Popular UK Venue Launches Crowdfunder Campaign | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Thursday, January 28th, 2021  

Popular UK Venue Launches Crowdfunder Campaign

Westgarth Social Club Targets A Minimum Of £3000

Nov 27, 2020 Web Exclusive
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Music venues are among the hardest hit by the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, and yesterday's news from the UK government that the Three Tier system will be reintroduced meaning many regions are in the top (third) tier resulting in those affected being forced to close their doors until the beginning of next year at the earliest.  

One of those affected regions is Middlesbrough, which is situated in the North East of England. Middlesbrough is also the home of Westgarth Social Club, a popular venue not only with music lovers, but also in serving the local community that surrounds it. Originally founded in 1911, Westgarth Social Club has become one of the most treasured independent venues in the region, playing host to shows by The Vaccines, Wolf Alice, James Bay and Public Service Broadcasting among many others over the years. 

It also houses local independent label Spooker Rekkids in its office above the venue and its thanks to them and Teeside band Nel Unlit that the Crowdfunder has come to fruition. The Westgarth hasn't been able to open its doors since the very first lockdown in March, so every show that was booked in for the remainder of 2020 had to be postponed or cancelled. 

Nel Unlit

Now, thanks to the efforts of Spooker Rekkids, Nel Unlit and the local music scene in general, the Crowdfunder hopes to raise funds that will enable the Westgarth to book shows and performance spaces into next year. No donations will go to Spooker Rekkids, Nel Unlit or towards the running costs of the club, with the fund only to be used by local  promoters. This may also allow them to subsidise ticket prices, help towards the cost of sound engineers, or to cover the shortfall in ticket sales due to potential crowd-limits. Their main aim is to ensure that bands, promoters, music lovers and the whole community are supported and will still have a place to  safely enjoy and participate in live music and events. 

If the initial target of raising £3000 is met (which they have calculated could support the curation of between 15-20 shows in 2021), there are plans to expand to additional targets of £4000 (20-25 shows) and £5000 (25-30 shows), and possibly beyond.

Basically, the more money raised helps provide the means to book more gigs throughout the year. Donations with rewards start from £5 including special edition  'Westgarth Forever' prints, a Christmas compilation sampler from Spooker Rekkids and merch bundles from  local promoters The Kids Are Solid Gold. Those searching for something more unique in terms of rewards can even choose a local act to cover a song of their choice, or even attend a billiards tutorial at the club  with Nel Unlit's self-proclaimed "cue wizard" Jon Horner. 

Steve Callaghan has been a steward at the Westgarth for a large part of his working life. He had this to say.

 "The Westgarth means so much to so many people. Firstly, the club members, some of whom have been  using the club for more than 50 years. And more recently, for the last 12 years or so, as a live music venue  used by music goers from a wide range of different musical tastes. It has become an important hub for local  artists to hone their craft, whether it be music, comedy, poetry, or anything else."

The link for the Crowdfunder is below. Please donate generously to help secure one of the North East of England's live music institutions.




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