The Ferret's and Many Live Music Venues Fear their Future
Jul, 6 2020
With the government reintroducing pubs and hairdressers to the public domain under the title, ‘independence day’ it would appear a little more freedom has been granted to the UK.
But for some of us ‘independence day’ hasn’t occurred and may not for a considerable period of time.
In 2006 a local pub was born, ‘The Mad Ferret’. Over time it got new management and it’s name was abbreviated to simply, ‘The Ferret’. It has been an excellent platform for new and aspiring musicians to take their talent to the next level.
Sadly 14 years later the iconic Preston venue is under threat due to the recent corona virus.
In response to this and many other live venues a campaign was launched last week to help the music industry survive by introducing support measures including a £50 million cash injection.
‘Let the Music Play’ campaigners have discovered some startling news which reads as follows,
- The core live music industry generates £1.1 billion to the economy
- It impacts other parts of the economy including tourism to the tune of £4.5 billion.
- 90 per cent of grassroots music venues could reach their demise, with thousands of jobs at risk.
The campaign has been backed by 1,500 artists including Annie Lennox, Dua Lipa and Ed Sheeran.
On July 2nd a BBC Breakfast interview took place in which promoter Dan Morris and manager Ian Cauwood both appeared on the show to talk about the impact of coronavirus on music venues and the “Let The Music Play” campaign.
Presenter Naga Munchetty asked Dan how the venue had been affected,
“Covid has had a major impact, with all gig bookings for 2020 either cancelled or rescheduled. It has had a detrimental impact at grassroots level and on the industry as a whole. If we can see this through for the next couple of months then we will come back stronger in 2021. The diary is already looking full, so 2021 should be a bumper year if we can just hold on.”
The venue has felt the full force of the pandemic. Since the outbreak they have had to fill in forms, calculate the cost and analyze performance space. The devastating effect of COVID-19 may mean that for many live music venues they simply cannot go forward especially when taking into account the social distancing measures.
Manager Ian expressed in what capacity local live venues help new musicians,
“Up-and-coming bands get a chance to build their stagecraft and quite often move on to bigger things”.
To see the interview in full tune in to BBC I Player from 2h 48m.
Preston’s The Ferret featured on BBC Breakfast as a national campaign launched to save live music.
^Alex Ashworth CCG Art Blogger