we have been awarded Government funding thanks to the DCMS (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee) Culture Recovery Fund this means we can continue to write campaigns and fund bids and get ready to make an amazing space for our Woking community to enjoy next year.

#HereForCulture #LetsCreate 

Culture creates jobs, supports livelihoods, and brings joy to everyone. The UK leads the world in the creative industries and we can all feel pride in that.

Now, in these challenging times, it’s everybody’s turn to show our support for culture. With an unprecedented investment through the Culture Recovery Fund, the government is #HereForCulture so it can continue to weather the storm of coronavirus and come back stronger.

And we are #HereForCulture too.

#HereForCulture is a movement that unites the public, government and cultural organisations in support of our fantastic cinemas, theatres, music venues, museums, galleries and heritage.

By being #HereForCulture, we aren’t just supporting the people in the industry, we’re also supporting communities across the country.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support can’t wait to welcome you next year.

Old News

Gig Announcements

There is so much in the pipeline, BUT we still are waiting on the YourFund decision on our community venue refit from Surrey County Council , no work can begin on the venue until we know the outcome.

We have submitted all the information requested and look forward to hearing soon.

So we have been trying to reschedule and move our booked shows. Unfortunately for all concerned we have had to cancel 2 shows, move 3 to a different venue and reschedule one of the dates.

We are really sad that Cut Capers and Hannah Moule and the Moulettes have had to cancel because of the venue not being ready.

We have worked really hard to find alternative space for the gig but with no other venues available to accommodate them and their touring schedules not coinciding with reschedule dates we have no choice.

Both bands have been incredible about this and we thank them for their understanding. We hope next year we can rebook them when we are fully open!

You should have received an email about a refund from Seetickets. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Unfortunately we couldn’t find another venue locally for the Hang Massive gig so the gig will now be taking place at Ashcroft Arts Centre in Fareham. Tickets for this gig will still be valid but refunds will be issued if you can no longer make it.

We are delighted to have been able to move the Kristin Hersh gig to the fantastic brand new, Buzz Theatre in Woking, and we have been able to negotiate a discounted meal offer at the Italian Kitchen restaurant next door for anyone with tickets to this show. Buzz Theatre is in the Peacocks Shopping Centre, Commercial Way Woking GU21 6YA

We will update the location of Dani Larkin’s gig as soon as we have it finalised.

John Otway will be rescheduled to 9th December.

All other shows stay the same.

Hopefully we will have more news soon.

Sign up to the Fiery Bird newsletter here for all the latest information on gigs.