2020, YOU CRAZY BEAST!
Wow, it has been a while since we last updated our blog, apologies about that! Before the current global pandemic, we were extremely busy getting involved with a lot of different projects and it has not eased up since lockdown began either, which has been fabulous yet utterly exhausting at times.
The end of 2019 was full-on in the office with booking shows and festivals for the first part of this year, Terri-Sian was asked to work at Lumiere Festival in Durham and she finally got to marry her Gomez Addams on NYE. The celebration was featured on the ‘Rock n Roll Bride’ magazine BLOG last week.
In January we took a handful of our artists out on tour across the UK for INDEPENDENT VENUE WEEK 2020
Independent Venue Week is a 7-day celebration of music venues around the country and a nod to the people that own, run and work in them, week in, week out. It began in 2014 and has been steadily growing since, starting with only 17 venues taking part and have now grown to 241 that took part this year.
Steve Lamacq did a little shout-out to us on his drive-time show on BBC 6 Music ahead of our Worcester date, which was rather lovely! We picked up a few reviews too… PLUGGED IN BRIGHTON SCENE SUSSEX #1 SCENE SUSSEX #2 BRIGHTON AND HOVE NEWS
The week before lockdown began, Terri-Sian was on-site to work at Country to Country Festival at O2 Arena, London. Before she arrived, she had a feeling it would be postponed but continued as normal until we had the official announcement. Unfortunately, at that point the government were not enforcing large events to cancel but the Promoter decided not to risk anyone’s health and postponed, something she is thankful for.
The next week saw the whole live music industry basically collapse with lockdown going into effect and all our venues closing. We had already pre-empted that a lot of our Spring shows would need to be postponed on the lead up to this (by keeping an eye on what was occurring in other countries ahead of us in the pandemic) so had already been discussing with promoters about rescheduling Spring tours and checking in with festivals for updates.
We have had to adapt our focus slightly this year, most of our time is spent rescheduling shows and booking in a few new ones. We have been working on the fundamentals of the business, looking at ways to improve moving forward, possible collaborations and have also been getting involved with virtual business coaching/networking events.
Terri-Sian has also been out working to support keyworkers during this time. Something she has found rewarding and has been immensely happy to be able to contribute her skills during the crisis.
Unfortunately, 556 of the UK’s grassroots venues are facing an imminent risk of being closed permanently due to the affects COVID-19. The MUSIC VENUE TRUST have been working extremely hard to tackle this and have set up a crisis fund campaign SAVE OUR VENUES to assist and have so far raised over £1m.
Put bluntly, without these venues the opportunities for artists and audiences to connect in a meaningful way at a local level will simply disappear in a lot of cases. Most of your favourite artists started out playing and building their careers in them, it would be a tragedy to lose so many of the beloved and historic places that have also grown throughout the years.
It was a terrible shock to see a year’s worth of work just disappear in such a short time, something many of us are experiencing across multiple industries. It’s also scary to think we do not know when or if we will ever get ‘back to normal’ at this point and sadly we feel that we won’t be going to live shows or events in the same way for a while, we were one of the first to be affected this, we will also be the last to recover.
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