Elbow, Everything Everything, Public Service Broadcasting and The Slow Readers Club are the first artists to announce gigs for the Passport: Back To Our Roots campaign.
Announced last month, the initiative encourages established artists to support the grassroots scene by performing a one-off intimate show at a UK small venue. Artists can nominate a venue that holds personal significance for them, or the campaign will help match them with a participating venue.
Elbow will be returning to Manchester's Night & Day, three decades after they first performed at the venue, Everything Everything will grace Bedfore Esquires Public Service Broadcasting will be performing at The Amersham Arms in New Cross and The Slow Readers Club will play Hebden Bridge Trades Club. Dates are still to be confirmed.
“We are thrilled and honoured to have Elbow returning to Night and Day. Elbow have been friends of the venue for many years," said Jennifer Smithson of Night And Day. "We'd also like to thank Passport: Back To Our Roots and the other partner companies for pulling this together and helping grass roots venues like ours at this difficult and challenging time."
Entry will be via a prize draw which will run for two weeks from Monday, August 17 via crowdfunder.co.uk/passport-back-to-our-roots. For a £5 minimum donation to the campaign, fans will be entered into the draw to win entry to the show of their choice for themselves and a guest.
The brainchild of Sally Cook, director of operations at Manchester's Band On The Wall, and Stephen Budd, creator of War Child’s Passport: Back To The Bars and Passport: To BRITs Week series, the campaign has partnered with Music Venue Trust to raise funds to safeguard the futures of grassroots music venues struggling to survive the Covid-19 crisis.
A total of 80% of all money raised will go to the Music Venue Trust, which will distribute half of the amount to the host venue with the remainder going into their Crisis Fund, benefiting all venues in need of financial support. The remaining 20% will go to Inner City Music, the charitable organisation that operates Band On The Wall, which is responsible for the administration of the project and will cover its overheads.
Cook said: “It’s incredibly exciting to see artists supporting the grassroots venues that form the foundation of the UK’s live music industry, acknowledging their importance and celebrating the unrivalled experience of watching your favourite bands up close and personal, surrounded by friends and united in appreciation for live music in all its loud and sweaty glory.”
Budd added: “I’m delighted to help put this amazing series of shows together. There is nothing like seeing your favourite artist in a venue that is closest to the artist’s hearts. These shows will be awe-inspiring for those fans who are lucky enough to win the prize draw and also a joy for the artists who participate knowing they are helping keep live grassroots venues alive”.
Mark Dayvd, founder and CEO of Music Venue Trust, said: “Our #saveourvenues campaign has been very successful so far in raising funds and awareness to support grassroots music venues who have been hit very hard in recent months, but we are not complacent and are under no illusions that there still many challenges to overcome. There remains lots of work to do to safeguard the future of our venues and Passport: Back to Our Roots is an excellent and timely initiative that will help keep a spotlight on what still needs to be done while raising desperately needed revenue. Live music will be back and when it is we are going to make sure it comes back with experiences people will never forget."