Friday, 16 October 2020

Two innovative jazz venues get culture recovery funding

                                                    Joy Ellis Trio at the Globe

                                                 Elliot Richards trio at Seven Arts

The future for a unique community-owned music venue in Tyneside is looking more secure in these uncertain times as a result of a grant from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund. The Globe in Newcastle has been awarded £80,000 to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

The £1.57 billion fund has been used to support a wide range of cultural organisations across the country.

Despite strict local regulations The Globe is putting on gigs three nights a week, including jazz, folk and rock, that are simultaneously enjoyed by small audiences in the venue and by hundreds more at home via livestream.

“Hybrid audiences are the way forward for live music” says Dave Parker, co-chair of the cooperative that owns The Globe. “We are demonstrating that a mixed audience of customers at our Covid-aware venue and those at home watching online is actually better than either approach alone. According to our customers, the live audience’s responses in the venue and the live chat from those viewing online actually enhance the overall experience for both.”

The Globe has been developing and improving its livestreaming since May. It has streamed from musicians’ homes during lockdown, then from the empty venue and most recently with an audience in the building. The Globe has been refurbished and redecorated, and new sound, light and video equipment has been installed by a team of volunteers.

“Getting this grant is a huge relief, especially after all the effort so many people have put in to keep The Globe going. When we closed in March we consulted widely with our members and supporters to develop a vision for a post-pandemic future. This formed the basis of our grant application. I specifically want to thank the Music Venues Trust for their lobbying on behalf of grassroots music venues and Co-operatives UK who argued successfully that co-ops should be eligible for the funding.”

Leeds too has had some good news - the main jazz venue, Seven Arts in Leeds has also been awarded funding - £50,000 -from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund. Seven Arts are a Community Interest Company, promoting the arts tirelessly since 2007 in Chapel Allerton to the north of the city centre. Seven have been putting on live music and comedy events since July - both outside in their small courtyard and inside within their concert venue, with social distancing.

Says Steve Crocker from Jazz Leeds : "Really pleased that Seven Arts Leeds has been awarded funding under the Culture Recovery Fund of the Arts Council. Seven Arts is a unique acoustic venue for the arts - especially jazz - and is run by a committed team who have been so impressive at allowing live music to keep going when others have sat on their hands. So it's great news. Times are tough of course and things may change but it's lovely to have some good news at last".

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