This is how you can help save Sheffield music venues facing ruinous losses because of virus crisis
Music fans are being urged to do their bit to help rescue Sheffield's grassroots music venues following the launch of a new campaign.
Independent clubs, bars and theatres have all had to close during lockdown to enforce social distancing rules, leading to an unprecedented number of event cancellations – and a steep loss of income.
Now the Music Venue Trust has set up #saveourvenues, a national initiative aimed at rescuing hundreds of at-risk venues that are recognised as playing a crucial role in developing British music, boosting local economies and creating cultural vibrancy.
In Sheffield, The Leadmill has signed up to the appeal. The club is seeking to raise £10,000 to lessen the impact of the pandemic – artists will be performing ‘at home’ gigs in support of the campaign, and fans can donate directly too.
While the trust says many of the 556 sites involved in the campaign are facing permanent closure, The Leadmill is in ‘a slightly more fortunate position’.
“However, if these forced closures continue into the rest of the year we could also be looking at some pretty high debts and inevitable staff redundancies,” the venue said on its crowdfunding page. “We want to try and avoid this as much as possible. Any money raised through this fundraiser will be split 50/50 between The Leadmill and the Music Venue Trust's nationwide pot.”
The Leadmill explained: “Our half of your kind donations will be used to help cover the following immediate costs: staff that we are unable to furlough who are desperately trying to keep the venue alive and kicking for the future; financial help for our freelance DJs/engineers/crew; rent that we are unable to get a holiday period from via our landlord; essential running costs that are a legal/safety requirement.
“If we hit our target, it will be a massive help to protect other venues just like ours, right across the country.”
Earlier this month the club revealed it had made more than £10,000 from an online auction of memorabilia to cover costs during the coronavirus crisis.
Mark Davyd, CEO of the Music Venue Trust, said: “Without the support of music fans and artists literally hundreds of the UK’s grassroots music venues could go out of business, never to return, in the coming months. Please help to save every single grassroots music venue in the UK so that it can reopen after this crisis and continue to be a home to our musicians and our communities.”
Figures have suggested Sheffield, with its heritage of big homegrown acts like Arctic Monkeys, Pulp and Bring Me The Horizon, will be one of the places hardest hit by the Covid-19 shutdown.
The online entertainment guide The List ranked the top 10 UK towns and cities whose music scenes will be worst affected by the outbreak – Sheffield was in sixth place, above Manchester and Birmingham. Just over 11 per cent of the city’s annual events are gigs, the magazine found, a proportion more than five per cent higher than the national average.
Visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/saveourvenuesleadmill to donate to The Leadmill.