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The Black Veil

Nottingham Grassroot Venues Turn to Fans for Support During Lockdown

26 June 20 words: Amy Allen

Amy Allen explores the lockdown’s impact on our favourite local haunts, as well as a national campaign that’s looking to support them…

Music fans in Nottingham love their local venues, especially small, grassroot ones that provide a platform for up and coming talent.

However, a statement issued by the charity Music Venues Trust claims that without support from the government, the UK could lose 90% of its grassroots music venues. 

560 grassroot members, including The Bodega, Brass Monkey, The Chameleon Arts Cafe and Peggy’s Skylight, have now signed an open letter to the UK Government which highlights the need for an immediate £50 million financial support package and a reduction of VAT on future ticket sales.

In Nottingham, Alberts Bar on Goldsmith Street, will not be reopening due to the environmental pressures currently facing grassroot venues across the city.

Propaganda on Broadway, which has been a champion of the city’s LGBTQ+ community for the past 11 years is to also close its doors. 

In a statement Propaganda noted the current economic conditions left them in a position where they were unable to renew their lease. 

The Music Venues Trust, the charity that supports grassroots venues across the UK, has launched the #saveourvenues campaign, in order to create awareness about the current challenges facing grassroot venues. 

The #saveourvenues campaign also aims to help venues raise funds to keep them financially stable during the lockdown. 

In Nottingham, Peggy’s Skylight on George Street has already signed up for the #saveourvenues campaign and so far, has raised £11,868. 

Speaking about the #saveourvenues campaign, Peggy’s Skylight owner, Paul Deats said: “The save the venues campaign was brilliant, and has given us an extra cushion, thanks to an army of brilliant customers, friends and well-wishers.” 

Venues in the DHP Family which include Rock City and The Bodega have taken to selling branded merchandise on their websites. 

Sneinton based JT Soar has also been selling t-shirts, owner Phil Booth said: “The response to the t-shirts has been overwhelming, we feel quite humbled to have orders from not just all over the UK but all over the world.” 

Of cause the ultimate aim is for venues to be able to reopen safely, with the government yet to provide guidance on this, Phil said: “There could potentially be further grants that could be put towards making venues more accessible that could in the short term benefit social distancing, but also aid disabled access in the long term.” 

Although lockdown restrictions are now beginning to be eased, grassroot venues are still looking at ways they can adapt to the ‘new normal’, however they will have to continue to wait until they can start welcoming fans and artists through the doors once again. 

Learn more and support the #saveourvenues campaign online.

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