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Major UK artists to play grassroots music venues

Crowdfunding campaign, Passport: Back To Our Roots, will see huge acts help raise money for struggling independent music venues

By IQ on 10 Aug 2020

Bedford Esquires is one of the participating venues for Passport: Back To Our Roots

Bedford Esquires is one of the participating venues for Passport: Back To Our Roots


image © Bedford Esquires / Facebook

Major UK artists will “return to their roots” as part of a crowdfunding campaign to help grassroots music venues, which have been struggling to stay open during the Covid-19 crisis.

The crowdfunding campaign, Passport: Back To Our Roots, will open on 17 August when fans can donate a minimum of £5 to help support their favourite venues.

Everyone who donates will be entered into a prize draw to win entry for a show for themselves and a friend.

Among the concerts announced so far are Elbow performing at Night & Day Cafe in Manchester, Everything Everything at Bedford Esquires, Public Service Broadcasting at Amersham Arms in London, and The Slow Readers Club at The Trades Club in Hebden Bridge.

Organisers say the series of one-off intimate gigs will take place when live shows can safely return without social distancing measures, most likely between March and September next year.

The initiative was launched by registered charity and independent grassroots venue Band on the Wall, the Music Venue Trust and Stephen Budd Music (creator of War Child’s Passport: Back to the Bars & Passport: To BRITs Week series).

Sally Cook, co-founder of Passport: Back to Our Roots and director of operations at Band on the Wall says: “This project has been a long time in the making and it’s incredibly exciting to see artists supporting the grassroots venues that form the foundation of the UK’s live music industry, acknowledging their importance and celebrating the unrivalled experience of watching your favourite bands up close and personal, surrounded by friends and united in appreciation for live music in all its loud and sweaty glory.”

“These shows will be awe-inspiring for fans and also a joy for the artists who are helping keep live grassroots venues alive”

Stephen Budd, founder and CEO of Stephen Budd Entertainment says: “I’m delighted to help put this amazing series of shows together. I’m doing this on a not-for-profit basis as I did for the successful War Child shows I helped put together, using the same mechanism we created which has proved so workable and simple for artists and it won’t impact negatively on their own show plans.

“There is nothing like seeing your favourite artist in a venue that is closest to the artist’s hearts. These shows will be awe-inspiring for those fans who are lucky enough to win the prize draw and also a joy for the artists who participate knowing they are helping keep live grassroots venues alive.”

Of all money raised, 80% will go to the Music Venue Trust (MVT), who in turn will distribute half of the amount to the host venue and the other half to their Crisis Fund, which will benefit all UK venues in need of financial support.

The remaining 20% will go to Inner City Music, the charitable organisation that operates Band on the Wall in Manchester, which is responsible for the administration of the project and will cover its overheads.

Aside from its involvement with Passport: Back To Our Roots campaign, MVT also recently partnered with Fightback Brewing Company in support of the #saveourvenues initiative. 

Fightback Lager, which is stocked in over 60 grassroots music venue bars across the UK, now makes a 5p donation to MVT from every pint sold.

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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