Monday, July 27, 2020

"Without such places our community is dead in the water"

Barely a week goes by without me banging on about the importance of small independent gig venues. So, for a change, here are a few others doing it - from Jason Williamson of Sleaford Mods to Johnny Marr, Bill Ryder Jones, Richard Dawson, Steve Lamacq and Nadine Shah, who talks about finding "her people" within their walls and how "they light a fire in my belly".

The points they raise and the arguments they make really should be obvious, but it seems not, given the paltry £2.2 million of emergency funding allocated to the sector by the government. More may follow, but - as the Quietus' Fergal Kinney explains - it absolutely needs to if countless vital performance spaces aren't to go to the wall. Making ends meet was tough enough before lockdown, but it's nothing compared to the desperate situation as we emerge gradually (as possibly temporarily) from what Lias Saoudi of Fat White Family has referred to as "the music business nuclear winter that is Covid-19". Make no mistake: social distancing measures are without doubt the greatest threat to the sector's sustainability.

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