I have loved live music ever since I saw my first live gig – the Ramones – in a small, local grassroots venue. The energy of the crowd – and the band – was electric. I was 15 years old, and I was hooked. There is nothing quite like sharing a live experience with other music fans.
It is important that that venues currently remain shut in order to fight the spread of COVID-19. However, many of London’s music venues are facing the risk of permanent closure.
We’ve already lost too many of these valuable cultural spaces over the past decade. The Mayor and I have been working hard to preserve and protect the ones that remain. I’m delighted Sadiq has pledged £450,000 to help grassroots live music venues cope with the impact of the current crisis.
But music fans can help our cherished venues, too. Pay It Forward London is a great way for Londoners to show support for their favourite grassroots music venues and help them survive this crisis. As part of the Music Venue Trust’s national #SaveOurVenues campaign, you can donate to your local venue’s crowdfunding page. This will help keep them afloat during these difficult times.
Venues on Pay It Forward London have already come up with some creative rewards to redeem once this is all over and they can re-open. Bush Hall is offering a puppy picnic with their HR Manager Monnie, The Lexington is giving out Black Cards with a 10% discount on drinks for life, and Paper Dress Vintage is organising a relaunch party which is bound to sell out!
It is easy to get a campaign set up. Here are just a few ideas of rewards you could offer to your loyal customers:
- A Wall of Fame – get your name on the wall of the venue
- Membership / annual discount offer
- Merchandise – such as branded clothing
- 1:1 with artists
- Relaunch festival or event tickets
- Run of the place – hire the whole venue
- Guestlist – free entrance for a group of friends
Music is one of the things helping many of us get through this difficult time. It will also be more important than ever to help us reconnect – in person – on the other side. Together, we can do our best to make sure that happens and our venues are able to survive – and thrive. In the words of The Ramones – hey, ho, let’s go!!