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UK live industry welcomes first CRF results

Grassroots music venues, independent festivals, and music organisations are among the recipients that will benefit from a share of £257m

By IQ on 12 Oct 2020

Thekla overhaul, Bristol

DHP Family, which operates Thekla in Bristol, has received one of the largest grants

Some of the UK’s most iconic music venues, renowned independent festivals, and key music organisations are among the first-round recipients of the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, designed to support arts organisations survive the pandemic.

The department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) today revealed the 1,385 arts organisations that will benefit from a share of £257 million. In this first round of funding, organisations that applied for grants under one million were announced.

Applicants in the live industry set to receive some of the largest grants include: DHP Family, which operates a number of music venues across the UK including Nottingham’s Rock City, Bristol’s Thekla and London’s Oslo, which was awarded £908,000; Bush Hall in West London, granted £679,000; and SSD Music, the promoter behind Newcastle’s Virgin Money Unity Arena, which receives £700,000.

Some of the UK’s most iconic venues also received funding, including the 100 Club (350) in London, which was granted £491,000, and The Cavern Club (250) in Liverpool, which gained £525,000.

Among the festivals to receive grants are Y-Not Festival (£240,000); Deer Shed Festival (£238,500); Cropredy Festival (£200,000); End of the Road Festival (£250,000); Love Supreme Festival (£118,524) and Slam Dunk (£175,981).

“71% of AIF members who applied for a CRF grant in round one have been offered funding and it’s nothing short of a lifeline”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden says: “The government is here for culture and we have worked around the clock to get this record investment out to the frontline. It will allow our wonderful theatres, museums, music venues and cultural organisations to survive this crisis and start putting on performances again – protecting jobs and creating new work for freelancers. This is just the start – with hundreds of millions pounds more on the way for cultural organisations of all sizes that still need our help.”

Music Venue Trust, which has been working closely with DCMS and Arts Council England, which dispersed the fund, says today’s news is a “huge step forward in the efforts to reopen every venue safely”.

“Saving our grassroots venue sector requires a massive jigsaw puzzle of efforts, from the smallest local fundraiser by a community desperate to keep its cherished local venue, to the enormous scope of the government’s Cultural Recovery Fund, one of the largest such funds in the world,” says Mark Dayvd, CEO at MVT.

“This intervention today helps enormously, giving MVT, our sector, and our communities an achievable opportunity to complete the English section of the jigsaw. We keenly await results from funding applications in Wales, and of round two of this fund. Our work with the governments of Scotland and Northern Ireland will continue to seek further support for venues there.

“This grant allows us to look to the future, continuing to create artistic opportunities and work for our community”

MVT has pledged to work with the venues that were ineligible or unsuccessful for funding to meet its goal of reopening every venue safely – “an aim that, with this support from the government, we are confident is now achievable”.

Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) CEO, Paul Reed, says: “We warmly welcome this intervention from government and the results of the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund. 71% of AIF members who applied for a CRF grant in round one have been offered funding and it’s nothing short of a lifeline for those who have been successful. We thank DCMS and Arts Council England for this support, which amounts to almost £4.5m into the independent festival sector across our membership.

“This will have a hugely positive impact on the survival of these businesses. We are pleased that we were able to work positively with DCMS officials to ensure that festival organisers were eligible for the fund and they should be praised for their diligence in supporting the sector. We’re also aware that not all independent festivals had good news today and not all received funding. We’ll continue to support, represent and fight for our membership throughout this crisis.”

Association of Independent Music (AIM) CEO, Paul Pacifico, says: “It’s fantastic to see the first tranche of funding from the Culture Recovery Fund announced. While there is still a long way to go, this is a great start and we are grateful to see £257 million distributed to such a broad range of applicants, who are being supported across so many art forms and music genres, and in so many different parts of the country.

“50% of our funding will go directly to the self-employed musicians and technicians who have not been able to earn since March”

“We will continue to engage with our colleagues at DCMS and the Arts Council England to help wherever we can to optimise each round of funding as it becomes available, making sure it is invested broadly but also strategically so that our sector can bounce back as rapidly and holistically as possible.”

Nathan Clark, owner of Brudenell Social Club in Leeds, granted £220, 429, says: “We are delighted at the news and the huge immediate impact it will have. The support the Culture Recovery Fund will give, directly provides long term survival, security and resilience for the Brudenell. We recognise the opportunity and responsibility the package gives, which allows us to look to the future, continuing to create artistic opportunities, work for our community and to further expand our offering.”

Jon Keats, director at The Cavern Club, awarded £525,000, says: “We are delighted to have received positive news at a time of great uncertainty for our industry as a whole. This funding will help protect ninety jobs and to potentially recoup around 20% of our total losses over the period March 2020 – 21. Importantly, 50% of our funding will go directly to the self-employed musicians and technicians who have not been able to earn since March. We will bring substantial live music back into our venue as soon as we are allowed to and we are already looking to stream our musicians performances in the meantime.”

Other beneficiaries include Ministry Of Sound (£975,468); Islington Assembly Hall (£235,564); Clapham Grand (£300,000); Crosstown Concerts (£212,950); Manchester’s Gorilla (£255,500) and Deaf Institute (£148,000); Eat Your Own Ears (£99,066); Portsmouth Guildhall (£215,000) and Sound City (£75,000).

Camden’s Electric Ballroom (£206,974); Hebden Bridge Trades Club (£61,723); Exeter Cavern (£50,000), Leeds-based Futuresound Events (£219,368); Hackney Empire (£585,064); Hootananny Brixton (£250,000); Independent Label Market (£50,784); Inner City Music (£211,200); The George Tavern (£222,030) and Brighton Dome (£493,000) have also received grants.

Further grants are due to be announced soon, including those for larger organisations between £1 and £3 million.


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