Despite the incredibly difficult times faced by the music business there are some really heartening examples of things being done by the smaller voluntary led jazz promoters (and Northern Jazz promoter members) showing the strength of jazz in the region. We'll be highlighting four of these in our forthcoming December reviews - Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues, The Lescar Sheffield, Jazz Leeds and Newcastle Jazz Co-op.
The Jazz Co-op in Newcastle are putting on gigs three nights at Newcastle's Globe, which is owned by their community trust. The gigs are enjoyed by small audiences in the venue and by hundreds more at home via livestream.
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.
Now it has a full programme of live concerts embracing rock, classical, folk and jazz arranged until Christmas. Each gig will have a limited paying audience seated and served at tables in a Covid-controlled environment. However, it will also be professionally streamed online to guests at home who also pay for the experience.
Dave Parker, co-chair of the cooperative that owns The Globe, says
“We aim to get the best of both worlds. The audience seated in the venue gets to see the musicians in an intimate but safe environment, while those who live too far away or who would prefer not to travel receive as close to the live gig experience as can be achieved.
“Getting an Arts Council Cultural Recovery grant was 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.”
Colin Bowman of Cullercoats who has been watching Globe gigs online says
“It’s so good to watch a quality act in a proper ‘venue’ setting. I really forget I am not actually there in the Globe. The sound and vision is so good and the choice of acts is brilliant. I’m 'there' chatting with my music loving mates and if the beer in my fridge isn’t up to scratch, then that’s my own fault!”