Help local venues combat ‘existential threat’

Music editor Dave Randall on two local venues fighting for their futures with music and pre-booked events you can support

Exterior of Windmill pubThe nationwide #SaveOurVenues campaign has been set up by the Music Venues Trust to support grassroots venues during these desperately difficult times.

As co-founder Mark Davyd notes: “without these venues the opportunities for artists and audiences to connect in a meaningful way at a local level will simply disappear. And if they go they will never come back.”

According to two local venues who spoke to the Brixton Blog this week, closure is a real threat. Both have responded creatively to try to make ends meet and both deserve our support …

First up is a fundraising album with a line-up which, regardless of the cause, marks it out as one of the most exciting compilations of the year.

It features many of the most significant new indie acts including Fontaines DC, Goat Girl, black midi and Kate Tempest.

It turns out this über cool and highly influential roster are all alumni of our hallowed local venue the Windmill Brixton.

Live at the Windmill album coverLive at the Windmill is their gesture of support and solidarity with the place during these perilous times.

Windmill booker Tim Perry commented: “We’re stunned by the co-operation and support from all these artists. On the compilation there’s some famous ones, some cult ones and, in the spirit of the venue, some brand new ones we hope you enjoy”.

Money donated will be split equally between the venue and the Brixton Soup Kitchen.

Local luminaries Goat Girl said: “When it’s safe to reopen we want nothing more than to celebrate at our spiritual home with all the amazing people that make it what it is, but until then, they need our help.”

Get your copy now and donate what you can to the venue’s crowd-funder.

The Railway Tavern in Tulse Hill is also vulnerable.

Event manager Tagara Mhizha told us: “We have recently been informed by our landlords, Star Pubs and Bars (Heineken UK) that they will be ‘suspending’ instead of cancelling our rent despite the enforced lockdown.

“This means we will be expected to pay the full amount of rent when the lockdown on pubs is lifted.

“Coupled with the fact that we’ve fallen through the gaps of any government aid, the rent poses an existential threat to us as a business.”

To combat this Tagara has set up a benefit festival weekender in the pub’s back garden for when safety permits: “We’re extremely fortunate that a number of famous bands have offered to play at this future benefit festival – Fat White Family, Shame, Greentea Peng, Oscar Jerome, Sasha Keable and others.” Get your tickets now.

The Railway also has crowdfunder.