Thanks to The Stirrer for getting to the bottom of this in an interview with Jug of Ale landlady Anne Garside.
In summary, a developer has made an offer but nothing has been signed. The future of the pub is uncertain as the landowner does want to sell but this has been the case for over three years. No bands have been booked past October as a precaution.
I myself would like to apologise for making the mistake of taking anything Barnard says without the customary lorry-load of salt.