Historic indie venue hosts fundraiser to win Alex Turner’s Fender Stratocaster guitar.
Read the original article HERE: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/aug/11/arctic-monkeys-raise-funds-for-at-risk-sheffield-venue-leadmill
Arctic Monkeys have launched a fundraising campaign to benefit the Leadmill, a historic indie music venue in their home city of Sheffield that is at risk during the coronavirus pandemic.
Frontman Alex Turner is raffling off a Fender Stratocaster guitar he used in the early days of the band, with tickets costing £5 or more. Each donor also gets a link to a stream of Arctic Monkeys’ Reading festival set from 2006.
The Leadmill, which can host 900 people in its main room and opened in 1980, is one of the UK’s archetypal indie music venues. It has staged gigs by Oasis, Muse, Coldplay and Arcade Fire early on in their careers, as well as Sheffield heroes Pulp. Arctic Monkeys played there the day before the release of their debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not in January 2006.
In March, the venue announced an auction of memorabilia, including a custom guitar made from wood taken from the venue’s floor, and signed by the Arctic Monkeys, which raised £7,200.
Like nearly all music venues across the UK, the Leadmill has been closed since March. Venues can apply for funds via emergency grants from Arts Council England and a separate £2.25m pot for grassroots venues, each part of the government’s £1.57bn fund for culture, but are still struggling amid uncertainty around reopening. In mid-July, Boris Johnson announced venues could reopen from 1 August with social distancing, but this decision was reversed with just a day to go.‘I find myself spiralling’: the crisis facing British music venues
As well as venues, there is also concern for staff who work with touring bands. Tonight, more than 600 venues including the London Eye are being floodlit in red to raise awareness of issues facing the events industry.
The campaign, described as encompassing “production, audio, lighting and video, logistics, planning, transportation, and some of the world’s leading technology manufacturers”, is calling for an extension to the government’s furlough and self-employment support schemes, plus grants for events businesses.