The popular and prog-friendly Southampton Venue The 1865, which is a regular on the prog touring circuit, has been forced to launch a crowdfunding campaign after they were overlooked in their bid for a grant from the Cultural Recovery Fund, distributed by Arts Council England in October.
"Although we are currently trading and providing live events to our faithful patrons, plus work for artists, technical crew, promoters, contractors, security and our bar staff, and still proving for be a viable business, we are finding it increasingly difficult to manage the increase in our event costs, due to extra staffing to enforce CoronaVirus mitigations, while ultimately working with an income that has been substantially reduced from March 2020," venue owner Guy Benfield tells Prog.
"On top of that, due to the near six month closure that was enforced upon us when lockdown was introduced, we have accumulated debts that we are not able to pay with our current turnover. Because of this, we are - albeit reluctantly - reaching out to the public and our friends in the industry to help us launch our Crowdfunder campaign. We need as much help to encourage awareness of the campaign and, ultimately, to drive donations as much possible within our network.
"We have worked relentlessly to develop the reputation of the 1865 since we took over the management four and a half years ago - including making The 1865 a staple of the national touring circuit, an essential space to dozens of local communities, and raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity in the process. This is alongside six years of developing grassroots local and touring bands at the legendary Talking Heads venue."