Grass Roots Music Fund launches in the UK
A fund to support UK artists, venues and production companies hit by coronavirus cancellations has launched, inviting fans and industry supporters to donate to the grassroots music community.
The Grass Roots Music Fund is appealing for donations from fans and larger companies to support people whose income has been devastated by the rapid shutdown of all public gatherings. According to Gigseekr, the company behind the fundraiser, the fund will be available to artists, venues and related production crews “whose income would have been derived from ticket sales for gigs up to 500 capacity that have been cancelled from March to May” due to Covid-19.
David Hamilton, founder of Gigseekr, explains: “We’re acutely aware of how many shows have been cancelled and that the smaller elements of the industry are really suffering, so our concept is simply to support them through these difficult times, so that when things pick up they are able to continue.
“Analysing our event data, we can see that already over 2,600 shows have been cancelled across the UK. We estimate that this will rise to over 5,000 cancelled shows by the end of June, resulting in over £40m of lost revenues. The grassroots sector is vital to the music industry and we want to use our reach via Gigseekr to let fans show their support for their favourite artists and venues.
“I hope fans will support the artists, venues and many others who have given them so much pleasure over the years gone by”
“I hope fans will support the artists, venues and many others who have given them so much pleasure over the years gone by, which will mean they can survive and re-open to give those fans (and us all) the joy of live music for many years to come.”
Without setting a specific target, the founders’ ambitions are to raise £500,000 to distribute back to the sector.
Venues, bands and production companies are invited to apply for help from the fund for up to 80% of their losses, up to a maximum of £2,000, via www.gigseekr.com/grassrootsmusicfund/apply. Applications open Monday 13 April.
While British music freelancers are eligible for financial relief under the self-employed income support scheme, lawyer Ceri Stoner explained earlier this week why many are still excluded:
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