A total of £401,551.39 funding has now been allocated to 22 grassroots music businesses across Wales and was created to assist the music industry during the challenges surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, said:
We’ve listened to our many stakeholders and we understand that these are uncertain times for businesses and organisations across Wales and fully recognise the massive and unprecedented challenges coronavirus is having on the fabric of Welsh life. The Welsh Government is committed to doing everything possible to support the resilience, creativity and partnership which is being shown by the sector.
This funding will help the sector to withstand this difficult time and to hopefully thrive again – and bring communities together once more when the emergency has passed.
Many of the venues across Wales have been using innovative means of diversifying businesses – including food and drink delivery services; streaming music and selling merchandise.
Samantha Dabb, Venue Manager – Le Pub and Welsh Coordinator – Music Venue Trust, outlines the challenges which have faced the sector:
Grassroots music venues are vital to both the wellbeing of our communities and the future of Welsh music. Without them we have no meeting spaces for creative minds, no space to unwind when we are stressed and the people that will stand proudly for Wales on the international stages have nowhere to begin their careers.
We cancelled over 50 gigs in the first three months alone. Our workshops and classes are all stopped. After 4 weeks we were able to open up running a hot food and alcohol delivery service but it’s not enough to pay the bills. We miss our regulars and gigs and being able to make people happy.
The fund has rescued us and being recognised for the somewhat unique services that we provide was so reassuring when it seemed that we would fall through the safety net. We have diversified the business in recent years introducing new services such as backline hire for events. We are always considering other ways of doing so and will continue to once we are out of this current situation.
Gerwyn Evans, Deputy Director, Creative Wales, said:
The grassroots live music industry is crucial to the development of musicians in Wales. The current climate has created extremely challenging circumstances for venues, their staff and the wider music industry. We created this fund to try to ease the financial burden across the industry to help venues, studios, freelancers and anyone else within the music industry affected by COVID-19.
The funding has now closed and is not accepting new applications.
Further funding for the sector is being administered through Creative Wales, Emergency TV Development Fund and the Emergency Digital Development Fund. Further information is available on the Creative Wales website.