Taking a moment to consider why alternative music venues are so important to a place like Blackpool and what we can do to support them.
I never expected a pandemic in my lifetime or even thought I might and whilst I can cope with restrictions, I have thought a lot about music and venues particularly that bring an “alternative” offering to Blackpool. Places like The Waterloo and Bootleg Social who bring emerging and often established acts to our coastal town are so important as a space for resident music fans and alternative performance attracting folks from further afield.
The Waterloo hosted their first touring band in 2015 with a team solely driven by a love of music and performance, developing a traditional pub space into a music venue that independently attracts musicians to perform in an intimate setting of 300. Since opening, they have hosted acts such as The Wildhearts, Terrorvision, Dreadzone, Buckcherry, Phil Campbell, Bad Manners, Ferocious Dog, UK Subs, The Wedding Present, Massive Wagons, Those Damn Crows, and Kris Barras as well as supporting emerging live music acts.
In light of the problems, the music industry faces due to Covid 19, musos may be aware that The Waterloo like other music and clubs is in imminent danger of permanent closure. With hope, The Music Venue Trust has announced ‘Traffic Light’ a campaign in support of saving grassroots music venues.
“Every large town should have a venue like the Waterloo – a well-run, welcoming epicentre of music and culture that treats the bands and audience as a community and provides decibels, excitement, energy, and inspiration. Every band who plays there tells you the same – great PA, great audience and great staff – venues like this are the backbone to our culture and an example of how vital it is in the right hands.”
John Robb, Blackpool musician and writer – Louder Than War, Magazine & Goldblade, Band.
The Traffic Light campaign targets a range of activities under #saveourvenues encouraging a combined call out to audiences, local communities, councils, and the creative community to prevent the permanent closure of grassroots music venues who have been unable to access initial financial support systems. The Music Venue Trust urges action to write to their local MP, council, local charities, and anyone else they can think of to demand action to prevent these important venues from being closed for good.
A new crowdfunding initiative launched on November 11th to secure the future of 30 GMVs. By visiting a single landing page at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/waterloomusicbar with options to choose an individual venue to donate to such as The Waterloo. A surplus of individual targets will go towards supporting other venues in crisis.
A new range of merchandise is also exclusively available to support this campaign and available for delivery by Christmas. Every item bought directly supports a venue, with MVT paying the costs of printing, packing, and delivery.
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